By Sharna Goldseker
I couldn’t help but think of Grand Street and the origins of the network’s name when I read this piece from the New York Times.
For those of you who may never have heard the story behind Grand Street’s name, it came from the Grand Street Boys Association, as original Grand Street members —like the founders of the Boys Association— wanted to celebrate their past yet recognize their contemporary life experience and prosperity. Here is a blurb from the American Jewish Archives on the GSBA.
In the 192os, second-generation East European Jews emerged into the
social, political, economic, and religious spheres of American life. In-
fluenced by the experience of their immigrant parents on the one hand
and by their own Americanization on the other, this generation of Jews
created new communal structures and patterns of identification with-
in the American Jewish community. No organization more clearly
reflects the demographic, political, economic, and religious changes
that occurred in the lives of New York (and American) Jewry between
the 1920s and 1940s than the Grand Street Boys’ Association.
Interesting, I think, that this notion of recognizing our past and building on its shoulders to meet the new contours of the day happened in the 20s as it happens today. Something I know many of you feel as you honor those whose shoulders you stand on and yet bring your time, energy and resources to bear on the issues facing today’s society.
The Jewish food article in the link above seemed to me a delicious metaphor for that as well.