Sender Jarmulowsky

In Immigration on January 19, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Sender Jarmulowsky (1841-1912), Photograph, Museum at Eldridge Street Collection


This photograph is of Sender Jarmulowsky, the first President of the Eldridge Street Synagogue. Sender Jarmulowsky was both a Talmudic scholar and successful businessman. Orphaned at the age of three, Jarmulowsky was adopted by a rabbi in what is today Poland. There, he studied in a highly regarded religious school, called a yeshiva, and eventually married the daughter of a wealthy merchant. In 1868, he moved with his wife to Hamburg, Germany and started a passage and exchange business to transfer people and goods across the Atlantic. In 1873, he opened up another office in America on the Lower East Side. This business grew into one of the most successful banks in New York City. Jarmulowsky was held in high regard for his piety and for his business acumen. As one Yiddish newspaper described him, “Jarmulowsky was living proof that in America one can be a rich businessman but also be a true, pious Jew.”

Discussion Questions

  • Look closely at the image. What can you tell about Sender Jarmulowsky? Does he seem dignified or vulgar? Ancient or Contemporary? Rich or poor? What clues in the picture helped you to make your hypothesis?

Classroom Extensions

  • Have students try to strike Sender Jarmulowsky’s pose. Discuss how it feels.
  • Research fashion at the turn-of-the-century. What more can you discover about Sender Jarmulowsky by learning more about his clothing?

  1. […] immigrants to buy steerage tickets at Sender Jarmulowsky’s bank on the Lower East Side. Jarmulowsky began his passage and exchange business in Europe in 1868 before moving to America and opening up […]

  2. […] Sender Jarmulowsky, a leader in the religious and business community on the Lower East Side, opened a small bank on in the 1870s.  His bank was a place where Jewish immigrants could go and speak Yiddish for their banking needs.  They also went to his bank to buy steerage tickets to bring their family members on the boat, or to travel back to Europe to visit relatives.  By 1900, Jarmulowsky, the owner of the bank, was rumored to have been a millionaire.  This landmark building was built in 1912, the same year he died, as a testament to his success as a businessman and prominence in the Jewish community of the Lower East Side. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: