Reconstructing Manhattan's Forgotten Syrian Quarter

Thursday, May 23 from 07:00pm EDT - 08:00pm EDT
In-person and Online
NYG&B Headquarters, 36 West 44th Street, Suite 711, New York, NY, 10036 and via Zoom
Sponsored by New York Genealogical & Biographical Society

During the late 19th century, immigrants from present-day Lebanon, Syria, and historic Palestine began to settle on Manhattan’s Lower West Side. What was once a vibrant community woven into the rich tapestry of New York City eventually dwindled and has now almost disappeared. Only three buildings in the original neighborhood with ties to what is now known as the Syrian quarter remain today.

Join us as we hear from Linda Jacobs, who has worked to bring the people, stories, and history of Manhattan’s original Syrian quarter out of the shadows. An independent scholar, she undertook hundreds of hours at the New York City Municipal Archives and the New York City Surrogate Court Archives to reconstruct this community—individual by individual. Her detailed research formed the basis of her book, Strangers in the West: The Syrian Colony of New York City, 1880–1900. Her talk will be followed by a Q&A session.

This is a free hybrid event held both in person at the NYG&B headquarters and online via Zoom. Registration is required.

Linda Jacobs headshot

About the Presenter

Linda Jacobs is an independent scholar living in New York. All four of her grandparents were early residents of the Syrian quarter on the Lower West Side of Manhattan. She holds a PhD in Near Eastern Archaeology/Anthropology and has worked for a number of Middle East-focused nonprofit organizations.