Jewish Immigrants on Lombard Street
In the early 1900s, more than 600 people lived in the 70 houses on just a single block of Lombard Street between Lloyd and Central Avenue. For example, two households lived in 1139 E. Lombard Street in 1910. The Bergers consisted of Morris, a 55-year-old pants presser; his 50-year-old wife Eva; their 18-year-old daughter Fannie, a coat operator; their newlywed son, 26-year-old Harris, a pants maker; and Harris’s wife Rebecca, age 20. The Sundicks included 36-year-old Max, a pants presser; his 35-year-old wife Sarah; and their four children ages 6 months to 10 years.
As they made the difficult economic and cultural adjustment to life in America, struggling Jewish immigrants like the Bergers and Sundicks often relied on the many charitable organizations run by uptown German Jews. One of the best known, the Hebrew Friendly Inn and Aged Home (which later became Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital) began in 1890. In the early 1900s, it was located at 1153 E. Lombard Street, just east of Weiss Deli.
On the site of what is today Lenny’s Deli, Louis Herman operated a shvitz bad (Russian bath) in the early 1900s at 1116 E. Lombard. While very few homes featured hot water or indoor bathrooms, going to the Russian baths was generally an indulgence reserved for special occasions. For most residents, bathing meant a trip to the Walters Free Public Bath on High Street near Pratt (demolished 1953) where a nickel bought a shower, soap and a towel.