Russ & Daughters: An Appetizing Story

Russ & Daughters regulars know to take a number immediately upon entering the store. That ticket is the order imposed on what could otherwise become, very quickly, a chaotic mass of hungry and demanding customers. The ticket promises a multi-sensory experience—not just the sight of the fish, bagels, dried fruit, babka, and halvah, but the briny, smoky smells one inhales even before any food hits the tongue. The ticket also opens the door to conversation and community.

Most archives focus on paper as a form of transmission: AJHS alone has 30 million pages of documents. But a store, led by four overlapping generations of a family, is also a vessel of history, capturing century-old practices. The Russ family members relay stories of herring sellers and customers for more than a century. Knowing how to slice lox thin is important; just as important is knowing when to innovate, what to preserve, and staying attuned to customers past, present and future.

Hours

Mon and Wed: 9:30am-8pm
Tue and Thu: 9:30am-5pm
Fri: 9:30am-3pm
Sun: 11am-5pm

Admission

Through: January 31
Entry: Free

On Display

When The Golden Door Closed, They Carried The Torch presented by American Jewish Historical Society and Center for Jewish History
Rise of the Yiddish Machines: The Typewriter and Yiddish Literature presented by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
The Door Slams Shut: Jews and Immigration in the Face of American Reaction presented by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
The Art of Exile: Paintings by German-Jewish Refugees presented by the Leo Baeck Institute
Hey, Wow! The Art of Oded Halahmy presented by the Yeshiva University Museum