Stores of Memory


One Minute Excerpt

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The Streit’s Matzo Factory has been in the New York’s Lower East Side since 1925. The entire matzo process, from flour to boxed cracker, takes less than 18 minutes, and the mixing and baking covers five floors and four tenement buildings on Rivington Street. Listen to an interview with Aaron Gross, the fifth generation of the Matzo making family.

This is an excerpt from an Audio Documentary about the history of Jewish businesses in the Lower East Side. I conducted in depth interviews with Streit’s Matzo, Economy Candy, and Harris Levy Linens.

Created in Affiliation with the upcoming exhibit “Shop Life” at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 2011. This served as my thesis project for my Master’s Degree in Oral History from Columbia University.


The full one hour audio documentary.

Part 1: History and Memory of the Lower East Side
[mejsaudio src=” Lower East Side History and Memories.mp3″ title=”Part One:Lower East Side Memories”]

Part 2: Streit’s Matzo
[mejsaudio src=” Streits Matzo.mp3″]

Part 3: Harris Levy Linens
[mejsaudio src=” Harris Levy Linens.mp3″]

Part 4: Economy Candy and Conclusion
[mejsaudio src=” Economy Candy and Conclusion.mp3″]


Oral History Interviews: Aaron Gross, Alan Adler, Walter Hernandez, Jerry Cohen, Mitchell Cohen, Bill Levy, Lorraine Levy
Historians: Suzanne Wasserman and Hasia Diner
Advisors: Suzanne Wasserman, Ruksana Susswell, David Favaloro


The annotated transcript (Columbia Master’s Thesis in Oral History)
Download Transcript


She was a Jewish lady, and she used to say “Hey, what are you looking for?” and then she’d say “here, come here, come here!” and then she’d go and grab you, she used to grab you by the arm and she used to bring you into the store. And then her husband used to be [inside] the store, and she used to “Look, look!” and she’d show you the t-shirts and everything. I used to love it.
–Walter Hernandez