The Kletzker Brotherly Aid Association at 5 Ludlow

Posted on: December 28th, 2009 at 6:27 am by

Deep down at the southern terminus of Ludlow Street is a well-preserved old world building.  Its ornamentation, arched windows, and columns on the upper levels are quite exquisite.  Today, the unique structure at 5 Ludlow is headquarters of the Boe Fook Funeral Home, undertakers servicing the Chinese community.

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But the history is equally impressive.  As indicated by the red cornice, 5 Ludlow was once home to the Kletzker Brotherly Aid Association.  Founded in 1892, this L-shaped structure was one of many “landsmanschaftn” set up in the late nineteenth century to care for the hordes of Jewish immigrants flowing through Ellis Island.  Such organizations often provided medical care, unemployment insurance, burial plots, and social activities for its members.  Each one catered to émigrés from a specific town in the homeland; this particular society helped those from Kletzk, Poland.

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The building was later sold to Max Kobre, a local banker who set up an institution there, and remodeled some of the exterior.  After his reign, the property became a funeral parlor which changed ownership as the composition of the neighborhood diversified; it began as a Jewish parlor, then Italian, and now, Chinese.

For more information, read here and here.

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