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The Luckiest Orphans: A History of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of New York Hardcover – June 1, 1992

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This rich social history reads like a cross between a Dickens novel and Stephen Birmingham's Our Crowd . From 1860 to its closing in 1941, New York City's Hebrew Orphan Asylum (HOA) was more generously endowed than any other American orphanage; Horatio Alger contributed to its fund-raising efforts by writing a 12-part story that stimulated a flood of subscriptions to the HOA's magazine. A favorite charity of Jewish philanthropists and the predecessor of today's Jewish Child Care Association, throughout its history HOA was marked by the internecine tussles between Sephardim and Ashkenazim, Orthodox and Reform Jews ("Cover your head" was the battle cry at a late-19th-century HOA banquet). Bogen, president of HOA's alumni association, offers concise sketches of orphans, wardens and trustees, revealing instances of abuse but remaining positive about the institution as a whole. He also relates a few humorous stories (appropriate enough for an organization whose alumni include Art Buchwald), most memorably one about an Irish policeman who, reading a banner backwards, thought the HOA's marching band was from the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Photos not seen by PW .
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

How does one institutionalize the support, instruction, and loving care that a child needs to grow? That is an underlying issue in this study of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, which was one of New York's best-known orphanages during its long lifetime from 1860 to 1941. It produced many remarkable graduates, including columnist Art Buchwald. Bogen, president of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Association and editor of its newsletter, The Rising Bell , has written a rich, detailed, anecdote-filled history of the asylum. He portrays an institution that was neither heaven nor hell but one that, despite the harshness of many of the children's lives, was remarkably successful. This book will be instructive to social workers, social policy planners, and historians of the Jewish experience. Recommended for larger libraries.
- Paul Kaplan, Dakota Cty. Lib., Eagan, Minn.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press; 1St Edition edition (June 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252018877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252018879
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,188,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I learned about this book as it was reference in an article, then got it from the library, then bought it here at Amazon. I am writing a book about the Catholic version of the Jewish Orphanages Mr. Bogen writes of, called "Home Kids" and I feel singularly qualified to say that he has done an outstanding job of researching, and writing this book. He includes lots of relevant photos that make the story live. I was moved to write to him from Calif to NY, and he has been a great help, and a dear man. Don't miss this one.
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Format: Hardcover
My mother and her sister were placed there win 1915, my mother was about 11.
She only had great memoires and her only fear was that someone would adopt one of them and leave the other behind

Marvin Greenberg, rhode island
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Format: Hardcover
My father and his siblings were here during the depression. It's nice to see a synopsis.
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