In his message of Aug. 22/02 Barry Sieger (BarryEdwin@cfl.rr.com)
asked for information about the Harlem Preparatory School in New
York City about 1922.
I remember writing a couple of times last February to Jim Belson
who had asked Jewishgen's Ukraine SIG about the "Harlem Evening
High School for Men". Mr. Belson's father had graduated >from that
School in 1922.
I don't know whether that Evening School was the same as "The
Harlem Preparatory School." I do know that a school called Harlem
Preparatory School existed as late as 1976 and I think, maybe
mistakenly, it still does, specializing in training young black
If Mr. Seiger is hoping to obtain his relative's school records from
the Harlem Preparatory School, he should know that when NYC schools
close or are moved to other locations, their former pupils' records
are sometimes moved to another school. But old records may be
discarded and destroyed because by law NYC public schools are
required to keep their pupils' records for "only" 65 years. I've
been told that that some schools don't bother with combing through
and discarding them; their adminstrations may just store them
somewhere in their building. (The Board of Education on Livingston
Street in Brooklyn does not keep student records. In fact, I have
learned that often Livingtston Street adminstrators cannot find
records of the very existence of some of New York City's older
I do not yet have much information about the Jews of Harlem. I wish
I did if only because I know my father designed some buildings in the
Harlem area. I do have a book by Stephan F. Brumberg, "Going to America
Going to School: the Jewish Immigrant Public School Encounter in
Turn-of-the-Century New York City." But Brumberg, who teaches at
Brooklyn College, says nothing about Harlem or the education provided
However, a book entitled "When Harlem was Jewish:1870-1930" by Jeffrey
S. Gurock, a professor at Yeshiva University, may contain information
about the Harlem Preparatory School and/or the Harlem Evening High
School for Men. Gurock's book is much too expensive for me to buy
and I haven't yet tried to find a copy at Indiana's Main Library.
Professor Gurock, whose family lived in a tenement at Park Avenue and
100th Street, was reported by the New York Times to have said that by
World War I about 175,000 Jews lived in Harlem.
Another book which may help Mr. Sieger but with which I am also not
familar is Jervis Anderson's "This was Harlem." It is a social history
of the years between 1900-1950.
Still another but less likely possibility is a book entitled "Harlem
Lost and Found," by Michael Henry Adams, due to be published this fall.
Mr. Adams who lives in Harlem is an ardent preservationist. I imagine
his book is largely if not exclusively about black culture and "the
Harlem Renaissance." I don't know how much text the book will have,
but it will display many newly made photographs of Harlem's buildings.
Perhaps some of the illustrations will show Harlem's old schools. (I
learned of this book while researching some of the buildings my father,
Hyman I. Feldman, designed. One was a three-story building which was
erected in the 1920s and in which the famous jazz nightclub called
"Small's Paradise" was located. The nightclub itself was snazzily
designed by Jewel Vertner Woodson Tandy, New York's first registered
Naomi Fatouros (nee FELDMAN)
Researching: BELKOWSKY and BIELKOWSKY, Odessa and Berdichev;ROTHSTEIN,
Kremenchug; FELDMAN, Pinsk; SCHUTZ, RETTIG, WAHL, Shcherets; LEVY,
Mulhouse; SAS or SASS,Podwolochisk; RAPOPORT, Tarnopol, Korostyshev;
BEHAM, Salok and Kharkov; WOLPIANSKY, Ostryna.