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Walking With David Levinsky

by Don Cruise

Sunday November 19, 10:30 AM Join Rabbi Pollak and Elissa Sampson for a walking tour of the Lower East Side beginning at the Stanton Street Shul. Walk the life of David Levinsky, hero of "The Rise of David Levinsky" by Abraham Cahan. The program will begin with bagels and lox at the Stanton St. Shul, 180 Stanton Street, followed by a short Talmud class with Rabbi Pollak, similar to one David Levinsky might have attended. The walking tour, led by Elissa Sampson, will follow. This event is part of the Downtown Kehilla's "Jewish Downtown Reads: The Rise of David Levinsky" program.

Read the full text online

IT was December. There was an air of prosperity in Tevkin's house, but the girls would not give up their jobs. I was a frequent caller again. I was burning to take Anna, Elsie, and their parents to the theater, but was afraid the two girls would spurn the invitation.

One day I was agreeably surprised by Elsie asking me to buy some tickets for a socialist ball. They were fifty cents apiece.

"How many do you want me to take?" I asked.

"As many as you can afford," she answered, roguishly.

"Will you sell me twenty-five dollars' worth?"

"Oh, that would be lovely!" she said, in high glee.

When I handed her the money I was on the brink of asking if it might not be rejected as "tainted," but suppressed the pleasantry.

For me to attend a socialist ball would have meant to face a crowd of union men. It was out of the question. But the twenty-five dollars somehow brought me nearer to Elsie, and that meant to Anna also. I began to feel more at home in their company. Elsie was as dear as a sister to me. I went so far as to venture to invite them and their parents to the opera, and my invitation was accepted. I was still merely "a friend of father's," something like an uncle, but I saw a ray of hope now.

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