NYC - LES: The Educational Alliance
The Educational Alliance (197 East Broadway) was known as the Hebrew Institute when it was opened in 1891 from the plans of Jewish architectural firm Brunner & Tryon. It was organized by a group of “uptown Jews” to aid immigrants in their adjustment to life in America and alleviate some of the ailments of tenement living. Day and evening classes in English and citizenship eased the process of assimilation on many new arrivals. It housed a free library at a time when no public libraries existed in the city, and its classes were later used as models for the Board of Education’s citizenship program. The Alliance also distributed food and clothing to the needy, offered classes for children in Jewish religion and culture, and conducted free Sabbath and High Holy Day services for those too poor to join a congregation. It was also a pioneer in the concept of summer camp for children. The Educational Alliance's art school has boasted a stellar reputation since its inception in 1897, having hosted students and teachers such as Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Peter Blume, Alexander Kruse, Elias Newman, Chaim Gross, Elie Nadelman & Sidney Simon. Although its original constituency has been largely displaced over the years, the Alliance is still active in assisting the local community with a variety of services.
The original building was modernized in 1970-71 and renamed the David Sarnoff Building.