Tours run approximately 2 ½ to 3 hours.
The LESJC prides itself in being the only touring organization that has a relationship with all the synagogues that are left on the Lower East Side, and is therefore able to take you inside of them. In addition, as a historic preservation organization, a portion of the proceeds of your tour goes directly to the sites you visit.
Yes. Our tours are customized private tours that are set up in advance.
Yes. We operate rain or shine, so please dress accordingly.
We have given tours comprised of one person, and as large as 100.
Absolutely not! We talk about history and everyone of every religion can learn about history. We just focus on the Jewish immigrant experience on the Lower East Side, though we discuss other immigrant groups that passed through the neighborhood.
6th grade and up.
No way! Native New Yorkers love our tours! In fact, they make up the majority of our visitors.
The Conservancy offers nine different public tours. We encourage you to come back again and again to take them all (we have many such repeat visitors) as each tour is different.
Private group tours: Depending on the size of your group, we usually ask you to send in or charge a deposit when the tour is booked. Final payment is paid to the guide on the day of the tour. Payments can be made by check or online at our Private Tours page.
Public Tours: The recommended form of payment is to use the Add to Cart buttons next to the tour on the Event Calendar page. You do not need a PayPal account to make payments online. Alternately, you can call our office and arrange payment.
We accept major credit cards, cash, check or money order. Payments can be made online at our Pay Online page.
We leave that entirely up to your discretion. If you’ve enjoyed your tour, the guide appreciates a tip, but it is not expected or necessary.
It depends on which tour you choose. Some entail more walking than others. All tours can be done by bus. Our guides can talk while you are being driven from site to site, instead of the traditional walking tour. You should be aware that almost all of our synagogue sites require walking steps, since they are 19th century buildings.
We can provide you with bathroom facilities on almost every tour. We are never far from restaurants where facilities can be found.
Parking is available on the streets. Meters frequently available. Groups with buses of mini-vans must let us know in advance if they would like to park in the BID lot, so that we can make arrangements.
Absolutely. We encourage you to bring your camera and take lots of pictures.
Yes. It happens frequently. We are happy to provide you with a personalized LESJC gift certificate for the recipient.
We request that boys and men wear either kippot (yarmulkes), a hat or baseball cap during synagogue visits. Most shuls provide kippot, but to be safe, we suggest you bring your own. Girls and women do not need head coverings.
You will be entering synagogues on most tours. Therefore, we request that you do not wear halter tops or very short skirts or shorts.
Unless previously arranged, our customized group tours do not provide food. Tours often conclude with a visit to Kossar’s Bialys, The Pickle Guys, Economy Candy, or Guss’ Pickles so you can experience a taste of the Lower East Side as well as its sights and sounds.
Most definitely. We can provide you with a GO EAST GUIDE, which is a shopping and dining guide provided by our friends at the Lower East Side Business Improvement District. We are here to make your visit to the Lower East Side, as well as New York City, as convenient and fulfilling as possible.
Visit our Community Links page for other helpful suggestions.