Bais Yaakov of Williamsburg, South 8th Street Building

This building was erected in 1890 for the Long Island Business College; an institution “devoted solely to the work of business education.” Among the original school’s alumni were John F. Hyman, NYC mayor from 1918-1925. During the building’s tenure as the Long Island Business College, many prominent speakers lectured in its halls, including Jewish immigrant and anarchist Emma Goldman. In 1943 the building became the iconic home of the Bais Yaakov seminary, and later the High School. At first, this imposing building was mostly empty. Students recounting their pioneering days recalled a building without heat and with many unused rooms. After WWII many survivors joined the school and its dormitory, and the student body soon outgrew the school. The school was eventually closed as Bais Yaakov expanded into Boro Park and Williamsburg morphed into a more Hungarian Hasidic neighborhood.


Identifier: FV2021.001
Photo Title: Bais Yaakov of Williamsburg, South 8th Street Building
Date: 2021
Geographic Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Archive: Courtesy of Frieda Vizel; Photo by Frieda Vizel
Summary: South 8th Street Building