Housewives Riot in the Streets

The Kosher Meat Riots of 1902

Tove K. Danovich

East Side women discussing price of meat N.Y.C. [during N.Y.C. Meat Boycott. Apr. 1910] From the Library of Congress
In 1902, Manhattan’s Jewish enclave of the Lower East Side was among the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world.1 The most crowded blocks housed well over twelve hundred people. Buildings that house fifteen people today might have been home to sixty-six in the early 1900s.2 There was barely enough room to sleep and eat. The first tenement laws requiring, for example, that one bathroom be provided for every twenty people, had only been passed a few decades earlier.3 New immigrants worked over fourteen hours a day in sweatshops sewing buttons or stitching clothing in dark rooms where their eyes would get too tired to thread a needle. On top of that, the price of food for the many who kept kosher was higher than it was for gentile immigrants. Yet, somehow, a majority of the two million Jews who emigrated from Eastern Europe between 1881 and 1924 managed to make a life for themselves in these hard conditions. It was a delicate equilibrium. One severe illness, an increase in rent, or loss of a job could turn an entire family and their belongings out into the streets.

Throughout May of that year a storm had been brewing between the city’s kosher butchers and the housewives whose delicately balanced food budgets kept their families from starvation. On April 19, 350,000 Lower East Side tenement dwellers began to protest the high price of meat. This started quietly. As the New York Tribune wrote, “The people are too used to oppression to be deeply moved.”4 But people were beginning to weary of the constant struggle. Most of the city’s new Jewish immigrants felt lucky to find work in garment industry sweatshops or in one of the city’s factories. They’d signed up for the cramped quarters and the hard work, but hunger wasn’t supposed to be part of the bargain. Women were finding that the price of even the most basic cuts of kosher beef had increased by four or more cents a pound. A cut of kosher steak that formerly cost 14 cents now cost over 20.5 Many women only had a food budget of 30 or 40 cents a day to feed an entire family.6 That 6-cent increase may as well have been 6 dollars—it felt equally impossible.

Newspapers reported scenes of women scrounging through their local butcher shop to find the cheapest, most undesirable cuts of meat. Housewives complained to their butchers, who could only shake their heads and say that they too were barely making ends meet. It was the Beef Trust—they were the ones raising prices. Kosher butchers sincerely wanted to help their customers (else risk losing them entirely) but they were forced to close on Sundays thanks to local regulation and then another day for the Sabbath as well. That left them only five days a week to make a living; the city’s non-kosher butchers had six. Add to that the higher price of kosher meat and it was no wonder that the city’s kosher eaters were being hit so hard.

A whisper spread through the bitter people of the tenements as fast as wildfire—rumors that the newly made Beef Trust was the source of their misery. As early as 1896, the Hebrew Retail Butcher’s Association had worried about the presence of a trust. The president of the Butcher’s Association, Moses Kovner, said that in one week the trust had raised the price of beef by more than a cent per pound, and when the butchers asked for an explanation, the trust told them that if the butchers didn’t want to pay their prices, they could go without meat.7 Those who refused to pay, or tried to clandestinely telephone other firms to inquire whether they might be more willing to lower their prices, had their names added to a blacklist. Now no company would sell meat to them at any price.

The entire country, not just the kosher market, was under the spectral thumb of a growing Beef Trust. The “Big Six,” as they were eventually known, only slaughtered 45 percent of the nation’s cattle but controlled 98 percent of the “dressed beef” market. The latter described animals that had already been partially butchered and were, therefore, easier to ship in new refrigerated train cars. Yet this dressed beef was the stuff sold to gentiles, not to the kosher market. As late as 1929, a third of all beef eaten in New York was slaughtered in the city, thanks largely to the kosher market.8

Missouri’s Senator George Graham Vest, who as early as 1888 was part of a Senate committee that investigated the existence and machinations of this Beef Trust, said, “It is no doubt true that the scarcity of cattle has had something to do with the increase in the price of beef. But it appears to me to be equally true that the [Beef Trust] has taken advantage of the opportunity afforded by the decrease in cattle to run the prices up on the consumer.”9 He worried that without further laws enacted by the State and Federal governments, the Beef Trust would continue to exploit consumers. Two years later, the government passed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Then, in 1902, outcry against the puppet masters of the beef industry prompted the government to act. US Attorney General Philander Knox launched an investigation into the Beef Trust’s actions, and newspaper reports about the inquiry fueled the simmering anger against it.

Bain News Service Crowd gathered in front of butcher shop during meat riot, New York From the Library of Congress


On May 11, over fifteen hundred retailers of kosher meat gathered in the New Irving Hall,10 a large building located near Broome and Essex Streets that hosted everything from political events to dances and weddings. Attendees decried the price of meat, which was so high that the poor—a majority of the customers in that neighborhood—couldn’t afford to buy it. If the retailers couldn’t sell their meat, they too would be forced into bankruptcy. They couldn’t reach the Beef Trust directly but unanimously agreed to declare a boycott. For two days they would refuse to buy any meat from the city’s wholesale dealers. For two days, Lower East Siders would go without meat on their tables. Those retailers who had already placed orders for their next deliveries of meat rushed out of the hall after the meeting and cancelled. If the wholesalers tried to deliver it, they would send it right back. Even their customers were initially sympathetic to the shop owners’ mission. It wasn’t as though buyers could afford meat at these prices anyway.

Later that night, a similar meeting took place in Brooklyn. One thousand members of the Kosher Butchers Association stuffed themselves into New Suffolk Hall, which had a capacity of only six hundred. Voices in the crowd shouted out, “Down with the wholesalers!” and “Down with the Beef Trust!” Retailers decided to take the beef that had already been purchased and sell it to people out of town. If it had to be sold, it would not be to people in the community; doing so would risk diluting the boycott. A speaker announced that, in Brooklyn and Manhattan, they would sell only kosher poultry until the boycott was over. The crowd roared its approval. This meeting, like the other, broke up noisily and hopefully. Kosher sellers were eager to band together to change the beef economy. They might be downtrodden, but as a consumer force, they were impossible to ignore. Or so they hoped.

They’d assumed that a two-day boycott would be enough to bring the wholesalers to their knees, but by Wednesday, May 14, the retailers, not the meat dealers, were hurting. The retailers announced that they would resume selling meat the following day. Thursdays were one of the biggest selling days of the week for kosher retailers. Since the Sabbath began at sundown on Friday, all cooking for the weekend had to be done beforehand. To make up for the money they’d lost, the retailers raised prices even higher.11

Mrs. Levy, the wife of a cloak maker, didn’t think much of this so-called boycott. “This is their strike?” she yelled. “Look at the good it has brought. Now if we women make a strike, then it will be a strike.”12 She and Sarah Edelson, the owner of a small neighborhood restaurant, decided to organize a meeting.13 Nineteen women, all housewives from the Lower East Side, met and planned. One said, “Our husbands work hard. They try their best to bring a few cents into the house. We must manage to spend as little as possible. We will not give away our last few cents to the butcher and let our children go barefoot.”14 She seemed to speak for all the women there.

Another woman responded, “We will not be silent; we will overturn the world.”15

That very night, a notice went out to all five Jewish newspapers asking women to come to an assembly early the next morning at New Monroe Hall.16 Five hundred women filled the room where a few particularly incensed individuals stood in front of the crowd and denounced the retail butchers and the extortionate prices of kosher meat in the quarter. Attendees were assigned to picket locations throughout the city. The protestors would surround roughly one hundred retail stores and persuade women not to purchase meat. If a woman tried to break the picket line, the protestors were told to snatch the meat right out her arms and render it inedible.17 Women streamed out of the quarter, ready to use dirty looks, righteous indignation, and violence if necessary to stop customers from purchasing any meat. The match had been lit.

Meat Boycott “Some Vegetables, Please”
From the Library of Congress

It seemed as though every woman on the Lower East Side knew of the protest. Word moved through the tenements. Crowds grew in the streets. Scuffles broke out—small at first and then growing larger as tensions between the women and meat sellers or buyers grew. Police called to the scene found it difficult to push through the throngs of protestors to find the source of the trouble. By the evening, over twenty arrests had been made.18 If the protests seemed like wild and violent affairs—especially for a demonstration led by women—they were nothing compared to what followed later in the day.

As nightfall came and men and women returned home from work, they headed toward New Irving Hall, where the kosher butchers had congregated to call for their ill-fated boycott just four days earlier. Five to six thousand people filled the hall and spilled over into the street, where the calmer messages from inside echoed into the waiting crowd outside and, like a game of mob telephone became louder, more energetic, and fuller of anger and frustration. By some accounts, twenty thousand people amassed on the streets outside the hall.19 Inside, speakers insisted that protest be peaceful. Stop buying meat, they all said, but don’t let the boycott devolve into violence.20 The labor leader Joseph Barondess told the crowd, “Don’t buy beef. A man can live on bread and water and if not, he is not fit to live.” The plan he outlined involved readying themselves to forgo meat for a month—perhaps more—in an effort to bring prices down.

This message clearly did not make it far outside the doors. Police reserves from three stations were called in to contain the tumultuous masses.21 They set up lines in the streets surrounding the hall—down Norfolk, Essex, and Ludlow Streets, as well as between Delancey and Grand. Despite attempts to clear the streets, the protestors only got rowdier as the night wore on. When someone pushed a nearby policeman and he raised his club in warning, the mob immediately set upon him.22 A handful of lawmen rushed to his aid but were overwhelmed by the masses. When the police bashed one man out of the way, hundreds more rushed in from side streets to take his place.23 The protestors took to striking policemen down on neighboring blocks like dominoes. Within a few hours, witnesses later said, the streets were packed with people for half a mile in every direction.24 The only time the crowd dispersed even slightly was to inflict its particular brand of justice on some retailer who thought he could quietly sell meat under the twitching nose of the mob. Early on, the protestors learned that some bakers on Division Street were cooking meat and selling it out of their shops. Before the police knew where the danger was, a group of rioters bludgeoned their way into a bakery and cleaned it out—meat and bread and all. The bakers fled. There would be no reasoning with the crowd.25

Mrs. Perlmutter and others outside store arguing price of meat, Brooklyn, N.Y.
From the Library of Congress

Some marched directly to butcher shops in the neighborhood. Any shop with a kosher sign and meat hanging in the window had its displays smashed. Protestors broke down doors and hurled meat through open windows into the streets.26 Even the tenement dwellers weren’t safe from the protestors, who went through a row of tenement houses on the south side of Broome Street between Ludlow and Essex, taking meat right off of people’s tables and throwing it onto the streets below.27

Though men were mixed into the crowd, the main protestors were women, a fact that stymied police efforts. At one point, the police attempted to charge the crowd and push it back in line but were met with only women—their men had flanked them. The police didn’t want to club women, and protestors used this to hold their ground. Reportedly it was Police Captain Walsh who found a solution to this particular dilemma. “He twisted the obstreperous woman around and struck her sharply with his club a foot below her waist,” the New York Times reported.28 The captain’s men followed suit and the women broke ranks.

Three additional reserves were called in to deal with the mob over the next hours, bringing the total number of police attempting to corral the people of the Lower East Side to as many as five hundred.29 Every so often, the mob would rush at the police line, hoping to break it apart with a battering ram of bodies. The same pattern emerged on the streets around New Irving Hall. The crowd would advance, first slowly, then with a rush. Women’s screams could be heard as the police beat them back. Both sides shouted curses. Then there was silence as the people and sound moved on, repeating again on another street a block or two away.30

The jails of the lower precincts were stuffed with rioters hauled in by the policemen that night. Among those arrested for their crimes were two young girls who, along with some accomplices, had set up near the line and begun cursing at the police. That wasn’t so bad. But then, when the mood of the crowd swept over them, the girls leapt up onto an unfortunate policeman, tearing the coat sleeves right off his jacket.31 With their combined weight—and likely an element of surprise—they managed to throw him down into the gutter. When he was able to escape their precocious clutches long enough to place them under arrest, the girls reportedly wept the whole way down to the station.32

Eventually the mob dispersed just long enough to go home and rest, but the next day the riots started again. It was as though the evening’s respite had served only to refresh the mob’s resolve for violence. At daybreak they were out again. Those fools who attempted to purchase meat were beaten regardless of whether they were men or women. Their beef or poultry was thrown into the dirt or rendered otherwise inedible.33

The wife of one Abraham Schwartz tried to surreptitiously purchase a chicken and smuggle it out of the shop.34 She was quickly swarmed by women, but somehow managed to get past them and run to her apartment building and up the stairs into her home. But the women followed close on her heels. They pushed their way into Mrs. Schwartz’s living room and surrounded her, shouting threats until the beleaguered woman surrendered the chicken. As quickly as they’d come, the protestors vanished back into the streets. One woman held up the liberated chicken as though it were a mascot for their very cause. She marched through the street, waving it back and forth until a policeman caught up to her, arrested her and gave her a hefty fine. (No word on what happened to the chicken.)

Blame for the riots flew in all directions. Some pointed their fingers at the housewives for stirring up trouble. Others blamed the butchers or the wholesalers or the ever-present specter of the Beef Trust. Joseph Goldman, president of the Hebrew Retail Butchers Association, whose own life was threatened during the riots, said that meat speculators had instigated the riot out of nothing more than sheer greed.35

But the unspoken instigator for the riots was the growing separation between the people who sold kosher foods and the communities who purchased it. Rabbi Asher, who wrote one of the earliest codifications of Jewish law in the early fourteenth century, specified that there should be separation between the shohet who slaughtered animals and the butcher who sold the meat.[36.  Harold P. Gastwirt, Fraud, Corruption, and Holiness (National University Publications, 1974), 18.] Rabbinic authorities in Western European cities appointed inspectors to visit the urban butcher shops to ensure their goods were truly kosher.36 Until 1825, the Jewish population of New York was small enough that those in charge were content to allow one synagogue—Congregation Shearith Israel—to regulate kosher law. Things were easier then. There was a communal shohet that slaughtered food for the entire kosher-eating community. The centralized nature of kosher food and the relatively small population of Jews in the early 1800s made oversight easy.

It wasn’t until just before the mass Jewish migration to New York began in 1880 that there were any problems at all. In 1872, a West Twentieth street butcher brazenly began to act as both shohet and meat dealer. He even publicized this combination in advertisements placed in Jewish newspapers.37 Abuses of the system grew from there and those overseeing the industry couldn’t keep up. As Russian Jews began to make their lives in New York, they were shocked by the state of the kosher market. Where they came from, slaughtering and selling kosher meat was a holy task, not a business where the shohet was a position suited only for the unambitious or the unqualified. By 1887 the Russian Jews had grown to such numbers that they had eighteen congregations spread throughout the city. They started talking about creating a kehillah, a group of community leaders, and bringing in a chief rabbi to preside over it.38

They found Rabbi Jacob Joseph to take the position. He agreed to come all the way to the United States despite his reservations about the lack of religious conviction among many of the country’s Jews. Once arrived, he discovered that “the kosher industry” was in fact fifteen small butcher shops owned mostly by German Jews. Most of the shohetim had less than satisfactory educations and competence; rabbinical supervision of the slaughterhouses was nearly nonexistent.

Rabbi Joseph began to change all that. He replaced unqualified shohetim, hired additional ones as needed, and started requiring that a lead seal or a plombe be added to all kosher-killed meat. The plombe would not only signify that the animal was truly kosher but also show the date of slaughter to assure customers about the freshness of their meat.39 But these changes came at a cost—specifically one cent a fowl in the case of chicken.40 Rabbi Joseph hoped eventually to create a centralized slaughterhouse for the city’s kosher chicken. No more factionalized kosher food with varying standards. No more shohetim paid not by the congregation but the butcher. Poultry dealers who had been happy with the previous low standards of the kosher industry used these higher prices to wage a campaign against the Chief Rabbi. The stress of his job combined with the growing disapproval of the community was disastrous for the Rabbi’s health. In 1895 he suffered a paralyzing stroke. His family didn’t tell him how quickly the standards of kosher slipped back to their original state. The Associated Congregation he’d built likewise dissolved. He was mostly forgotten by the city’s Jews until the riots brought the problems of the kosher market back into the public’s consciousness. When Rabbi Joseph died in July 1902, as many as fifty thousand mourners marched in the funeral procession.41

Had Rabbi Joseph’s tenure been longer, perhaps the riots and the problems that continued to plague the kosher industry for decades could have been avoided. Instead, the protests grew and spread from the Lower East Side to other areas of the city where Jewish immigrants had made their homes.

East side women discussing price of meat N.Y.C.
From the Library of Congress

What the police had been unable to accomplish with clubs and threats of fines or jail time, the setting sun managed simply by virtue of its being Friday, the beginning of the Sabbath.42 And the city—at least for a day—was quiet. Shop owners closed their stores, nailed boards over the windows, and disappeared into their homes.43

But in the synagogues, the protestors were still stirring up sympathy and support within their communities. Women interrupted Torah readings to call on men to encourage their wives not to purchase meat, and they asked the rabbis to endorse their efforts.44 Those rabbis with ties to the meat industry spoke out against the women, but most were supportive. Many rabbis made sure that synagogue members knew of the boycott.45 When police were brought in to arrest Mrs. Silver at one of the synagogues she visited, a man rose and compared her to the prophet Zachariah so persuasively that the police released her without charges.46

For the next three weeks, the papers were full of stories about life on the Lower East Side, and tales of wild riots that continued almost unabated. Many reporters cast the protestors in an unsympathetic light. The women, they claimed, were unruly and hypocritical, without even the honor to stick to the boycott they were forcing on others. The New York Tribune told of a “somewhat stout and important looking matron with a brown shawl carelessly thrown over her head and shoulders” who gave an impassioned speech in front of a Ludlow Street butcher shop. In Yiddish she yelled, “The wealthy meat dealers have decided to keep their clutch on our throats so that we can’t utter a word in our behalf. We need food. They know it and keep it from us. They are soulless murderers and show us no mercy. . . . Our children are starving for want of meat; our babes are languishing without a taste of chicken. See these notices?” she implored the crowd. “Listen to what they say: Boycott! Don’t eat meat!” It was a rousing address and moved the crowd until a small girl elbowed her way into the crowd, grabbed the speaker by the apron, and implored her mother to come back inside the house. “Mamma!” the reporter said the girl yelled. “Quick, come upstairs! You left the house all alone and now the meat is being burned up!”47

Even the American Israelite, a Jewish weekly with subscribers in nearly every state, published articles lambasting the “disgraceful scenes” of New York’s East Side Jews.48 A column by Rabbi Maurice Harris of Temple Israel of Harlem compared the “deplorable incident[s]” of the riots to a “smoldering fire that may at any time burst into an anti-Semitic conflagration.”

Yet others, like the editor in chief of the Jewish Daily Forward, came out in support of the women. Abraham Cahan was more prescient about the impact of the riot than most when he wrote:

This protest movement of the women of the Quarter is such that no Jew ever need be ashamed. Whether or not these women’s fight succeeds, the Jewish people can be proud of it forever. We’ll always be able to point to this fight in the Quarter as evidence that despite the centuries and thousands of years of Jewish subjugation under foreign despots, and despite generation after generation of Jews being yoked, enslaved and trampled under the feet of all types of tyrants and oppressors, despite all this, enough spirit and striving for freedom and justice remains, such that when injustice occurs, when cruelty is enacted against them or others, they are first to lead others in protest to fight against the injustice, against such cruelty.49

More sympathetic writers attempted to arouse public sympathy by telling of the noble struggles of the “East Side Wife.” She is “the most thoroughly misunderstood and misrepresented of women,” a reporter for the Courier-Journal wrote in June.50 He drew a picture of the East Side Wife as a woman of modest means, who brought in lodgers to make ends meet and had to fight with the trusts and haggle with unscrupulous cart peddlers. Yet she educated her children, kept her home as neat as she could with so many people living in so little space, and continued her fight against the worst abuses the city might try to heap upon her.

On May 22, weeks of butcher shop blockades and riots, and the support of an increasing number of Lower East Siders finally made the Retail Butchers Association side, once more, with the boycotters. A notice went out from the Butchers Association that all the shops had agreed to suspend business until they’d reached a settlement with the wholesale dealers that would allow them to sell meat at lower prices.51 Finally, on June 5, nearly a month after the first riots, the boycott ended.

No political party or group organized the people who took to the streets and held fast to their wallets. The win against unscrupulous merchants was entirely thanks to women who were tired of being unable to feed their families. They were fed up. These women realized that they were the main buyers of a product and, therefore, could exert control over the prices. They were pioneers of community organizing, using the advantage of living in such close quarters to spread the word to women throughout the city. Rent strikes during the following decade used tactics similar to the meat protests, and their organizers were clear that they looked to the previous protests as a model for their own. The women of the Lower East Side remained a political powerhouse for generations to come. Daughters of the beef protestors grew up to strike out against the abuses of the garment industry and became major voices in the larger labor movement. And they never forgot the lessons of their strike against the Beef Trust.

Webmaster’s Note: All of the images posted with this article are from the Library of Congress’ George Grantham Bain Collection — the photographic files of one of America’s earliest news picture agencies. Furthermore, Barbara Orbach Natanson’s 2014 blog post pointed me to this collection’s relevant photographs.


  1. Jason Barr and Teddy Ort, “Population Density across the City: The Case of 1900 Manhattan,” Tenements Drafts (August 2013),
  2. “Manhattan’s Population Density, Past and Present,” New York Times, March 1, 2012,

  3. Ruth Limmer and Andrew S. Dolkart, “The Tenement as History and Housing,”
  4. “East Siders Protest,” New York Tribune, April 19, 1902.
  5. “East Siders Protest,” New York Tribune, April 19, 1902.
  6. “East Siders Protest,” New York Tribune, April 19, 1902.
  7. “Hebrew Butchers Excited,” New York Tribune, May 9, 1896.
  8. Harold P. Gastwirt, Fraud, Corruption, and Holiness (National University Publications, 1974), 28.
  9. “Unusual Prices for Meat,” New York Tribune, April 16, 1895.
  10. “Big Kosher Boycott,” New York Tribune, May 12, 1902.
  11. “Riots Over Kosher Meat,” Chicago Daily Tribune, May 16, 1902.
  12. Jewish Daily Forward, May 14, 1902, 1, quoted in Paula E. Hyman, “Immigrant Women and Consumer Protest,” American Jewish History 70, no. 1 (September 1980): 93.
  13. Jewish Daily Forward, May 14, 1902, 1, cited in Paula E. Hyman, “Immigrant Women and Consumer Protest,” American Jewish History 70, no. 1 (September 1980): 93.
  14. Yiddishes Tageblat, May 15, 1902, quoted in Paula E. Hyman, “Immigrant Women and Consumer Protest,” American Jewish History 70, no. 1 (September 1980): 99.
  15. Yiddishes Tageblat, May 15, 1902 quoted in Paula E. Hyman, “Immigrant Women and Consumer Protest,” American Jewish History 70, no 1 (September 1980): 99.
  16. “Mobs in Meat Riots,” New York Tribune, May 16, 1902.
  17. “Mobs in Meat Riots,” New York Tribune, May 16, 1902.
  18. “Meat Riots in New York,” Hartford Courant, May 16, 1902.
  19. Paula E. Hyman, “Immigrant Women and Consumer Protest,” American Jewish History 70, no. 1 (September 1980): 93.
  20. “Mobs in Meat Riots,” New York Tribune, May 16, 1902.
  21. “Meat Riots in New York,” Hartford Courant, May 16, 1902.
  22. “Fierce Meat Riot on Lower East Side,” New York Times, May 16, 1902.
  23. “Fierce Meat Riot on Lower East Side,” New York Times, May 16, 1902.
  24. “Fierce Meat Riot on Lower East Side,” New York Times, May 16, 1902.
  25. Meat Riots in New York,” Hartford Courant, May 16 1902.
  26. “Mobs in Meat Riots,” New York Tribune, May 16, 1902.
  27. “Mobs in Meat Riots,” New York Tribune, May 16, 1902.
  28. “Fierce Meat Riot on Lower East Side,” New York Times, May 16, 1902.
  29. “Fierce Meat Riot on Lower East Side,” New York Times, May 16, 1902.
  30. “Fierce Meat Riot on Lower East Side,” New York Times, May 16, 1902.
  31. “Fierce Meat Riot on Lower East Side,” New York Times, May 16, 1902.
  32. “Fierce Meat Riot on Lower East Side,” New York Times, May 16, 1902.
  33. “Women Rioters Rule New York,”Chicago Tribune, May 17, 1902. The New York bureau reported this on May 16.
  34. “Trouble Renewed on the Lower East Side.” New York Times, May 17, 1902.
  35. “Rioters Use the Torch” New York Tribune, May 17, 1902.
  36. Harold P. Gastwirt, Fraud, Corruption, and Holiness (National University Publications, 1974), 19.
  37. Jeremiah J. Berman, Shehitah: A Study in the Cultural and Social Life of the Jewish People (New York: Bloch, 1941), 294.
  38. Jeremiah J. Berman, Shehitah: A Study in the Cultural and Social Life of the Jewish People (New York: Bloch, 1941), 294.
  39. Jeremiah J. Berman, Shehitah: A Study in the Cultural and Social Life of the Jewish People (New York: Bloch, 1941), 297.
  40. Jeremiah J. Berman, Shehitah: A Study in the Cultural and Social Life of the Jewish People (New York: Bloch, 1941), 297.
  41. Jeremiah J. Berman, Shehitah: A Study in the Cultural and Social Life of the Jewish People (New York: Bloch, 1941), 300.
  42. “Women Rioters Rule New York,” Chicago Tribune, May 17, 1902. The New York bureau reported this on May 16.
  43. “Meat Rioters Rest,” New York Tribune, May 18, 1902.
  44. Paula E. Hyman, “Immigrant Women and Consumer Protest,” American Jewish History 70, no. 1 (September 1980): 100.
  45. New York Herald. May 18, 1902, 4, cited in Paula E. Hyman, “Immigrant Women and Consumer Protest,” American Jewish History 70, no. 1 (September 1980): 100.
  46. Forward. May 18, 1902, cited in Paula E. Hyman, “Immigrant Women and Consumer Protest,” American Jewish History 70, no. 1 (September 1980): 100.
  47. “She Had Meat at Home,” New York Tribune, May 25, 1902.
  48. “Riot on the East Side” American Israelite, May 22, 1902.
  49. Liza Schoenfein, “120 Years of The Forward: On Day 2 Of Meat Strike, Editor Cahan Lauds Women,” Forward, May 18, 2017, Includes a translation by Chana Pollack of the original, Abraham Cahan, “Our Jewish Women,” Forverts, May 16, 1902.
  50. “The Struggle of the East Side Wife,” Courier-Journal, June 29, 1902.
  51. “Kosher Shops to Close Again,” New York Tribune, May 30, 1902.

Tove Danovich is a freelance journalist now based in Portland, OR. Find her on Twitter @TKDano or at

You are reading:

Housewives Riot in the Streets

Other articles in this edition of NYFoodStory: