Friday, October 2, 2009

Tenement Talks: Melvin Urofsky on Louis D. Brandeis

On Wednesday night, Melvin Urofsky joined us at the Tenement Museum Shop for an informative talk about Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, his biography on the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice. Urofsky, a tall but kind and approachable academic, opted to speak without the microphone, opened with a joke, and commenced his engaging dialogue.

Although born in the United States, Brandeis, we learned, was the son of immigrants from the Czech Republic. He was a hard-working, self-made man who devoted his life to law, eventually becoming the first lawyer to practice pro bono work.

Although Brandeis was not from the Lower East Side, he came to know it during a crucial time - the Garment Strike of 1910 - when he played a fundamental role in drafting a Supreme Court resolution. Touching on this subject, Urofsky noted that“[Brandeis] set up the protocol” which was instrumental in facilitating peace in the garment industry.

- Posted by Ariel, Tenement Talks Intern

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