EDUCATIONAL ALLIANCE HISTORY
The Manny Cantor Center is a project of the Educational Alliance.
Educational Alliance has served Downtown Manhattan since 1889. Originally a settlement house for Eastern European Jews immigrating to New York City, the history of the Lower East Side and the history of The Educational Alliance are deeply intertwined.
In addition to basic classes and programs on how to be a good American, The Alliance offered a creative outlet via The Educational Alliance Art School, recreational respite in the Rooftop Garden (serving 10,000 people per day in the summer of 1903), and the theater (Eddie Cantor made his stage debut there in 1905), and other escapes from cramped tenement life.
In the 1940s, as the population of the Lower East Side changed, so did The Educational Alliance. We shifted from being volunteer run and we introduced social service programs overseen by trained professionals. In the 1960′s, The Alliance pioneered Operation Street Corner, aimed at curbing teenage delinquency. We were one of the first organizations to offer Head Start for early childhood education. Recently, we addressed the needs of the aging population of the neighborhood by helping establish one of the first Naturally Occurring Retirement Community’s, for which it provides services.
Our history is one of embracing all of the new arrivals to the Lower East Side, while still maintaining special ties to our Jewish heritage.
The Manny Cantor Center is the original site of the Educational Alliance. The Administrative headquarters remain in the building at 197 East Broadway.
Who We Are
Educational Alliance is a non-profit organization that changes lives by serving a broad and diverse group of downtown New Yorkers — of all religions, ethnicities, races and socio-economic backgrounds.
We help break the cycle of poverty for low-income children and families through our preschool, after school programs and college prep programs. We renew the minds & spirits of the weary through our art school. We provide companionship and meaningful activities for our older adults.
We ensure that New York’s hungry and homeless Jews have a place to get a warm kosher meal and a connection to the Jewish community. We give hope and support to people in despair through our addiction recovery programs.
Educational Alliance Mission
Educational Alliance is a community-based organization offering a wide range of programs that integrate education, social services, arts and recreation throughout Downtown Manhattan. We are a Jewish organization, serving people of diverse ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds who live, work and learn in our neighborhoods. We strive to nourish the total person, strengthen family connections and build inclusive communities.