From the American Scene: The Uptown Social Club
Every Friday the New York Post carries at least fifty advertisements inviting single people under and over twenty-eight years of age to public dances held in hotels and Jewish centers all over town. Ostensibly addressed to the public at large, these advertisements are aimed, in fact, at Jewish readers of the Post. There are, to be sure, a handful of non-Jewish organizations, such as the Knights of Columbus, that also advertise their dances and affairs in the daily newspapers, but their ads are small and few, tucked away on a back page of the Daily News.
The advertisements in the Post are many and large. In a good number the affiliation is self-evident: either the location or the sponsorship of the dance proclaims it. In one Friday issue of the Post, for instance, public dances were advertised to be held on the premises of the Ocean Avenue Jewish Center, the Rego Park Jewish Center, the Hillcrest Jewish Center, Temple Adath Israel, and similar places—fifteen in all. There were also dances sponsored by the National Fraternal Zionists, the Young Israel of the Concourse, B’nai B’rith, and numerous other Jewish organizations. Dances under commercial sponsorship are identified as to Jewish character indirectly, the favorite device being a menorah placed somewhere in the ad. Thus an ad for a dance at the Hotel Biltmore, featuring the band of Tito Puente—“in person all eve, or money refunded”—carried a single menorah at bottom center, that for a dance at the Hotel McAlpin showed two, one in each upper corner. On Jewish holidays the Post blossoms forth with announcements of Purim, Chanukah, Passover, and even pre-Passover and pre-Purim dances.
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