Williamsburg’s Southside has a very, very different character from its northern counterpart. A busy Hasidic Jewish community has settled in the neighborhood between Bedford Avenue and Broadway.
The construction of the Williamsburg Bridge, which connects Williamsburg with the Lower East Side in Manhattan, was an important factor in the growth of Williamsburg. When it was completed in 1903, many Jewish residents from the Lower East Side saw it as a passageway to a new, less crowded life in Brooklyn. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Jewish immigrants fleeing Nazism also settled in Williamsburg. They formed Hasidic synagogues and schools, and today there are more than 20 different Hasidic communities in Williamsburg. The busiest commercial street is Lee Avenue, where many kosher markets and bakeries can be found.