Designed by German architects Peter and Francis William Herter, the Eldridge Street Synagogue opened its doors in 1887 to an influx of Russian and Polish Jewish immigrants. At times on High Holidays, so many worshipped here that police were stationed in the street as crowd-control. The synagogue also functioned as a place of aid for immigrants adjusting to life in a new country.
In the 1940s, membership dwindled and the congregation shifted to worshipping in the synagogue’s lower level. Left abandoned, the main sanctuary crumbled to near-ruin until the 1980s, when a movement began to raise funds for a return to its former glory. After 20 years of detailed restoration work, the synagogue opened to the public as the Museum at Eldridge Street in December 2007.
Explore the exhibitions and religious accoutrements in the basement of the synagogue; then climb the stairs to the dazzling 50-foot ceiling, Moorish-style main sanctuary, following along with Education Associate Rachel Serkin as she tells the humorous, fascinating tales of the realities of Jewish life on the Lower East Side throughout New York City history.
Enjoy snacks and wine in the sanctuary after the tour.
Thursday, February 25th at 6:30 pm
Museum at Eldridge St.
12 Eldridge St, New York, NY
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