The Museum at Eldridge Street Synagogue

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Stained Glass – Eldridge Street Synagogue

I first visited the The Museum at Eldridge Street Synagogue some years ago when I attended a reading produced by Origin Theatre.  The building fascinated me, and finally this week I took one of the guided tours to find out more.  I learned not only about the building, but  also quite a bit about Jewish life on the Lower East Side.

When this National Historic Landmark opened its doors in 1887, it was the home of a vibrant Orthodox Jewish congregation for many years.  As the community dispersed, the main sanctuary was closed, and fell into disrepair.  Starting in the mid 1980’s, over a 20-year period, the synagogue was restored to it’s former splendor, and now has a stunning new stained-glass window by the artist Kiki Smith and the architect Deborah Gans.  The Museum is closed on Saturdays and major Jewish holidays, when it is used as a synagogue.

The Museum has ongoing cultural and educational events.  Check out the Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas street festival  Sunday, June 7th,  from noon to 4:00, celebrating Jewish, Chinese and Puerto Rican cultures and cuisines.  

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