Museum at Eldridge Street

Museum at Eldridge Street Located in the 1887 National Historic Landmark Eldridge Street Synagogue, the Museum explores immigration, architecture and restoration, and Jewish ritual.

Open Sun-Thurs, 10-5, Fri 10-3. The Museum at Eldridge Street is housed in the 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue, a magnificent National Historic Landmark that has been meticulously restored. Exhibits, tours, cultural events and educational programs tell the story of Jewish immigrant life at the turn of the last century, explore architecture and historic preservation, inspire reflection on cultural c

Open Sun-Thurs, 10-5, Fri 10-3. The Museum at Eldridge Street is housed in the 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue, a magnificent National Historic Landmark that has been meticulously restored. Exhibits, tours, cultural events and educational programs tell the story of Jewish immigrant life at the turn of the last century, explore architecture and historic preservation, inspire reflection on cultural c

Operating as usual

Happy birthday to us! 🎂 On this day, 134 years ago, the Eldridge Street Synagogue officially opened. ⁠⁠It was big news i...
09/04/2021

Happy birthday to us! 🎂 On this day, 134 years ago, the Eldridge Street Synagogue officially opened. ⁠

It was big news in the city, and several newspapers reported an “immense number of people” converging on the block for the opening, with “crowds extended to the street.” ⁠

This watercolor is the first-ever image of the synagogue. Actually, it predates the physical building! It's an architect's rendering - a plan for what the Herter Brothers envisioned at 12 Eldridge. And thankfully, it still looks almost exactly the same, 134 years later. Today this watercolor is in the collections of the Museum of the City of New York.

Happy birthday to us! 🎂 On this day, 134 years ago, the Eldridge Street Synagogue officially opened. ⁠

It was big news in the city, and several newspapers reported an “immense number of people” converging on the block for the opening, with “crowds extended to the street.” ⁠

This watercolor is the first-ever image of the synagogue. Actually, it predates the physical building! It's an architect's rendering - a plan for what the Herter Brothers envisioned at 12 Eldridge. And thankfully, it still looks almost exactly the same, 134 years later. Today this watercolor is in the collections of the Museum of the City of New York.

We're opening at noon today due to the ongoing effects of yesterday's storm. Stay safe, New York!📷 : @albertoferreras_ny...
09/02/2021

We're opening at noon today due to the ongoing effects of yesterday's storm. Stay safe, New York!

📷 : @albertoferreras_nyc

We're opening at noon today due to the ongoing effects of yesterday's storm. Stay safe, New York!

📷 : @albertoferreras_nyc

Get out your calendars  - we'll be sharing lots of changes to our regular hours this month! ⁠Next week, the Museum will ...
09/01/2021

Get out your calendars - we'll be sharing lots of changes to our regular hours this month!

Next week, the Museum will be closed on Monday, September 6th for Labor Day and the following two days - Tuesday, September 7th and Wednesday, September 8th - in observance of Rosh Hashanah. Our full list of holiday closures can be found here: https://www.eldridgestreet.org/plan-your-visit/.

Wishing everyone happy holidays next week! 🍯⁠

Get out your calendars - we'll be sharing lots of changes to our regular hours this month!

Next week, the Museum will be closed on Monday, September 6th for Labor Day and the following two days - Tuesday, September 7th and Wednesday, September 8th - in observance of Rosh Hashanah. Our full list of holiday closures can be found here: https://www.eldridgestreet.org/plan-your-visit/.

Wishing everyone happy holidays next week! 🍯⁠

"Challah will always be about carbs, creativity, and a culinary link to Jewishness." We agree! But as this TASTE article...
08/30/2021
The Challah Internet Is Full of Golden Twists and Turns

"Challah will always be about carbs, creativity, and a culinary link to Jewishness." We agree! But as this TASTE article points out, a new generation of bakers is stepping outside the simple braid to create wild new challah variations that are very photogenic and highly Instagrammable.

Check out their creations! Maybe you'll be inspired to experiment this season?

The eggy Jewish bread may be centuries old, but a handful of enterprising (and extremely online) bakers have changed the game forever.

08/26/2021

Today for Throwback Thursday, we're remembering the day in 2010 when our sanctuary was forever changed! Step back in time & watch as our modern stained glass window is finally installed high atop the east wall of the historic sanctuary.

Due to the severe weather forecast, the Museum is closed today - Sunday, August 22nd. We will reopen with regular hours ...
08/22/2021

Due to the severe weather forecast, the Museum is closed today - Sunday, August 22nd. We will reopen with regular hours Monday, August 23rd at 10AM.

Stay safe out there!

Due to the severe weather forecast, the Museum is closed today - Sunday, August 22nd. We will reopen with regular hours Monday, August 23rd at 10AM.

Stay safe out there!

Stroll down Canal Street & you'll get a quick education on the way grand historic buildings are adapted, abandoned and r...
08/20/2021

Stroll down Canal Street & you'll get a quick education on the way grand historic buildings are adapted, abandoned and revived over time. Fascinating things can happen in a few decades! And they often reflect bigger changes in history and culture.

Find out for yourself on this Sunday's walking tour with expert guide Richard Soden. He's been in the neighborhood a long time, so he's seen the changes firsthand. And he's got the scoop on the past, present & future of some storied sites in the Lower East Side.

Join him August 22nd at 11AM! Get your tickets: https://www.eldridgestreet.org/event/lower-east-side-walking-tour-4/.

Photographer Wijnanda Deroo, 1988 in the main sanctuary of the Eldridge Street Synagogue.
08/19/2021

Photographer Wijnanda Deroo, 1988 in the main sanctuary of the Eldridge Street Synagogue.

Colorful tidbits from Instagram user @youreinthe_middle_oftheroad's recent visit. We love when you share your photos wit...
08/13/2021

Colorful tidbits from Instagram user @youreinthe_middle_oftheroad's recent visit.

We love when you share your photos with us!

"Historic violence and persecution against Jews has also impacted the way synagogues have been designed. By the Medieval...
08/11/2021

"Historic violence and persecution against Jews has also impacted the way synagogues have been designed. By the Medieval period, many cities and towns enacted laws that forbade Jewish synagogues to be visible from the street."

You've likely seen those synagogues that look as though they're almost hiding behind a modest facade that blends in with the rest of the neighborhood. And it's easy to see why so many congregations felt they had to blend in. But inconspicuousness was not what our congregation was going for!

Today on the blog, we're going all the way back to antiquity to talk about sacred spaces, religious architecture, and the cultural inspirations that influenced the way our building - and others - look today.

Check it out: https://www.eldridgestreet.org/blog/examining-architectural-cultural-inspirations/

"Historic violence and persecution against Jews has also impacted the way synagogues have been designed. By the Medieval period, many cities and towns enacted laws that forbade Jewish synagogues to be visible from the street."

You've likely seen those synagogues that look as though they're almost hiding behind a modest facade that blends in with the rest of the neighborhood. And it's easy to see why so many congregations felt they had to blend in. But inconspicuousness was not what our congregation was going for!

Today on the blog, we're going all the way back to antiquity to talk about sacred spaces, religious architecture, and the cultural inspirations that influenced the way our building - and others - look today.

Check it out: https://www.eldridgestreet.org/blog/examining-architectural-cultural-inspirations/

"Whether you are looking to revisit your roster of virtual programs or are creating a virtual program for the first time...
08/09/2021
Finding Wonder in a Virtual World

"Whether you are looking to revisit your roster of virtual programs or are creating a virtual program for the first time, here are some guiding principles to help you think about creating your own moments of wonder."

Our Director of Ed has some great tips for replicating those "wow!" moments of an on-site visit to the virtual world. Check out Rachel's tips below! ⤵

Envision a group of schoolchildren standing before you, giddy with anticipation and excitement. In front of them are two elongated rectangular wooden doors, which, once opened, will transport them …

08/04/2021

What better way to start the day than with a trip to Kossar's? Take a peek inside the bakery, way back in 1997, and hear about the origins of the bialy - as the expert bakers are hard at work rolling and shaping dough. This video was shot on Betacam by Bea Moss Productions for a documentary about the Lower East Side.

Luckily for all of us, Kossar's is still around to satisfy the bialy craving you're definitely going to have after this.

What do these three buildings have in common? They all employ elements of Moorish architecture. On the Eldridge Street f...
08/03/2021

What do these three buildings have in common? They all employ elements of Moorish architecture. On the Eldridge Street facade, you'll see it in the horseshoe arches above the doors and windows and in the Star of David finials atop the roofline. It's a form of Islamic architecture, named for the North African Moorish culture that once controlled parts of Spain, Portugal and France.⁠

Why choose this style for a synagogue? It was popular at the time partly because it could look uniquely Jewish, differentiating synagogues from Christian churches and other places of worship. Synagogue designers often avoided using only Gothic architecture, because it was so common for churches. Fusing new styles of architecture produced something wholly new and "exotic" as a built representation of the Jewish faith. Central Synagogue, on 55th Street, is another New York synagogue that chose a Moorish style. Built before Eldridge Street, Central was likely one source of inspiration for our own congregants.⁠

But Moorish style wasn't only popular in synagogues! "Exotic" architecture was in for secular buildings, too. Get a load of PT Barnam’s mansion “Iranistan” in Bridgeport, Connecticut. (A secular building BUT designed by Jewish architect Leopold Eidlitz in 1848.) True to form, the showman was enamored with this highly decorative and unique style. Sadly his ornate Moorish estate only lasted nine years before burning down.

Scenes from inside (and on top of!) the historic Jarmulowsky Bank building, current in the finishing stages of a long re...
07/28/2021

Scenes from inside (and on top of!) the historic Jarmulowsky Bank building, current in the finishing stages of a long restoration. Today on the blog ⤵

https://www.eldridgestreet.org/blog/jarmulowsky-banks-restoration-brings-it-into-the-21st-century/

Scenes from inside (and on top of!) the historic Jarmulowsky Bank building, current in the finishing stages of a long restoration. Today on the blog ⤵

https://www.eldridgestreet.org/blog/jarmulowsky-banks-restoration-brings-it-into-the-21st-century/

07/27/2021

"I think it's interesting to think about the decision to make a building in this style for a group of people, immigrant people. And to give thought to how it is that they would like to imagine themselves in this new world. And where they're coming from - even though these people are coming from Eastern Europe - where they're coming from way before that, in the Middle East. And then also a destination point - the promised land. So this sort of relationship between who you are, where you come from and where you're going."⁠

Emily Sottile, Director of Sacred Spaces at EverGreene Architectural Arts, perfectly encapsulates the many facets of identity - Jew, Eastern European, immigrant, new American - that our congregation was juggling as they designed their new spiritual home on Eldridge Street. This building housed so much more than prayer! It was symbol of arrival for new immigrants, a vessel for their aspirations, and an expression of their heritage. ⁠They chose architectural styles that they hoped would reflect all of those different aspects of their identities. That's a lot of responsibility!

There are many more kernels of wisdom, and behind-the-scenes restoration stories, in the full video from this program. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XL1VGazxtI

Formal dance events may seem like pretty wholesome fun these days, but 100 years ago some corners of society were VERY w...
07/23/2021
Carrying on Tu B'Av Traditions - Museum at Eldridge Street

Formal dance events may seem like pretty wholesome fun these days, but 100 years ago some corners of society were VERY worried that dance halls may lead young girls into temptation. The entrance to a dance hall was called, in one publication, "The brilliant entrance to hell itself"!!!

How did new immigrants to America navigate finding love and fun in a country whose customs and culture were foreign? It wasn't always easy! But as they say - love finds a way.

This week on the blog, Rachel Serkin talks about the historic connection between ancient Tu B'Av celebrations and Lower East Side dance halls (plus much more).

https://www.eldridgestreet.org/blog/carrying-on-tu-bav-traditions/

Long after Jewish communities were celebrating with pastoral fun and dance, Lower East Siders carried on Tu B'Av's traditions in new ways.

There aren't many architectural requirements for a synagogue - the placement of the bimah, or reader’s platform, can var...
07/20/2021

There aren't many architectural requirements for a synagogue - the placement of the bimah, or reader’s platform, can vary from place to place. In Sephardic synagogues, it is often located in the middle or towards the rear. In Orthodox Eastern European synagogues you will typically find the platform in the center - and that's what our congregations chose when they designed their building here in 1887. In the 19th century, Reform congregations adopted interior plans with seats arranged in rows facing the bimah and Ark on a platform at the front of the synagogue, a style borrowed in part from Protestant churches. Today most American synagogues still place the bimah at the front, so that is the configuration most people are familiar with.⁠

Think about how the placement of the bimah affects the atmosphere of prayer. A frontal bimah configures the sanctuary like a theatre with the worshippers facing the action as spectators. A central bimah enables the entire congregation to hear the readings and physically places the Torah at the core of the sanctuary. The acoustic aspect of a central bimah would be especially important for synagogues built before amplification technology. ⁠

There aren't many architectural requirements for a synagogue - the placement of the bimah, or reader’s platform, can vary from place to place. In Sephardic synagogues, it is often located in the middle or towards the rear. In Orthodox Eastern European synagogues you will typically find the platform in the center - and that's what our congregations chose when they designed their building here in 1887. In the 19th century, Reform congregations adopted interior plans with seats arranged in rows facing the bimah and Ark on a platform at the front of the synagogue, a style borrowed in part from Protestant churches. Today most American synagogues still place the bimah at the front, so that is the configuration most people are familiar with.⁠

Think about how the placement of the bimah affects the atmosphere of prayer. A frontal bimah configures the sanctuary like a theatre with the worshippers facing the action as spectators. A central bimah enables the entire congregation to hear the readings and physically places the Torah at the core of the sanctuary. The acoustic aspect of a central bimah would be especially important for synagogues built before amplification technology. ⁠

We love when visitors share their photos of our spectacular space! These are from a recent visit by Instagram user @hann...
07/14/2021

We love when visitors share their photos of our spectacular space! These are from a recent visit by Instagram user @hannitachula.

Thanks for sharing, Hannah!

07/12/2021

Our historic sanctuary was forever changed in this moment - when a new stained glass window, designed by Kiki Smith and Deborah Gans, was installed in 2010.

Gorgeous blue light streaming into the sanctuary from our Kiki Smith & Deborah Gans-designed East Window!
07/09/2021

Gorgeous blue light streaming into the sanctuary from our Kiki Smith & Deborah Gans-designed East Window!

Gorgeous blue light streaming into the sanctuary from our Kiki Smith & Deborah Gans-designed East Window!

Walking tour guide Nancy Beiles has three favorite stories from her upcoming A Kid's Life on the Lower East Side program...
07/07/2021

Walking tour guide Nancy Beiles has three favorite stories from her upcoming A Kid's Life on the Lower East Side program:

- 100 years ago, bananas were dangerous
- the roots of The Baby-Sitters Club are on the Lower East Side
- a playground once caused a riot

Intrigued? Hear more from Nancy in this fun interview about her upcoming tour, which offers a kid's perspective about life 100 years ago in our neighborhood.

www.eldridgestreet.org/blog/what-was-life-like-for-street-smart-city-kids-100-years-ago/

This building was originally lit by gas. By today’s standards, that gas-lit interior would seem dim and shadowy. But for...
07/06/2021

This building was originally lit by gas. By today’s standards, that gas-lit interior would seem dim and shadowy. But for the immigrants of 100 years ago, it would have been dazzling! Many homes at workplaces at this time were lit with oil lamps, filled with lard, kerosene, whale oil, turpentine or coal. They gave off unpleasant odors, and offered much less light than we're used to. Most congregants had just one or two of these lamps in their homes - but this building had 237 gas burners! The grand chandelier alone holds 75 lights. And once they electrified the fixtures, this building likely would have been the brightest space the congregants had the pleasure of seeing.⁠

During restoration, lighting restorer Dawn Ladd of Aurora Lampworks created a dimming system that would allow for the approximation of lighting levels of 100 years ago. Now with the push of a button, we can travel from dimly lit 1887 to the brilliant 21st century!

Happy Independence Day! The Museum is closed today and tomorrow in observance of the holiday. Here's to freedom - of exp...
07/04/2021

Happy Independence Day! The Museum is closed today and tomorrow in observance of the holiday. Here's to freedom - of expression, of religion, of identity.

Happy Independence Day! The Museum is closed today and tomorrow in observance of the holiday. Here's to freedom - of expression, of religion, of identity.

If you've read the beloved All-of-a-Kind Family books, you already know quite a bit about the life of their author, Sydn...
07/02/2021

If you've read the beloved All-of-a-Kind Family books, you already know quite a bit about the life of their author, Sydney Taylor. Because Taylor based the stories on her own life. She even used her real sisters' names for the sisters in the story!

Of course, there's a lot about Taylor's life that doesn't appear the classic books. Luckily for curious readers, June Cummins and Alexandra Dunietz have written their own book that dives deep into the life of the author. Taylor's daughters gave the two researchers exclusive access to family history, old photos and other records that helped Cummins and Dunietz tell the first-ever full picture of the life of Sydney Taylor. What emerged is the sense that Taylor's books not only delighted generations of families across the country, but actually helped shaped our modern understanding of what it means to be an American Jewish family.

On Thursday, July 8th at 6PM, you can sit down with Alexandra Dunietz and hear more from her on this very subject. She'll give us details on her long collaboration with June Cummins, how they compiled research on Sydney Taylor, and how they turned it into their recent book From Sarah to Sydney: The Woman Behind All-of-a-Kind Family.

Get your tickets today! https://www.eldridgestreet.org/event/from-sarah-to-sydney-the-story-behind-sydney-taylors-biography/

Address

12 Eldridge St
New York, NY
10002

Opening Hours

Monday 10am - 5pm
Tuesday 10am - 5pm
Wednesday 10am - 5pm
Thursday 10am - 5pm
Friday 10am - 3pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm

Telephone

(212) 219-0302

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Museum at Eldridge Street posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to Museum at Eldridge Street:

Videos

Category

Nearby museums


Other History Museums in New York

Show All

Comments

Good Morning, I recently published a 540 book entitled Marienbad & Beyond, available world wide on Amazon that vividly describes the development of that famous spa town of Marienbad that was visited by thousands of Jewish visitors annually. The book contains a 60 page picture gallery that captures those bygone years of pre war Europe. Then the war broke out and the book describes in great detail the atrocities that some family members suffered, but also describes in detail those who miraculously survived and had the courage to rebuild Jewish communities in many parts of the world. It is truly a book of the last century with an 80 year journey around the world. Trade enquiries welcome to [email protected] Enjoy and be inspired
Sad news to share...
Concert was inspiring and uplifting, perfect entertainment for a Covid 19 afternoon. I will watch for further events, as this was the first I’ve viewed. The announcer was delightful!
The concert was inspiring and uplifting! Perfect entertainment for a Covid 19 stay in afternoon! I will follow your page for more, and the announcer was delightful!
Had a wonderful time at your Mother's Day Show & Tell💜 I hosted one at Old Stone House of Brooklyn several years ago! I love hearing all the stories of stuff 😊
Had a marvelous visit to the Museum today. I had brought students from my university in Georgia to visit in 2018, and I came back with my wife Martha today. We had a wonderfully informative tour guide named Barbara, and we got to spend a lot of time after the tour soaking up the atmosphere from the women's gallery and then looking at all the displays on the first floor. We purchased a couple of books upon leaving, and the person behind the desk very kindly ran all the way to the end of the block to return the debit card I'd forgotten! I love this beautiful historic site and recommend it to everyone!
This challah cover, designed to be embroidered, says it was donated by "Isser Reznik's Sons, 77 1/2 Eldridge St. Distributers of Royal Muslin." Looking for info about it, especially when it was created.
Probably one of the most beautiful and most interesting buildings in NYC. In the Lower East Side and worth seeing... whether or not you are Jewish.
Hello. Join me, fellow Jews and allies. I will be attending today's 2pm Youth-led Vigil outside at Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn. Their Congregation Beit Elohim FB page says it will include Kaddish. OCT 28 Youth Vigil for Pittsburgh Public · Hosted by Rachel Landis and Sonia Chajet Wides Sunday, October 28, 2018 at 2 PM EDT Grand Army Plaza 1 Grand Army Plz, Brooklyn, New York 11238
Stunning experience visiting today.
this reminds me of the synagogue
We visited recently your fantastic museum, we liked the way you are telling stories, starting with the people that had the vision to build a synagogue. We found many interesting stories for us. https://www.facebook.com/pg/Jewsineastprussia/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1870983542925603