Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas Festival – A Day of Community and Culture

Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas Festival – A Day of Community and Culture

Envisioning a Community Collaboration When I first imagined a Chinese-Jewish Festival over fifteen years ago, I knew that it would be an undoubtedly fantastic event for the neighborhood. Plus, I knew it would be wonderfully relevant to our museum’s celebration of the immigrants who make our neighborhood special. I imagined Chinese and Jewish artists and musicians sitting side […]

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Celebrating the Torah – Shavuot Artifacts from Our Collection

Celebrating the Torah – Shavuot Artifacts from Our Collection

Beginning this evening, Jews around the world will celebrate Shavuot, a holiday which centers around the Torah. From the Star of David to Sabbath candlesticks to a beautiful Passover Seder plate, Jewish tradition is marked by a variety of symbolic and ritual items. Many such pieces of Judaica and Shavuot artifacts are on display at the Museum at Eldridge Street. But […]

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Beth Hamedrash Hagadol  – Reflections Following the Fire

Beth Hamedrash Hagadol – Reflections Following the Fire

The report of a three-alarm fire at Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Synagogue is shocking and saddening. Chilling photographs, including this one here from the Lodownny.com, show the building’s burned interior. Its former Gothic-Revival interior is unrecognizable in the charred remains. Though the synagogue was padlocked shut and in a state of severe deterioration for several years, the […]

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Jailbreaking 22 Eldridge Street

Jailbreaking 22 Eldridge Street

  Although I’m quite familiar with the history of the Eldridge Street Synagogue, I’ve always been curious about another address just up the block–22 Eldridge. To satisfy my curiosity,  I researched the lot. I learned that in the mid-19th century it once held a county jail! The Eldridge Street jail was housed in a three-story structure […]

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A 200-Year-Old Wimpel is a Mother’s Legacy of Love

A 200-Year-Old Wimpel is a Mother’s Legacy of Love

With Mother’s Day approaching, I find myself thinking about a mother I’ve never met. I don’t even know her name, but her handiwork tells me that her son David was born on the 19th day of Cheshvan in the year 5563. In other words, November 15th, 1803. Eight days after his bris (religious circumcision), David’s mother […]

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Why Moorish? Synagogues and the Moorish Revival

Why Moorish? Synagogues and the Moorish Revival

One of the first things people notice when visiting the 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue is the use of the Moorish style. It is seen in the synagogue’s rooftop finials, horseshoe-shaped windows and arches, and hand-painted designs. Moorish architecture is associated with Islamic structures in Spain and the Middle East, including the famed Alhambra palace in Spain […]

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“Found” Synagogues of Europe

“Found” Synagogues of Europe

In preparation for our upcoming installation  Lost Synagogues of Europe: Eastern European Jewish Postcards I researched the current status and histories of the synagogues featured in František Bányai’s collection. Many of these breathtaking buildings were lost in the course of just two days during Kristallnacht, literally “The Night of Crystal” but more often referred to as […]

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