"This was more than a house of worship. This was the portal of a new life in a new land for the largest wave of immigrants ever."

Bill Moyers

Eldridge Street

Around the Neighborhood


+ enlarge image

See more neighborhood signs:

Cantor sign

Undated, probably early to mid 20th century
Painted metal in wood frame
24.5 x 16 inches

A revered or well-liked cantor was a great source of pride for a congregation, as well as an important way to attract new members. This sign is an advertisement, posted to encourage people to come hear the synagogue’s cantor sing and pray. It has a blank line where the name of the current cantor could be written in, evidence of the transitory nature of the position. The Eldridge Street Synagogue’s first cantor was Pinhas Minkowsky, famous in Eastern Europe, who was hired in 1887 for the astronomical sum of $2,500 per year, more than five times the average New York City’s worker’s wages. This sign probably dates from a later period.

The sign reads: This Sabbath our cantor prays [with space at the bottom for a specific canor’s name]

Contribute Your Story

Click here