"The past is a world, and not a void of gray haze."
Thomas Carlyle

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Museum Tours for School Groups

You can almost hear their voices – men, women, and children who came to America and crowded into the Eldridge Street Synagogue over a century ago. As you explore this magnificent landmark, learn about immigration, architecture, or Jewish culture — and discover the stories a 129 year old building can tell!

Lead by experienced educators, our programs support New York State Common Core Learning Standards and the New York State Common Core Social Studies Framework.

Available: Sunday – Thursday, 10am to 5pm
Duration: 60 minutes unless otherwise noted
Fee: $6 per student. Subsidies are available upon request.

Immigration

New Lives in a New Land

Step into a building filled with color, light, and memories. Climb stairs, count stars, discover fascinating stories of immigrant life at the turn of the last century. Students explore the rich history of the Eldridge Street Synagogue and gain a new appreciation of the obstacles and opportunities all immigrants face as they build new lives in a new land. Includes interactive exhibits, historic photographs, and oral histories. Pre-visit activities here! Customized for all grades and ages.

+ Show your students the Museum’s online collection: Ellis to Eldridge.

+ Curriculum Connections and Common Core Learning Standards

Lower East Side Walking Tour

A century ago, New York's Lower East Side was home to the world's largest Jewish community. Hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrants crowded into tenements, labored in sweatshops, and struggled to survive.
Today, new immigrants have changed the neighborhood yet again. But look closely. Tucked along these bustling blocks, signs of immigrant Jewish life – and hopes – still remain.

+ Download our Lower East Side Walking Tour Guide

+ Curriculum Connections and Common Core Learning Standards

My New York

Special for Grade Two!  Why is a synagogue in the middle of Chinatown? Curious second graders will find out! As your students investigate how and why communities change over time, come explore the historic Eldridge Street Synagogue and the Lower East Side. How has this exciting neighborhood changed over time and what does a 129 year old synagogue reveal about the neighborhood's past?  We'll figure it out through stories, photographs, a mini scavenger hunt, and a special art project. Pre-Visit and Post-Visit activities here! (75 minutes)

Teachers: Please sign up for a classroom visit by a museum educator before your field trip! We'll introduce the themes of the program as we read and discuss the award winning story, The Little House. Highly Recommended!

 My New York is sponsored by The Brenner Family Foundation.

+ Curriculum Connections and Common Core Learning Standards

The Eldridge Street Poetry Project

"I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew.
Writing a poem is discovering."— Robert Frost

For 127 years, the magnificent Eldridge Street Synagogue has inspired thousands of people including artists, musicians and now, budding poets. Explore the sanctuary's splendor and the synagogue's immigrant story. Young writers turn discoveries into words and words into poetry. Make the Eldridge Street Poetry Project part of your poetry unit this year. Customized to suit your classroom curriculum; optional publishing party at the museum included!

+ Curriculum Connections and Common Core Learning Standards

Architecture & Art

Shapes and Colors, Patterns and Light

Bring your budding artists, designers, and mathematicians to investigate the shapes, patterns, and colors of the glorious Eldridge Street Synagogue. Armed with clipboards and clues, young explorers hunt for shapes, identify patterns, and create colorful designs of their own. Grades K-2.
 

+ Curriculum Connections and Common Core Learning Standards

Artists' Sanctuary

Be inspired by dazzling colors, exquisite design, and a story of hope! Let us draw you in as you explore the history and splendor of the 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue. Enjoy a 30 minute guided tour then create your own work of art as you sketch, draw, or take photographs in our magnificent sanctuary. Especially for art, photography, and architecture students. Program is customized to meet your interests and artists should bring their own materials. (75 minutes)

Pastel by Nadia Kashem

Landmark of the Spirit

Walls don't talk but buildings do tell stories. What do the architecture and design of the Eldridge Street Synagogue reveal about the building's fascinating past? Decipher clues about immigrant life, discover evidence of decades of decline, and find out how a 19th century synagogue became a 21st century treasure.

+ Show your students the Museum’s online collection: Beyond the Facade

+ Curriculum Connections and Common Core Learning Standards

Holidays & Jewish Culture

Celebrate with Us!

Ready to have some fun? Join us for one of our most popular school programs. Munch some matzo, spin a dreidel, and enjoy the happy holiday stories of Chanukah (November-December) and Passover (March-April). Every winter and spring, students of all backgrounds sing, act, eat, and celebrate together!

+ Curriculum Connections and Common Core Learning Standards

+ A sneak peek at the Passover story here!

+ A sneak peek at the Chanukah story here!

Ways We Worship

Open the ark, step onto the bimah (reader's platform) and explore the diverse traditions of the Jewish people. This hands-on interactive program encourages questions and discussion and introduces students of all backgrounds to the historic Eldridge Street Synagogue. Pre-Visit and Post-Visit visit activities here! Grades 4-12.

+ Show your students the Museum’s online collection: Ways We Worship

+ Curriculum Connections and Common Core Learning Standards

So You’re Celebrating a Bar or Bat Mitzvah?

As you prepare for your big day, come see how immigrant families celebrated 100 years ago. Try out a century old Bar Mitzvah speech. Hear memories of ceremonies that took place at Eldridge Street. Imagine becoming the very first Bat Mitzvah ever. (You think you're nervous, wait till you hear how she felt!) Connect your own coming-of-age experience to a treasured and evolving tradition. Grades 6-8.