Museum Tours for School Groups
You can almost hear their voices. Follow in the footsteps of the men, women, and children who crowded into the Eldridge Street Synagogue over a century ago. As you explore this magnificent landmark, learn about immigration to America, architecture or Jewish culture — and discover the story in history.
Lead by experienced educators, our programs support Common Core and New York State and City Learning Standards.
|Available:||Sunday – Thursday, 10am to 5pm|
|Fee:||$6 per student. Subsidies are available upon request.|
New Lives in a New Land (Grades 2-12)
Step into a building filled with color, light, and memories. Climb stairs, count stars, uncover fascinating stories of immigrant life at the turn of the last century. As students discover the rich history of the Eldridge Street Synagogue, they’ll gain a new appreciation of the obstacles and opportunities all immigrants face as they build new lives in a new land.
Supports classroom study in immigration, New York history, American history, and Jewish Studies. Incorporates interactive exhibits, historic photographs, and oral histories
Photo: Sherry Heier
Lower East Side Walking Tour (Grades 3-12)
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.
Tours can be custom designed for all ages and support classroom study in immigration, New York neighborhoods, American history, and Jewish studies.
New! My New York (Grade 2)
What’s a synagogue doing in the middle of Chinatown? Sounds like a question for curious second graders! As your class studies New York City neighborhoods this year, come explore the historic Eldridge Street Synagogue and the Lower East Side. How has this exciting neighborhood changed over time? What was it like to grow up here when the Eldridge Street Synagogue was new? (And can you guess why some Lower East Side streets are named after fruit trees?) We’ll figure it all out through stories, photographs, film, and a special art project.
Optional pre-visit by a museum educator to your classroom includes a story and discussion introducing the themes of the program.
Supports and enriches second grade curriculum: “New York City Over Time”.
Celebrate with Us! Jewish Holidays (Grades K-4)
Ready to have some fun? Join us for one of our most popular school programs. Munch some matza, 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!
Supports classroom study in world cultures, multi-cultural traditions, and New York neighborhoods.
Ways We Worship (Grades 5-12)
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.
Supports classroom study in comparative religions, Jewish history, world cultures, and New York neighborhoods.
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.
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.
Enriches grade-wide art curriculum. Includes an art project and can be customized to meet your students’ needs.
Landmark of the Spirit (Grades K-12)
Walls don’t talk but buildings do tell stories. Learn to read the architecture and design of the Eldridge Street Synagogue and discover its fascinating past. Decipher clues about immigrant life, uncover evidence of the building’s decline, and find out how a 19th century synagogue became a 21st century treasure.
Supports classroom study in New York and architectural history. Can include sketching, stained-glass rubbing and other hands-on projects.
Our educational programs, New Lives in a New Land, Architecture and Art, Ways We Worship, are offered to students of all ages and can be customized to suit your classroom study and level.
Come for one program or do two together. Enhance your understanding of immigrant history by combining any building tour with a Lower East Side walking tour.
Please contact us about multi-visit programs, including a series of programs in the Museum, around the Lower East Side, and in your classroom. Our education staff welcomes the opportunity to plan special programs to support and enhance your classroom learning.