"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


Life at the Synagogue


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Learn more about life at the synagogue:

Free loan society records

1934-1945, shown, excerpt from 1934
Ledger book with handwritten entries
12 inches x 7.25 inches (closed)

The Eldridge Street Synagogue provided many services to congregants, including interest-free loans. Administered by the congregation’s Free Loan Society, this financing was made to both men and women and was an especially appreciated service during the Great Depression. The pages shown here record loans made in early 1934, listing payments without interest for loans of $25 and $100. This support was a special bonus to members of the congregation and perpetuated a sense of community and trust. Free Loan Society records found in the Museum’s collection begin in the 1890s and continue through the 1940s, a period characterized by changing economic times for the congregation. Still, even as the congregation’s fortunes waned, it maintained its commitment to charity and supporting its own members.

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