From Ellis to Eldridge
Many of the founding members of the Eldridge Street Synagogue were immigrants who went straight from Ellis Island to the Lower East Side. How did they come to terms with American ideas about government, business, entertainment and religion while still respecting Jewish law and traditions? Rather than leaving one way of life behind and adopting another, they created something new that was the result of their experience being Eastern European Jews forming a new community in America. This new culture was defined by looking back at old country traditions and forward to the freedoms, customs, innovations and even hardships encountered in their adopted home.