Installed 1887, restored 1987-2007
White marble with incised and gilded inscriptions
114 inches high x 40 inches wide
Two grand marble slabs inscribed with the names and dates of congregational leaders greet you as you enter the vestibule. These are memorial plaques. The tablet on the left (shown here) lists the names of men who had important roles in founding and leading the congregation, such as banker Sender Jarmulowsky and kosher sausage manufacturer Isaac Gellis; both had instrumental roles in raising the funds to establish the synagogue. The tablet on the right (not shown) honors women active in the congregation, including Miriam Hutkoff, wife of founder Nathan Hutkoff. The wording is in Hebrew, English, Yiddish, and a combination of the languages, illustrating the congregation’s gradual assimilation into American life, while keeping older traditions.
Although many surfaces in the building are painted to look marble, the real thing is used very sparingly. The use of such an impressive, expensive material and the prominent placement of the tablets in the entryway is a lasting testament to the early leaders of the Eldridge Street Synagogue.