"The Eldridge Street synagogue…is an impressive representation of traditional Judaism, modified perforce by the spirit of the time and surroundings."

Century Magazine, 1892

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In the Synagogue

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Reader’s Platform (Bimah)

1887, restored 1986–2007
Carved walnut

During services, the Torah is taken from the ark and brought to this reader’s platform, bimah in Hebrew, where its decorative dress is removed. The Torah is then is placed upon the large desk on the bimah to be unrolled and read. At Eldridge, the bimah is in the middle of the sanctuary, following an Eastern European Orthodox custom that has a very useful benefit. Especially in the days before microphones, its central location insured that all in the synagogue would be able to hear the reading of the Torah, a requirement of Jewish law.

Like the ark, cantor’s stand and lectern, the bimah is made of carved walnut. A balustrade around its perimeter features posts at each corner topped with brass light fixtures.

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