"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

Eldridge Street

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Sign for synagogue services

Undated (probably early 20th century)
Painted metal
24 x 25 inches

This sign reveals an immigrant congregation trying to maintain tradition in the face of the modern reality of their new home. Prayer services are offered at 5:30 in the morning, early enough for congregants to attend before going off to work. The red letters in the middle read “All are welcome,” an invitation, perhaps, to those who needed to work on the Sabbath. Additionally, in an amusing compounding of English and Yiddish, the sign promotes work done by the congregation’s caretaker who will “ge-clean” and “ge-wash” prayer shawls and “ge-fix” prayer fringes. Even the fact that a sign was used to communicate with congregants was a new, American development.

This sign reads: Announcement: Here in Brezezaner Synagogue Sons of Jacob the first prayer service will be at 5:30 in the morning. Every day. All are welcome. The shammos of this shul cleans and washes prayer shawls (talesim) and fixes the prayer fringes (tzitzis).

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