Celebrating the Torah – Shavuot Artifacts from Our Collection

Celebrating the Torah – Shavuot Artifacts from Our Collection

Beginning this evening, Jews around the world will celebrate Shavuot, a holiday which centers around the Torah. From the Star of David to Sabbath candlesticks to a beautiful Passover Seder plate, Jewish tradition is marked by a variety of symbolic and ritual items. Many such pieces of Judaica and Shavuot artifacts are on display at the Museum at Eldridge Street. But […]

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Beth Hamedrash Hagadol  – Reflections Following the Fire

Beth Hamedrash Hagadol – Reflections Following the Fire

The report of a three-alarm fire at Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Synagogue is shocking and saddening. Chilling photographs, including this one here from the Lodownny.com, show the building’s burned interior. Its former Gothic-Revival interior is unrecognizable in the charred remains. Though the synagogue was padlocked shut and in a state of severe deterioration for several years, the […]

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Jailbreaking 22 Eldridge Street

Jailbreaking 22 Eldridge Street

  Although I’m quite familiar with the history of the Eldridge Street Synagogue, I’ve always been curious about another address just up the block–22 Eldridge. To satisfy my curiosity,  I researched the lot. I learned that in the mid-19th century it once held a county jail! The Eldridge Street jail was housed in a three-story structure […]

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A 200-Year-Old Wimpel is a Mother’s Legacy of Love

A 200-Year-Old Wimpel is a Mother’s Legacy of Love

With Mother’s Day approaching, I find myself thinking about a mother I’ve never met. I don’t even know her name, but her handiwork tells me that her son David was born on the 19th day of Cheshvan in the year 5563. In other words, November 15th, 1803. Eight days after his bris (religious circumcision), David’s mother […]

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Why Moorish? Synagogues and the Moorish Revival

Why Moorish? Synagogues and the Moorish Revival

One of the first things people notice when visiting the 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue is the use of the Moorish style. It is seen in the synagogue’s rooftop finials, horseshoe-shaped windows and arches, and hand-painted designs. Moorish architecture is associated with Islamic structures in Spain and the Middle East, including the famed Alhambra palace in Spain […]

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Mom’s Hamentashen: A Daughter’s Purim Memories

Mom’s Hamentashen: A Daughter’s Purim Memories

  Sharon Lotman Stein is the first person you meet when you enter the Museum at Eldridge Street. She runs the front desk Monday through Wednesday. When I sat down with her, she told me her personal Purim holiday story. “My Chicago mother, Lynn Lotman, was a wonderful home baker.  Every Friday morning, she would […]

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“Found” Synagogues of Europe

“Found” Synagogues of Europe

In preparation for our upcoming installation  Lost Synagogues of Europe: Eastern European Jewish Postcards I researched the current status and histories of the synagogues featured in František Bányai’s collection. Many of these breathtaking buildings were lost in the course of just two days during Kristallnacht, literally “The Night of Crystal” but more often referred to as […]

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Friday Faces of Eldridge Street – Docent Henry Zimring

Friday Faces of Eldridge Street – Docent Henry Zimring

Docent Henry Zimring is the subject of our first “Friday Faces of Eldridge Street” feature. Every Friday, we will highlight someone with a special connection to Eldridge Street on our blog and Facebook pages. Henry has volunteered at the Museum since December 2007 when we re-opened to the public after an extensive restoration. Here intern […]

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Tenement Songs – a Talk with Music

Tenement Songs – a Talk with Music

by Gwenn Underwood, Museum at Eldridge Street Intern On Sunday, February 12th, at 3 pm, the Museum at Eldridge Street will welcome award-winning ethnomusicologist Dr. Mark Slobin and a trio of outstanding musicians for a unique program entitled “Tenement Songs.” Slobin has built his career researching, writing and teaching about the intricacies of music and […]

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