Why we support the Museum – From our 2015 Contributors

We are grateful to the generous individuals who supported the Museum at Eldridge Street in 2015. This year, they provided more than $1,200,000 in donations along with grants from foundations and government sources.  Our donors help support the maintenance of our landmark site, the 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue, and the many valuable classes and programs that take place here.  But to really learn about our accomplishments, we asked our donors to share what motivated them to make a donation to the Museum at Eldridge Street. Here are some of their answers. Some have been abbreviated for space purposes:

“I’d describe a visit to the Museum at Eldridge Street as a visit to a wonderful warm place of tremendous historic importance.  It is magnificent architecturally, and inspirational as a place built by faith.”
Libby G.

“It is one of the few remaining places associated with the Jewish Lower East Side of the early 20th century.  There are also wonderful cultural events held there.”
Stephen G.

“[I donate] to support one of the great religious sanctuaries built in this country by immigrants such as my parents.”
Abe S.

“I grew up hearing and reading about life on the Lower East Side and experienced some of it myself.  Now so little is left and it is crucial to keep the history of this major part of Jewish life in America alive for our children and grandchildren. I began contributing a while ago, I think, but the addition of the Scholar-in-Residence program is a major part of my tie to the synagogue/museum now.”
Hazel T.

“To honor grandparents who came here from Eastern Europe. To acknowledge my commitment to Judaism and keeping it as a visible presence for the whole world to see. To recognize a community of immigrants in the Lower East Side that showed how to use hard work and perseverance and create a world far better than that which they came from. To pay tribute to a community of immigrants that gave so much to this country and the world.”
Andrea E.

 

“It looked so beautiful I wanted it preserved for my children and for generations to come.”
Diamond Family

“Both parents were born on the Lower East Side. Their parents came from Eastern Europe. But whenever they referred to their friends they always mentioned them by street, such as Sarah from Hester Street. My mother would take me to visit her friends in the neighborhood. I have always felt a connection.”
Judy Z.

 

“For me, visiting the synagogue was like visiting Ellis Island….the spirits of my father’s father and mother and all of my great-grandparents are in the pews and the windows and chandeliers and prayer books and bimah. Their love of Judaism was passed to me, along with their love of rituals and art and music. All embodied in one small Lower East Side synagogue.  The only thing missing is the kasha varnishkas!!”
Gerri F.

 

“As a child growing up the phrase “Eldridge Street” was one I so often heard from my grandparents when they talked about their childhoods, the communities that had sustained them. It was a pleasure to feel a small part of that tradition. A place to be in touch with both the future and the past.”
Sherry T.

 

“I have enjoyed several classes held at [the Museum at] Eldridge Street and hope to continue taking them in the future.  The staff members are so friendly and supportive of the institution.  From the security guard, to the receptionist all the way on up.  It is a joy to visit there–and you can’t beat the quality of the classes and the folks who teach them.”
Taube

 

“We visited, had the tour, and returned again and again with guests.  It is truly a one-of-a kind look into the past as well as an inspiration for the future. To see the restoration become such a thing of beauty and know that it still is a place to worship as well as admire makes it a true jewel of New York.”
Harvey A.

 

“[I give because of my] commitment to ongoing Judaism and the importance of our past as it effects our future. Your synagogue is a magnificent structure and should be maintained throughout the ages so it can inspire future generations of not only Jewish people but also people of all faiths.”
Steve S.

 

“…my father came to this country at age five in 1904 and grew up on the Lower East Side where he attended the Eldridge Street Synagogue among others. He instilled in me the obligation and desire to preserve the Jewish past and our nation’s Jewish heritage. Second, I believe strongly that all significant architecture and the story of America’s 20th century development into the capital of the world is a story worth working for and preserving. And finally, every Jew should feel that he or she is part of the story as represented by great houses of worship of every religion.”
Howard S.

“I support your museum because it’s a rare, fine, beautiful building representing a vanished immigrant culture (to which I have a connection) in a place where far too much has been swept away…”
Gary S.

“We believe that it is crucial that such an important building should never be lost to this city or world.”
The Jacobsohns

What motivates you to support the Museum at Eldridge Street? Why do you think it is important to preserve our building? 

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