Jewish History

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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“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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Pushcarts: The Hustle to the American Dream

Pushcarts: The Hustle to the American Dream

Think about the last time you bought something off the street in New York City. Perhaps it came from a cart, a stall, or even a truck. Perhaps your purchase was a pretzel, a tamale, or a pair of sunglasses. Chances are likely if you started chatting with the person selling to you, you would […]

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Travel Back in Time to 1886!

Travel Back in Time to 1886!

By Jackie Bein, Musuem at Eldridge Street Intern In November 1886, the cornerstone of the Eldridge Street Synagogue was placed on the purchased lot of 12-14-16 Eldridge Street. This Sunday – November 13, 2016 – you can travel back in time as the Museum marks the 130th anniversary of this momentous event with the Generation […]

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High Holiday Journey

High Holiday Journey

Written by Gil Gordon. Gil Gordon has served as a Museum at Eldridge Street docent since 2010. In 1934 two young men, cousins, leave their shtetl in Białystok, Poland, to begin their journey. Their final destination is not clear but they know that Białystok no longer offers them a livelihood and opportunity. Several months later […]

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The Pickle: A Not So Sour Look at the Jewish Immigrant Community of the Lower East Side

The Pickle: A Not So Sour Look at the Jewish Immigrant Community of the Lower East Side

  Horse manure, garbage, and pickles. These were some of the scents that wafted through the air of the Lower East Side in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Pickles were a dietary staple of many immigrants, especially Eastern European Jewish immigrants on the Lower East Side. Pickles were easy to eat, cheap, available in all seasons, and they […]

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Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan’s New York

Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan’s New York

While you may have heard of Mordecai Kaplan, founder of Judaism’s Reconstructionist movement and one of the most famous rabbis of the 20th century, did you know that as a boy he worshipped at the Eldridge Street Synagogue? Many people are surprised to discover that Kaplan – the founder of a new denomination within Judaism […]

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Three Kugels – A Foray into Jewish Cooking

Three Kugels – A Foray into Jewish Cooking

All my life, I have explored and savored different cultures through their food. I came to the United States from the Dominican Republic when I was four years old. I held onto my own culture very tightly. I listened to Dominican music, ate the food my mom made, spoke Spanish at home, and made friends with […]

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