Top 10 of 2010

Happy 2011 from the Museum at Eldridge Street! In the spirit of New Year, we are pleased to present our “Top 10 Highlights of 2010 at Eldridge Street.”

Museum staff cleans up nice for the 2010 gala. Photo: Leo Sorel

1. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Our stained-glass window designed by artist Kiki Smith and architect Deborah Gans is a true marriage of old and new. Suspended above the ark in our 1887 landmark, borrowing a decorative motif found throughout the synagogue, and sporting a celestial blue, this monumental artwork is a wonderful new addition to our 19th-century space.

Photo: Kate Milford

2. Longest Chanukah on Record. According to the Miracle of Lights the oil burned for 8 days. But here at Eldridge Street we had a 30-day holiday extending from November 22 to December 23, as more than 450 school children and 20 classes joined us for our Chanukah program. That’s a lot of sufganiyot, or holiday donuts!
3. A Cameo Role on Boardwalk Empire. The HBO show filmed a pivotal scene here at Eldridge Street. Al Capone has his own coming-of-age moment at a bar mitzvah, and from then on foregoes his youthful beanie and instead dons a fedora.

4. Most Intrepid Docents. Able to leap tall snowdrifts in a single bound, give countless tours in a single day, and field the most difficult of historical questions with ease and wisdom, it’s no wonder that Michele Obama declared our docents a national treasure with a 2010 Preserve America Steward Award.

5. Pluckiest Summer Interns. Ever. Hailing from L.A., Guangzhou, China, Delhi…New York, and more; coming via Brandeis, Vassar, Grinnell, Barnard, New School and Bard College, this team of six made a hot summer warmer – in the good sense – and helped research, write, lead tours and infuse our 1887 building with new energy.

Last day at the Shul with Hanna, "Momma Intern"

6. Most Eggs-traordinary Block Party. Our Egg Rolls & Egg Creams Festival turned 10 this year. To celebrate, we served 700 egg-roll and egg-cream combos and hosted 35 performers and folk artists, including two flying Chinese opera artists, 6 bedecked Bukharan musicians, and mahjongg mavens old and young. More than 8,000 people joined in the fun.

Photo: Kate Milford

7. Best TV coverage. Thanks to CBS Sunday Morning Show’s Chanukah story “Festival of Lights,” people from Arizona, South Carolina and beyond visited the Museum and took in our glorious new stained-glass window.
8. Most Meaningful Naming Opportunity. Removed from their perch above the synagogue ark and ensconced on the Museum’s entry level are 208 historic glass blocks. Dedications associated with this Tribute Wall provides a wonderful, permanent way to honor or memorialize someone dear to you.

Photo: Kate Milford

9. Tastiest Walking Tour. We kicked off our Pre-Passover Nosh & Stroll with a vintage bottle of Schapiro’s wine, famously you can cut it with a knife, and spiced up our tour with matzah hot off the Streit’s conveyor belt. 50 people enjoyed the culinary delights of the hood while learning about its history.

10. A True Snow Sanctuary. More than 175 brave souls and 5 klezmorim ventured out on December 26 for Klez for Kids, singing, dancing and “getting married” at our annual winter concert which culminated in an audience-enacted shtetl wedding.

Share your own 2010 Eldridge Street favorites here!

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