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Congregation B’nai Jeshurun


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Congregation B'nai Jeshurun

Founded in 1825, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun was the second synagogue founded in New York and the third-oldest Ashkenazi synagogue in the United States. It was founded by a coalition of young members of Congregation Shearith Israel, immigrants, and the descendants of immigrants from the German and Polish lands. The congregation first held services on Pearl Street and dedicated their first building on Elm Street in Manhattan in 1829. By 1850, the congregation had grown large enough to make it necessary to build a new synagogue on Greene Street, which was dedicated on September 25, 1851. In 1864, the congregation moved yet again to a new building on 34th Street; the parcel later became part of the site of the flagship Macy’s store. Driven by the rapid expansion of the city, it moved in the spring of 1885 to Madison Avenue at E. 65th Street. That building was designed by Rafael Guastavino and Schwarzmann & Buchman. Less than a year later, a fire did extensive damage to the building. B’nai Jeshurun was temporarily relocated to Congregation Ahawath Chesed (now Central Synagogue) on Lexington Avenue, which ironically had a fire of its own within the month, leaving both congregations homeless.

The present building, located at 257 West 88th Street, between Broadway and West End Avenue, was dedicated in 1917. It was designed by Henry B. Herts, a congregant and celebrated theater architect, with Walter S. Schneider. The congregation, which became Reform as early as 1875, is not presently affiliated.


Brule Laker , 2024-05-24 22:57:54

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