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A Peek Inside the Old Eldridge

by Yori Yanover

Took the tour at the Eldridge Street Synagogue this morning. For $5 we got an incredible view of a hundred and twenty years of history of a congregation begun 1n 1886. This was the first Lower East Side synagogue that was built to that end, instead of a converted church. The architects, Herter Brothers, used a combination (Okay, mish-mash) of Gothic, Romanesque, and Moorish styles, complete with bizarre minaret towers. The sum total is, nevertheless, graceful.


Our Docent Jane Herman was knowledgeable, patient and friendly. She answered our questions ably, but had no problem admitting she didn't know some answers.


My group included three Argentinean guys and me. We enjoyed ourselves tremendously. The tour is as long or as short as the group makes it. The more you ask, the more Jane would take the time to provide information. She says there are about 30 docents guiding tours at the Eldridge. She works one Sunday a month. Because of revved up renovations (they absolutely have to finish the restoration by next Hanukkah), you can only tour on Sundays, starting at 11 AM.


The view from the gallery is breathtaking. It's a 70 foot tall interior. I can't wait to hear a concert in this space. Acapella, maybe?

eldridgestreet.org

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