by Pac Pobric
JUNE 2018 | ArtSeen
One hundred and thirty-two years ago, the leaders of Kihal Adath Jeshurun (“People’s Congregation of the Just”) bought three lots on a narrow street in lower Manhattan surrounded by tenements crowded with Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. The lots contained only a humble group of wooden row houses, but standing on that street in 1886, they imagined the space filled by a synagogue worthy of the shuls of Paris or Berlin—one that could inspire the impoverished Jews of New York and offer them a place for respite and reflection. Less than a year later, on a budget of $92,000, they completed the synagogue at Eldridge Street, a soaring, neo-Moorish temple and at once the tallest building in the neighborhood, capped by finials with the Star of David.