My walking trail of Jewish Manhattan
using Oscar Israelowitz’s book, Jewish Heritage Trail of New York as my guide. With Google Maps, I was able to plan and enjoy without wasting time and energy, and so had an amazing experience.
My photos are mostly in the form of slideshows with some Wikipedia providing further info.
Some American Jewish music. More on bottom of the right hand side panel # 1 to 11
Upper East Side
Stop 145: Largest Reform Temple
One East 65th Street
Congregation Emanu-El of New York
Temple Emanu-El of New York was the first Reform Jewish congregation in New York City and, because of its size and prominence, has served as a flagship congregation in the Reform branch of Judaism since its founding in 1845. Its landmark Romanesque Revival building onFifth Avenue is widely admired as the largest, and one of the most beautiful synagogues in the world. It is slightly larger than the Budapest Great Synagogue, the largest in Eurasia. Emanu-El means “God is with us” in Hebrew.
The congregation is located at 1 East 65th Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
The congregation was founded by 33 mainly German Jews who assembled for services in April 1845 in a rented hall near Grand and Clinton Streets in Manhattan‘s Lower East Side. The first services they held were highly traditional. The Temple (as it became known) moved several times as the congregation grew larger and wealthier.
In October 1847, the congregation relocated to a former Methodist church at 56 Chrystie Street. The congregation commissioned architectLeopold Eidlitz to draw up plans for renovation of the church into a synagogue. Radical departures from Orthodox religious practice were soon introduced to Temple Emanu-El, setting striking precedents which proclaimed the principles of ‘classical’ Reform Judaism in America. In 1848, the German vernacular spoken by the congregants replaced the traditional liturgical language of Hebrew in prayer books. Instrumental music, formerly banished from synagogues, was first played during services in 1849, when an organ was installed. In 1853, the tradition of calling congregants for aliyot was abolished (but retained for bar mitzvah ceremonies), leaving the reading of the Torah exclusively to the presiding rabbi. By 1869 the Chrystie Street building became the home of Congregation Beth Israel Bikur Cholim.
Further changes were made in 1854 when Temple Emanu-El moved to 12th Street. Most controversially, mixed seating was adopted, allowing families to sit together, instead of segregating the sexes on opposite sides of a mechitza. After much heated debate, the congregation also resolved to observe Rosh Hashanah for only one day rather than the customary two.
In 1857 after the death of Founding Rabbi Merzbacher, German speakers still formed a majority of the congregation and appointed another German Jew, Samuel Adler, to be his successor.
In 1868, Emanu-El erected a new building for the first time, a spectacular Moorish Revival structure by Leopold Eidlitz, assisted by Henry Fernbach at 43rd Street and 5th Avenue after raising about $650,000.
The 1870s and 1880s witnessed further departures from traditional ritual. Men could now pray without wearing kippot to cover their heads. Bar mitzvah ceremonies were no longer held. The Union Prayer Book was adopted in 1895.
Felix Adler, the founder of the Ethical Culture movement, came to New York as a child when his father, Samuel L. Adler, took over as the rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, an appointment that placed him among the most influential figures in Reform Judaism.
In 1924, Lazare Saminsky became music director of the Temple, and made it a centre of Jewish music. He also composed and commissioned music for the Temple services.
Emanu-El merged with Temple Beth-El on April 11, 1927, and both are considered co-equal parents of the current Emanu-El. In 1929, the congregation moved to its present location at65th Street and Fifth Avenue, where the Temple building was constructed to designs of Robert D. Kohn on the former site of the Mrs. William B. Astor House. The vast load-bearing masonry walls support the steel beams that carry its roof. The hall seats 2,500, larger than St Patrick’s Cathedral (AIA Guide)
By the 1930s, Emanu-El began to absorb large numbers of Jews whose families had arrived in poverty from Eastern Europe and brought with them their Yiddish language and devoutlyOrthodox religious heritage. In contrast, Emanu-El was dominated by affluent German-speaking Jews whose liberal approaches to Judaism originated in Western Europe, where civic emancipation had enticed Jews to discard many of their ethnoreligious customs and embrace the lifestyles of their neighbors. For the descendants of Eastern European immigrants, joining Temple Emanu-El often signified their upward mobility and progress in assimilating into American society. However, the intake of these new congregants also helped to put a brake on, if not force a limited retreat from, the ‘rejectionist’ attitude which ‘classical’ Reform had espoused towards traditional ritual.
- Leon Black
- Michael Bloomberg
- Alan “Ace” Greenberg
- Herbert H. Lehman
- Irving Lehman
- Solomon Loeb
- Louis Marshall
- Adolph Ochs
- Joan Rivers
- Eliot Spitzer
- Oscar S. Straus
- Lewis L. Strauss
- Harold Uris
- Felix M. Warburg
- Jeff Zucker
Stop 146: Park East Synagogue
163 East 67th Street
Park East Synagogue
Park East Synagogue, Congregation Zichron Ephraim
|Location||163 East 67th Street, New York City|
|Architect||Schneider & Herter|
|Architectural style||Byzantine Revival,Moorish Revival,Romanesque Revival|
|Governing body||Congregation Zichron Ephraim|
|NRHP Reference #||83001738|
|Added to NRHP||August 18, 1983|
|Designated NYCL||January 8, 1980|
The architects were Schneider and Herter who designed numerous tenements on New York’s Lower East Side as well as Hell’s Kitchenneighborhoods. The building is similar to other synagogues built at the time which were in the Moorish Revival style that also featured a prominent Rose Window. One of the most remarkable characteristics is the asymmetrical twin towers with the eastern tower being taller (most other synagogues of the period featured twin towers of similar height). The towers are also adorned differently. Each of the towers originally were also topped by a bulbous dome which have since been removed. It is one of fewer than a hundred surviving nineteenth-century American synagogues.
Rabbi Drachman served as spiritual leader for fifty-one years. He died in 1945. Zev Zahavy was appointed rabbi of the synagogue on September 1, 1952. He was known as a dynamic spokesman for Orthodox Judaism. More than 200 of his sermons were reported on in the New York Times. He and his wife Edith, a noted educator, founded the Park East Day School. On March 16, 1957, Robert Briscoe, the Jewish Lord Mayor of Dublin, carrying his Talis bag from Dublin visited and prayed at the synagogue on Shabbas morning.
Since 1962, the synagogue’s rabbi has been Arthur Schneier. The Assistant Rabbi (since August 2006), Rabbi Evan Hoffman, delivered a well-attended Wednesday evening Bible class. In 2011, Rabbi Hoffman was succeeded by Rabbi Binyamin Lehrfield. Rabbi Einsidler is the religious spiritual organizer, his wife Toby is the dynamic office and youth leader. The synagogue’s Chief Cantor is Yitzchak Meir Helfgotand its Cantor is Benny Rogosnitzky.
In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI visited the synagogue in the midst of a visit to New York City. This was the third papal visit to a synagogue, and the only such visit in the United States of America. The Pope was given a box of matzahs and a silver Seder plate (it was almost Passoverwhen the visit occurred); members of both the Catholic and Jewish religions wore their respective skullcaps.
Stop 147: Ramaz Upper School
60 east 78th Street
|Type||Private coeducational primary, middle, and secondary|
|Principal||Rabbi Haskel Lookstein|
|Founder||Rabbi Joseph H. Lookstein|
|Location||60 East 78th Street
114 East 85th Street
125 East 85th Street,
Manhattan, New York, USA
|Accreditation||Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, New York State Association of Independent Schools|
|Colors||Blue and Gold|
|Mascot||The Ramaz Ram|
The Ramaz School is a coeducational, private Modern Orthodox Jewish prep school located on the Upper East Side of Manhattanin New York City. It consists of a lower school (nursery-4th grade), a middle school (5th grade-8th grade), and an upper school (9th grade-12th grade).
The Ramaz Upper School is a college preparatory school. It is located on East 78th Street, seven city blocks (0.5 km) away from the other two school buildings, located on East 85th Street, and draws students from throughout Manhattan, as well as commuters from throughout the New York Tri-State Region. The school combines a broad academic curriculum taught in English with Judaic studies courses taught in Hebrew.
The school was founded in 1937 and is affiliated with Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun (“KJ”), a synagogue located on East 85th Street, which shares a building with the lower school and is across the street from the middle school. The congregation and its rabbi, Joseph Lookstein, helped to found and finance the school.
Stop 151: The Jewish Museum
Fifth Avenue & 92nd Street
Jewish Museum (Manhattan)
|The Jewish Museum of New York|
The Jewish Museum on Fifth Avenue
|Location||1109 5th Avenue at 92nd Street,Manhattan, New York|
|Public transit access||Bus: M1, M2, M3, M4, M86
Subway: 86 St
The Jewish Museum of New York, an art museum and repository of cultural artifacts, is the leading Jewish museum in the United States. With over 26,000 objects, it contains the largest collection of art and Jewish culture outside of museums in Israel. The museum is housed at 1109 Fifth Avenue, in the former Felix M. Warburg House, along Museum Mile on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City.
While its collection was established in 1904 at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, the museum did not open to the public until 1947. It focuses both on artifacts of Jewish history and on modern and contemporary art. Its permanent exhibition, Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey, is supplemented by both rotating and special exhibitions.
The collection that seeded the museum began with a gift of 26 Jewish ceremonial artobjects from Judge Mayer Sulzberger to the Jewish Theological Seminary of America on January 20, 1904, where it was housed in the seminary’s library. The collection was moved in 1931, with the Seminary, to 122nd and Broadway and set aside in a room entitled ‘The Museum of Jewish Ceremonial Objects’. The collection was subsequently expanded by major donations from Hadji Ephraim Benguiat and Harry G. Friedman.
In January 1944, Frieda Schiff Warburg, widow of philanthropist Felix M. Warburg (d. 1937), donated the family mansion as a permanent home for the museum, and the site opened to the public as ‘The Jewish Museum’ in May 1947. The building was expanded in 1963 and by architect Kevin Roche in 1993.
In the 1960s, the museum took a more active role in the general world of contemporary art, with exhibitions such as Primary Structures, which helped to launch the Minimalist artmovement. In the decades since, the museum has had a renewed focus on Jewish culture and Jewish artists. From 1990 through 1993, director Joan Rosenbaum led the project to renovate and expand the building and carry out the museum’s first major capital campaign, of $60 million. The project, designed by architect Kevin Roche, doubled the size of the museum, providing it with a seven-story addition. In 1992, the Jewish Museum and the Film Society of Lincoln Center teamed up to create The New York Jewish Film Festival, which presents narrative features, short films and documentaries.
Today, the museum also provides educational programs for adults and families, sponsoring concerts, films, symposia and lectures related to its exhibitions. Joan Rosenbaum was the museum’s director from 1981 until her retirement in 2010. In 2011 the museum namedClaudia Gould as its new director.
The museum has over 26,000 objects including paintings, sculpture, archaeological artifacts, Jewish ceremonial art and many other pieces important to the preservation of Jewish history and culture. Artists included in the museum’s collection includeJames Tissot, Marc Chagall, George Segal, Eleanor Antin and Deborah Kass. This represents the largest collection of Jewish art, Judaica and broadcast media outside of museums in Israel. It has a permanent exhibition called Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey, which explores the evolution of Jewish culture from antiquity to the present. The museum’s collection includes objects from ancient to modern eras, in all media, and originated in every area of the world where Jews have had a presence.
Stop 152: Mount Sinai Hospital
Fifth Avenue between 98th & 101st Streets
Mount Sinai Hospital (Manhattan)
|Mount Sinai Hospital|
|Mount Sinai Health System|
|Location||One Gustave L. Levy Place,
New York, NY, United States
|Hospital type||University, Teaching|
|Affiliated university||Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai|
|Network||Mount Sinai Health System|
|Lists||Hospitals in the United States|
Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is one of the oldest and largest teaching hospitals in the United States. In 2011–2012, Mount Sinai Hospital was ranked as one of America’s best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report in 12 specialties, and in 2013 Expertscaperecognized it as having the world’s highest level of expertise in three programs.   
Located on the eastern border of Central Park, at 100th Street and Fifth Avenue, in the New York City borough of Manhattan, Mount Sinai has a number of hospital affiliates in the New York metropolitan area, and an additional campus, the Mount Sinai Hospital of Queens.
The hospital is also affiliated with one of the foremost centers of medical education and biomedical research, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which opened in September 1968. In 2013, The Mount Sinai Hospital joined with the Continuum Health Partners in the creation of The Mount Sinai Health System. Encompassing the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and seven hospital campuses in the New York metropolitan area, as well as a large, regional ambulatory footprint, the Health System is acclaimed internationally for its excellence in research, patient care, and education across a range of specialties.