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'Echoes' of Synagogues Past on the Lower East Side: A Walking Tour

The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy
Jun 02 | Sun | 1-3:30pm | $40
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Approximately 100 years ago in the heart of the Lower East Side, it seemed like every street had at least one synagogue to satisfy the burgeoning Orthodox Jewish community. Some of those religious sites were small shtieblach, (one room houses of prayer) that were usually located in tenement apartments – with many buildings housing multiple Shuls in each. Quite a few however, were located in buildings of varying size including converted townhomes and churches. There were also those that were original construction, designed by famous architects on a grand scale to fit a large, expanding congregation.

Though most of these former religious structures have been lost to time in a constantly changing neighborhood, some still exist today. The great majority are no longer synagogues but their architecture and stories still ‘echo’ through a neighborhood that once housed over a million and a half mostly impoverished Jewish immigrants.

Join us on this new tour, a sort of “then and now” with urban historian and educator Bradley Shaw as we visit a handful of these places of worship. Learn about their congregations and how they lived in what was once the most densely populated place on earth. Also included are little known and interesting facts about the neighborhood as well as reminisces from a native son who has been returning for over 60 years.

Bradley, your guide on this journey, was born on the Lower East Side, has a BA in History and Education from Brooklyn College and is a licensed NYC tour guide. He will share with us his love of the neighborhood and passion for its history. He has been a docent, walking tour guide and manager at the Museum at Eldridge Street for more than four years, and guide for the LESJC.

Venue: The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy

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