The Eldridge Street Synagogue was built in 1887 to accommodate the more than two million new Jewish New Yorkers that immigrated to the U.S. through Ellis Island. The synagogue and museum is located on Eldridge Street, just off of East Broadway and is centrally located to Manhattan’s exciting attractions.
The synagogue has been in continuous use since its opening though it unfortunately fell into disrepair during the Great Depression and WWII. After it was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1996, efforts were made to dispel the gloom and age to revive the old synagogue to its former glory. The pigeons were evicted from the five story tall rafters, dust and decay were rubbed from the sconces, buttresses, and decorated ceilings, and windows were replaced to let in the natural light. The preservation team did such a fantastic job that they won several awards including the Preservation League of New York's Restoration Award.
In 2010, a new east window replaced the pragmatic but uninspiring glass brick window. This new addition was designed by Kiki Smith & Deborah Gans to showcase the divinity of the Star of David as it showers a deep blue background with golden stars and flecks of light. Other modern additions were included in the renovation such as the Museum, built to educate visitors on the history of Judaism and the religion's spiritual practices in America.
Synagogue services are given every Saturday and the museum is open daily except Saturdays, Jewish holidays, and major U.S. holidays.