JOURNAL - JAN - Hidden Treasures Of New York
Hidden Treasures Of New York
Between 1880 and 1924 over two million Jews left Eastern Europe and journeyed to the United States in search of a better life, with many of the new arrivals taking up residence in New York’s Lower East Side.
By 1910 the area had grown to become the largest Jewish city in the world, and those first immigrants have left an indelible imprint on the neighbourhood, with their pastrami delis, pickle shops and, most notably, their spectacular houses of worship.
Hidden down a side street in the shadow of the Freedom Tower is perhaps the grandest of them all, Eldridge Street Synagogue, America’s first great, purpose-built religious building, founded in 1874 as a spiritual home for Ashkenazis from Russia, Poland and Lithuania.
Inside, sparkling candelabras drip from the vaulted ceiling, illuminating the main sanctuary. Here, the devout early settlers are forever remembered in the simplest of memorials; their rocking back and forth during prayer services can still be seen, marked deep in the grooves and undulations of the synagogue’s antique floorboards.