The Petition to Save Beth Hamedrash Hagodol on Norfolk Street

Posted on: March 4th, 2013 at 11:20 am by

beth-hamidrash-norfolk

You read our earlier plea to save this priceless historic building at 60 Norfolk, Beth Hamedrash Hagodol, most recently the home of the first Russian-American Jewish Synagogue in the nation.

The time is now.

Neighborhood activists Friends of the Lower East Side just started an online petition to help save this remarkable 163-year-old building. Its history is rich, having been both a church and a synagogue, thereby appealing to a universal group of people (should religion even be a factor).

Per the email blast:

Remove not the ancient landmarks that thy ancestors set up, Proverb 22:28 [ed: AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!]

Join the campaign to preserve a 163-year-old landmarked building.  Oppose granting of a Hardship Application leading to a permit to demolish Beth Hamedrash Hagodol, 60 Norfolk Street, and replace it with a luxury condo.

1850:  Erected as the Norfolk Street Baptist Church – a congregation that evolved into Riverside Church on the Upper West Side. The building was later occupied by a Methodist church.

1885:  Acquired by Congregation Beth Hamedrash Hagodol and converted into the first Russian-American Jewish synagogue in the nation.  It became known for its eminent rabbis and as a center for prayer, religious study and the interpretation of Jewish law.

1967:  Granted landmark designation by the Landmarks Commission, acting on a request by the synagogue’s spiritual leader Rabbi Ephraim Oshry, a survivor of the Holocaust and a distinguished religious scholar.

2012:  Hardship Application submitted to the NYC Landmarks Commission by the present rabbi who had refused offers of funding for building maintenance and allowed the structure to deteriorate.

You can also write into the Landmarks Preservation Commission and ask them to deny the application to demolish this structure.

Come one, come all NYC.

Help save our history.

Recent Stories

spiritual-america-closed
Spiritual America Boutique Quits 5 Rivington Street

Spiritual America followed its Lower East Side address-mate Cutie Room into the dark oblivion, having closed up shop last week. Last month was its three-year anniversay at 5 Rivington Street; this month is a bit less celebratory. The women’s boutique shuttered without much announcement to the neighborhood. Its window leafing – somewhat scraped off – […]

graffiti-wall-redux
Workers Are Assembling the New Bowery Graffiti Wall Encasement

The oft-photographed, paint-covered concrete slab at Bowery and East Houston – colloquially referred to as the “graffiti wall” – is going into hiding again. Os Gemeos’ mural from 2009 had been exposed for about a month earlier this fall, essentially as a reminder that art still existed here during construction activities next door. Workers have […]

neighborfood
Two Bridges ‘NeighborFood’ Grocery Guide Launches on Digital Platforms

With Pathmark deep in the rearview mirror and a grocery replacement on Cherry Street in the distant future, the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council continues its valiant efforts to ensure residents retain access to affordable food options. Pathmark was a dump, but one that offered a significant convenience factor to the mass of humanity in the immediate […]

Photo: Danny Bowien
Mission Chinese Food Reopened its Reboot on East Broadway; Announces Christmas Collaboration with Russ & Daughters

After mucho silence, this was the weekend of Mission Chinese Food… Mission Chinese Food is now open at 171 East Broadway. Chef-owner Danny Bowien announced the news Friday evening via a series of Instagram shots. And with authority, too – check out that epic photo. The caveat here, though, is that the restaurant is only […]

nypd-arrest-east-broadway
Plainclothes Officer Who Punched a Lower East Side Teen During Arrest is Suspended

An arrest on East Broadway last Monday made national headlines when a plainclothes officer was seen punching a teenage perp while already subdued. The incident was caught on camera and stirred up a raft of controversy, especially given the tense climate in the wake of the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases (or lack thereof). […]