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

billy-bourek
Billy Leroy (of Antiques Fame) Stars in ‘Bourek,’ Now Playing at Cinema Village

​Billy Leroy is not dead, okay? He’s just not on the Bowery anymore. Billy Leroy, whose eponymous antiques business folded five years ago, has taken on acting. The current Baggage Battles star is a leading man in the new movie, Bourek. It’s an independent romantic comedy filmed predominantly in Greece, and now playing on the big […]

houston-sidewalk-5
New Sidewalks and Curbs Signal Some Semblance of Progress for East Houston Reconstruction Project

​Since East Houston roadwork is nowhere near completion, we must relish the baby steps, as it were, of forward progress. Indeed. The first real noticeable change in months is now palpable along the battered corridor. New sidewalks on the south side. Over the last few weeks, contractors have poured new cement (i.e. “pigmented sidewalks”) and […]

#Chalk LES, Photo: LES History Month
Chalk the LES this Sunday to Kick off the 3rd Annual Lower East Side History Month

To kick off the third annual Lower East Side History Month, co-sponsors by FABnyc and Downtown Art are again planning a community chalking event for Sunday and Monday. A “chalk about town,” you might say. LES Stories, as the two-day event is called, encourages participants to sketch trivia, memories, or random musings about the neighborhood […]

Aron Streit holding the matzo on opening day, 1925
Streit’s Documentary is a Smash, Extended 2 More Weeks at Film Forum

The numbers are in, and the critically acclaimed documentary about Streit’s Matzo was a home run. In its short one-week residency at the Film Forum, intended to coincide with Passover, Streit’s: Matzo and the American Dream surpassed expectations. It became the highest grossing film at the movie house this past week. Due to the success, daily […]

129allen
Peruvian Restaurant ‘Baby Brasa’ Opening Next Month at 129 Allen Street

The Precision barbershop at 129 Allen Street shuttered and relocated earleir this spring. It’s now down the block and with a rebranded identity, Allen Street Cut & Shave. In its place, a new restaurant. A Peruvian restaurant by the name of Baby Brasa is on its way. Butcher paper is in the windows, signaling the […]