Stanton Street Synagogue & 6th Street Community Synagogue Deemed “Sacred Sites”
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Of the recent class of 23 “Sacred Sites” in New York State, two are Manhattan synagogues based on the Lower East Side. Both shuls received grants through the Landmarks Conservancy to aid in “physical repairs.”
Stanton Street Synagogue at 180 Stanton was awarded $30,000 from the Jewish Heritage Fund Grant that will fund the restoration of the facade; the Sixth Street Community Synagogue received $25,000 which is earmarked for roof and exterior repairs.
Conservancy president Peg Breen told the Jewish Week:
You don’t have to be religious to understand that religious institutions contain some of our finest art and architecture. Many also provide vital social service programs and cultural activities that make significant contributions to their communities.
Constructed in 1913, the Stanton Street Synagogue is one of the few surviving “tenement synagogues” in the city. The structure was built by combining two adjacent tenement buildings. Services are still held on premises during the weekend, but the space is mainly rented to arts groups for readings and performances.
The cash-strapped, 165-year-old Sixth Street Synagogue has had a more checkered history within the last few years. There’s been plenty of infighting amongst the board over housing the Chabad-inspired Meaningful Life Center. Rabbi Simon Jacobson ran the program, but was later accused and forced out for allegedly “packing the membership with ringers who could help him take control of the property.”
To top it off, “Jazz Rabbi” Greg Wall was fired from the congregation in July.
The Landmarks Conservancy is a nonprofit organization with the distinct mission of “preserving, revitalizing and reusing New York’s architecturally significant buildings.”