Between the years 1880 and 1924, over 2.5 million Jewish immigrants entered the United States through Ellis Island and 85 percent of those stayed in New York City. To accommodate their newfound religious freedoms, the Eldridge Street Synagogue was built in 1887 and has never missed a Saturday service since.
The Synagogue was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1996 and restored to its former glory after it had fallen into disrepair during WWII. The pigeons were evicted from the rafters, windows were replaced, and the original frescoes and ceiling decorations were refurbished by experts. The new east window, installed in 2010, is an extraordinary sight to behold seeming to capture the delicate sprinkling of stardust in a night’s sky with a glowing Star of David at its heart. Among their other awards, the Synagogue received the Preservation League of New York’s Restoration Award.
The Eldridge Street Museum was incorporated to preserve the landmark Synagogue and to educate visitors on the history and culture of Judaism in America. The museum itself has won awards for its interactive displays and exhibits on the history and beliefs of the Jewish faith.
The museum is open everyday except Saturdays, national holidays, and Jewish holidays while the synagogue is open to worshippers every Saturday.