Last surviving “tenement synagogue” in the East Village threatened with demolition
Please join GVSHP for a press conference on August 14, 2008, calling for the preservation of the Congregation Mezritch Synagogue at 415 East 6th Street, between 1st Avenue and Avenue A in the East Village. The press conference will be held at 4 P.M. in front of the synagogue, the last surviving “tenement synagogue” in the East Village, which is currently threatened with demolition. GVSHP and the East Village Community Coalition (EVCC) have asked the City to landmark this historic edifice to help ensure its continued survival.
Background: The Adas Yisroel Anshe Mezritch Synagogue, or Congregation Mezritch Synagogue, was founded in 1888 on the Lower East Side, and constructed its current temple at 415 East 6th Street in 1910. The handsome neo-classical building (which has an even more impressive interior) was one of the Lower East Side’s many “tenement synagogues,” so named because they filled narrow lots sandwiched between tenements and served the poor immigrants who populated the surrounding buildings. While a few such tenement synagogue buildings remain in the East Village, including the former Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Anshe Ungarn Synagogue at 242 East 7th Street which was recently landmarked by the City, Congregation Mezritch Synagogue appears to be the sole remaining operating tenement synagogue in the East Village, and thus is an important link to what was once perhaps the most significant Jewish community in America. Learn more about the building and its history.
Plans have recently been announced to demolish the building, and replace it with a six story apartment building with a new synagogue in the base; several of the synagogue’s congregants have called that arrangement into question. GVSHP, EVCC, Council Member Rosie Mendez, the Lower East Side Conservancy, the United Jewish Council of the East Side, and others will hold tommorow’s press conference to appeal to the City and to the leaders of the congregation to save this vitally important structure.
HOW TO HELP:
Come to the 8/14/08 press conference at 4 P.M. in front of Congregation Mezritch Synagogue at 415 East 6th Street, between 1st Avenue and Avenue A, to show support for preserving this building.
Write to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, urging they consider landmark designation of Congregation Mezritch Synagogue as soon as possible.