Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Manhattan Synagogue Plans $34M Building Sale As Financial Woes Mount

As its membership rolls decline and the cost of maintenance mounts, a Manhattan synagogue is planning on selling its century-old building for a whopping $34 million.

“It’s a really extraordinary spiritual practice to go through as a community — to let go of something to which we’re really lovingly attached, for the sake of growth,” Rabbi Jonah Geffen, the spiritual leader of Shaare Zedek, told The New York Times. “And to go through those things together, that’s part of the reason people are engaged in religious communities anyway.”

The Conservative synagogue, which has shrunk to under 100 families, will sell its neoclassical 1920s building on West 93rd Street to a developer who will construct a 14-story tower with condominiums. The congregation will occupy the first three floors of the building.

While the congregation said that it’s a necessary move considering the huge cost of maintenance, some in the community are worried about overcrowding and historic preservation. They have filed a lawsuit, which has so failed in state court.

“I’m surprised that the board of trustees and congregation doesn’t really value the history and beauty of the building enough to find a different kind of resolution for the problems they’re facing,” community activist Ronna Blaser told the Times.

Contact Daniel J. Solomon at [email protected] or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.