Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Lower East Side construction project on site of historic synagogue includes space for congregation

Thanks to a $162 million dollar loan, a construction project on the former site of Beth Hamedrash Hagadol, one of the oldest synagogues in Manhattan, has begun moving forward.

Beth Hamedrash Hagadol was the first synagogue founded by Russian Jewish immigrants on the Lower East Side. It stood for nearly 170 years, from 1850 until 2017, when it was destroyed in a fire.

The synagogue was once the seat of the short-lived position of Chief Rabbi of New York City, a role which was only held by Rabbi Jacob Joseph, from 1888 to his death in 1902. However, due to structural issues, the building was closed in 2007, a decade before the fire that finally brought it down.

Following the synagogue’s destruction, the property and its air rights were sold by the congregation to the Chinese-American Planning Council and the Gotham Organization, a New York development company, who slated the valuable lower Manhattan real estate for a 30-story apartment complex.

The new owners will reserve 4,000 square feet of the 520,000-square-foot project for a new home and cultural center for the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol congregation, according to Bowery Boogie, a local media outlet which covers the Lower East Side.

The structure will also include 209 affordable-housing units, of which 115 are reserved for seniors.

Engage

  • Events

    Haart to Haart

    Virtual

    Dec 7, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    A conversation with Julia Haart and her son Shlomo, stars of Netflix's 'My Unorthodox Life,' about the new season and much more.

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.