Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

$10 million plus $15 million = one of the largest gifts ever to an American synagogue

A New York philanthropist is giving $10 million to New York’s Temple Emanu-El to enhance its outreach to unaffiliated Jewish families and young Jewish professionals.

That’s on top of the $15 million John H. Streicker gave to the Reform synagogue in 2016. Together, the gifts approach the level of some of the heftiest gifts ever made to an American Jewish congregation.

“There are those in their 20s and 30s — and there are many thousands of them living in New York,” said Joshua M. Davidson, Emanu-El’s senior rabbi. “If a major metropolitan synagogue is not keeping them tethered to Jewish life, who will?

“We will also do outreach to seekers – people who are Jewish or not Jewish but are looking for a support anchor,” he added. “We want these people who are on the margins of Jewish life to feel welcome inside the door.”

The donation was announced in the synagogue’s main sanctuary on Rosh Hashanah. Streicker, a lawyer and real estate investment advisor, is also the immediate past president of the Fifth Avenue synagogue, which has 2,000 member families.

“As Emanu-El approaches its 180th anniversary we are striving to reach the next generation integral to the continued vitality of our Jewish community,” he said in a statement.

Streicker’s 2016 gift was used to establish the Streicker Center, which offers classes on everything from music to history to cooking. It’s programs reach thousands of people both in person and online in 52 countries.

Among other large donations to American synagogues was a $30 million pledge in 2013 to help support the $150 million facelift of the historic Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles. The gift from Los Angeles philanthropist Erika Glazer was to be paid over a 15-year period. And the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported a $20 million challenge grant in 2010 from an anonymous donor to Lincoln Square Synagogue, providing that the congregation was able to raise another $3 million.

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.