In 1917, the Jewish population of Harlem peaked at about 175,000 Jews, making it second only to New York City’s Lower East Side in number of Jewish residents.
Though mostly forgotten, symbols of this past exist in Harlem today, from the Star of David atop the Commandment Keepers Congregation on West 123rd Street (seen in photo at right), or the inscription, reported by The New York Times, on the marble pediment leading to the baptismal pool at Mount Olivet Baptist Church that reads: “Jehovah is in his holy temple; be silent, before him, all the earth.’’
The Daily News reports some of that history is returning:
“After nearly a century, Jewish communal life is quietly returning to West Harlem as a diverse group of Jews move back to a neighborhood once rich with synagogues, Yiddish theaters and kosher butchers.”
Learn more about the rich history of Harlem’s Jewish community this June 27 at a Jewish Harlem Tour. Space is limited, and the June 6 date has already sold out. Sign up now for the June 27 tour to reserve your spot.
Other upcoming Excursions include Brooklyn Bridge and Beyond (May 23); Yiddish Rialto: Sites and Synagogues of the East Village (June 6); and Central Park: North and South Tours (June 6).
(Photo of Commandment Keepers Congregation at 1 W 123rd St via CUNY.)
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