We knew that an important part of our 175th anniversary celebration year had to include honoring our past. The decisions made, the values held, the deeds done by our founders and predecessors over 175 years directly influence us. Our Heritage Committee showed true grit and range in arranging for a superlative trip through time. On Friday, November 18th, the Erev Shabbat service featured an astounding architectural lecture by Professor Andrew Dolkart, a noted architectural historian, in which Professor Dolkart talked about the architecture of all of our three temples over time, what important synagogue architecture movements our shuls embodied, and so many things about our current main sanctuary that were treasures of information—from the manufacture of the ark doors to the scagliola columns on the bimah.
On Sunday, we we went downtown to our first shul on 8 Clinton Street, now Chasam Sopher, for a historical tour led by Morris Vogel, president of the Tenement Museum, and a talk given in our former Main Sanctuary by Annie Pollard, vice president for education and programs at the Tenement Museum. One way we knew we were home–the inscription above the bimah is the same at 8 Clinton Street as it is here at West 83rd.
Professor Dolkart’s lecture left everyone wowed and full of pride for our truly magnificent architectural history.