Beth Hamidrash Hagadol of Harlem

This post was one I began back quite a few months ago and then put aside. Since then I have revisited it, each time getting lost on google earth looking for addresses on documents received and receiving. In the interim, I had ordered the book “The Synagogues of New York’s Lower East Side by Gerard R. Wolfe” My love of old spaces and buildings grew. I have always been fascinated by the grandeur of the ornate Paintedladies of yesteryear which has now morphed into a love of old Synagogues and their history. According to Gerard R. Wolfe, over 350 congregations along with 70 Jewish house’s of worships were in the lower east side alone, at one time. I recommend this beautiful book, which I think is a wonderful gift idea too.

synagogues

As I said, I absolutely love old buildings, well anything old, and with no exception, the Synagogue where my great grandparents Benjamin and Kate were married fits the bill. It’s my blog photo for now.

Beth Hamidrash Hagadol of Harlem @ 110 E. 105th

BethHamridashofHarlem

One of the oldest Orthodox Eastern European Synagogue in NYC founded in 1852. It is in this building that Benjamin Lipschitz and Krusse (Kate) Rosen were married on the 2nd of Nov  1913.

HSynagogue

I imagine this may have been the Synagogue my great grandparents attended with their children Myra and her sisters Esther and Mary.

It seemed the perfect place to repost their wedding certificate with the address and Rabbi’s name, Jacob Kovalsky. BenjaminMarriageLicense

I have so many question running regarding their marriage. Since both my great grandparents were deaf, what was the ceremony like for a deaf couple? Was it signed for them? Was there a formal sign language interpreter? Did a family member interpret? Since I know that they signed, was the signing with their own ‘home signs’ or with a more traditional form? I don’t think I will ever know the answer to these questions. Was it a formal wedding or  a very simple private family affair? I so wish there were photo’s. Surely Solomon and Sarah Lipschitz, who Benjamin lived with prior to his marriage, must have attended as well as his presumed cousins Minnie, Ida, Mendel and Isidore. Was David Youngworth, the border and fellow butcher there to witness this union? And who were their witnesses, Lewis Edelman and Morris Michaels? So many questions.

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The building below is 136 Allen St. It’s the building wedged in between the new construction and it is the one with the graffiti’ed metal garage type door. This is the address listed for where my grandmother Myra (Minnie) Lipschitz married Isidore Haimowitz. Hidden behind the green construction border I can see the side door entrance. The address is interesting however since the reference I found for a congregation for this address was not at 136 but 126/28 for Tiffereth Israel, which was actually just a few doors down. Which ever it was, the wedding photo below does not seem to fit the building that housed the ceremony. Perhaps a reception followed in a different location

136AllenSt.jpg

126allen

Married 26 November 1932.isidorerebecca

isidoremarriagecert

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Another wonderful venue for a family marriage was the Wallace Mansion at 448 West 152 St, N.Y. New York. In its day I imagine it was quite grand. Today the huge cross dominates the front. It is here that my great Aunt Fay Haimowitz sister to Isidore, married.

448west152st

fayweddingannouncement

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Next wedding certificate I have is for Elias Lipschitz marrying Maria Goldin. Elias is believed until unproven 🙂 to be Benjamin’s cousin.  It appears that they were married at the address listed as their residence with the Rabbi affiliated with Congregation Ez Chaim of Yorkville. The building is long gone and in its place is a high rise housing complex.

eliaslweddingcert

I did find was the reference for 107 E. 92nd St on the site ‘museumoffamilyhistory.com’ was this

107 East 92nd Street
–(Congregation) Etz/Ez Chaim of Yorkville
1905: A. Spiegel, Rabbi; F. Lowenstein, Sexton
1910-11: D. Loewenthal, Rabbi; S. Friedman, Sexton…..signature of person performing the ceremony on certificate 

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At 193 Henry St stands the Mt Zion Church of Christ which once housed the Congregation of Beth Aaron Chassidim d’Kaidenov. Married by M. Sording of Beth Aaron was Isidore Lipschitz to Bertha Deitch. Isidore lived at that wonderful residence of 1268 Park Ave, with his parents Solomon and Sarah. The same home of my great grandfather Benjamin Lipschitz when he married. Isidore is another believed cousin to Benjamin (until proven otherwise)

193henryst

I just want to get inside these buildings and sit and feel their history and the presence of those who came before.

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Hope you enjoyed!

 

 

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Author:

15 years ago I located my birth family, both maternal and paternal side. After literally years of searching, even before the help of the internet, I just couldn't stop searching so I began digging into my new found families past. The journey has been amazing as we connect and reconnect lost and found generations.

4 thoughts on “Beth Hamidrash Hagadol of Harlem

  1. I love this idea—of looking for the addresses of where my family members were married. I’d never focused on that, and I also had a number of relatives married on the Lower East Side, including my grandmother. Most were married either in their homes or in the rabbi’s office. I did go to the address where my great-grandparents lived on Ridge Street, but the original building is no longer there.

    1. I am finding that many buildings are gone too 😦 however this book has so many pictures and stories of these old beauties. If you give me a few addresses l’d be happy to check the book for you and see if they are listed Amy. Just send me an email with a few of the addresses….

      1. Thank you, Sharon! I will see what I have and email you. Thanks so much! Where did you get the book? Maybe I should get a copy.

      2. Amy~ I bought the book through a site call Albris, have you heard of it? The sell used and new and hard to find stuff, kind of warehouses it out and you can pick the price and condition of book. It’s a beautiful book with so much history as well.

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