Restoring the Past, Celebrating the Future
You have to see it to believe it as the Orchard Street Shul continues to lovingly restore our early 20th Century Shul to add modern functionality to a traditional 1924 synagogue!
In 2012, we committed to restore our past and celebrate our future with a faithful restoration of the Shul that preserves the building’s spiritual and architectural heritage while meeting modern standards.
With generous gifts, we have recently restored finishes and chandeliers in the sanctuary. We have been working to identify priorities for preserving the Shul structure and maximizing its use. We appreciate the generous financial assistance of our congregation and other supporters both in the Jewish and larger community in this ongoing restoration process. We are also grateful for the generous work of volunteers who have offered their expert assistance without charge.
In July 2012 we commenced intensive work completed before Rosh Hashanah, including pointing of all the brick facades of the building and front steps, restoration to increase the weather-tightness of the building, window glazing restoration, improved life safety systems, and mechanical improvements designed to improve the functioning of the building and the comfort of congregants.
Check out our Photo Gallery for photos of the most recent restoration.
The present Bima replaced a smaller, less-imposing one in 1935, the year when seating adjacent to that fixture was also rearranged to make room for the Bima. The Ladies Auxiliary extended a strong helping hand with fund-raising projects to help pay for this remodeling. The tall, artistically designed bronze lamps on either side of the Bima resulted from funds raised by the Chevra Thilim.
In 1961, a major improvement program “dressed-up” the downstairs vestry to make it more fashionable for social gatherings – including new folding tables and chairs. Its $1,250 cost was shared by the Ladies Auxiliary, Chevra Mishnayes, Chevra Thilim and caterer, Abe Flax.
Repair and reshaping of the outside towers, along with brick improvement and extensive roof repairs, took place in 1982; and in 1989 members Eli Shapiro, Harvey Schwartz and Edward Schwartz shared the $900 cost for installing new drapes in the sanctuary.
In between these key projects, there was a constant effort made to keep the Synagogue in good repair and its appearance appealing at all times.
Adapted from 80 Distinguished Years, by Arthur Slutsky
Research consultant: Herbert B. Croog