Sacred Space Through Time: Historic Images of Central Synagogue
Every Friday Beginning August 19, 2022, 5:00–6:00 pm
Central Synagogue is the oldest synagogue building in continuous use in New York City. But it is much more than a building—it is the spiritual home of a community.
The building has really been built twice. First, it was constructed (1870-72) according to the visionary plans of architect Henry Fernbach, who was engaged to design a sacred space for a growing community of mostly German Jews. Second, a devastating fire forced our still-growing and increasingly diverse community to rebuild around the turn of the 21st century (1998-2001). These two moments, of building and rebuilding, have defined our community through time.
Seeing these images may bring back strong memories for you: Of a wedding or B'nai mitzvah, of Shabbat or High Holy Day prayers, of celebration or of mourning. Whatever these images evoke, they can only tell part of Central Synagogue's story. The rest of the story belongs to you—the congregants and community members who find a home in this sacred and enduring space.
We would not have access to these beautiful images without the tireless work of congregant Anne Mininberg. Since the 1990s, Anne has been the volunteer leader of our Archives. Upon her retirement from this role in the summer of 2022, she leaves behind a legacy of devotion to our community’s history that we strive to maintain. Without Anne, Central’s history could have been lost, and we are forever in her debt. This exhibition is a loving tribute to her work and lasting impact.