Adath Jeshurun


A Hebrew inscription in front of the former Adath Jeshurun synagogue reads “This is none other than the house of God.” (Genesis 28:17)

An excerpt from my research on Bronx synagogues: Adath Jeshurun (loosely translated from Hebrew as ‘community of the upright’) was founded in 1932 by residents of the  neighborhood and former members of a synagogue of the same name in East Harlem, itself a branch of the Lower East Side congregation known today as the Eldridge Street Synagogue. The congregation acquired space in an empty supermarket on East 165th Street and gradually bought neighboring stores as the synagogue grew. Completed in 1936, Adath Jeshurun’s building was built into the incline of 165th Street between Grand Concourse and Gerard Avenue.
According to Victor B. Geller, a congregant who attended the synagogue as a teenager, Adath Jeshurun “appealed to older…Yiddish speaking people.” Its Rabbis included Idel Braun, David Hollander, Ascher M. Yager, Abraham Gross, Harold Z. Rappaport and from 1951 to 1963, Melech Shachter. Born in the region of Bukovina, Schachter learned in the yeshiva in Vinnytsia (Vizhnitz), before coming to the United States as a fifteen-year-old. Rabbi Shachter was acclaimed as a scholar of Jewish law. His son Herschel is a prominent Rabbi to this day.
In 1975, the synagogue’s building was sold to the Church of God of Prophecy.  This Pentecostal congregation was founded by Ronald George Thompson in 1947 and had previously worshiped at sites in Harlem and the South Bronx. The church remains active in the community today and hosts a soup kitchen for the Momentum Project, which “provides supportive services and meals… especially to those living with HIV/AIDS or other chronic illness.”

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