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East End Temple

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art ()

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The East End Temple is housed in a four-story French Renaissance townhouse designed in 1883 by Beaux-Arts architect Richard Morris Hunt in 1883, as a residence for prominent New York lawyer Sidney Webster. The building's exterior is a designated New York Historic Landmark. The El Emet (God of Truth) Reform Jewish Congregation, which was founded by a group of Stuyvesant Town World War II veterans in 1948, transformed the interior into their new synagogue in 2004. In 2004, BKSK Architects and LWC Design renovated the residence into a multi-level synagogue designed to feel welcoming, accessible, and non-hierarchical. The temple also holds a religious school for K-7th grades, adult education programs such as the Israeli Film Series, and the Helene Spring Library (in the former dining room of the townhouse).

East End Temple (image from Panoramio and Google Maps)
East End Temple entrance (image from Sideways NYC)
East End Temple interior (image from New York City Guide to Sacred Spaces)
East End Temple interior detail (image from NYC Guide to Sacred Spaces)
Holocaust Torah display (image from Sideways NYC)
Helene Spring Library (image from Sideways NYC)

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On the night of September 10, 2001, the congregation finalized their plans for their new synagogue. With the events of 9/11 the following day, these plans were postponed until 2004, when BKSK Architects and LWC Design renovated the residence into a modern, multi-level synagogue with a skylit sanctuary with a mezzanine level. In 2005, the sanctuary was awarded by American Institute of Architects, which was founded by none other than Richard Morris Hunt, the building's original designer. 

As an inclusive congregation, the East End Temple was designed to feel welcoming, accessible, and non-hierarchical. The temple also holds a religious school for K-7th grades, adult education programs such as the Israeli Film Series, and the Helene Spring Library (in the former dining room of the townhouse). Religious, music, comedy, and guest speaker special events are hosted in the East End Temple sanctuary and library, as well as in nearby Stuyvesant Square.

A Holocaust Torah from the former nation of Czechoslovakia, on extended loan, is displayed in the library. Liturgical texts are inscribed in a wall made of stone from Jerusalem, and a bronze gate cast over handwritten prayers of the congregation encloses the ark. Ten hand-blown glass lights overhanging the sanctuary represent the minyan, the ten people required for a traditional Jewish service. 

Sources

New York City Guide to Sacred Spaces http://www.eastendtemple.org/ http://sideways.nyc/2013/01/east-end-temple/

Address
245 East 17th Street
New York, NY 10003
Phone Number
(212) 477-6444
Hours
Monday – Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Friday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Please call ahead for appointment) Friday Shabbat Service, after dusk, usually at 6:15 p.m.
Tags
  • Architecture and Historical Buildings
  • Jewish History
  • Religion
User Created Tours That Include This Entry
This location was created on 2016-03-21 by Sara Marian .   It was last updated on 2018-11-22 by Clio Admin .

This entry has been viewed 2051 times within the past year

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