Congregation Shearith Israel, Manhattan


Congregation Shearith Israel, Manhattan. Image 1

Congregation Shearith Israel, often called The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, is the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States. It was established in 1654. The Orthodox synagogue is located on Central Park West at 70th Street in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Congregation Shearith Israel, Manhattan. Image 2

The first group of Spanish and Portuguese Jews arrived in New York (New Amsterdam) in September 1654. After some legal troubles with Governor Peter Stuyvesant, Jews were given official permission to settle in the colony in 1655. This marks the founding of the Congregation Shearith Israel. Despite their permission to stay in New Amsterdam they continued to face legal troubles and were not given permission to worship in a public synagogue for some time (throughout the Dutch period and even into the British). The Congregation did, however, make arrangements for a cemetery beginning in 1656. It was not until 1730 that the Congregation was able to build a synagogue of its own; it was built on Mill Street in lower Manhattan. Before 1730, as is evidenced from a map of New York from 1695, the congregation worshipped in rented quarters on Beaver Street and subsequently on Mill Street. Since 1730 the Congregation has worshipped in five synagogues. The congregation's current Neoclassical building was occupied in 1897.

based on Wikipedia page
Contact info:
8 West 70th Street
New York, NY 10023