Congregation Tifereth Israel, Queens

Congregation Tifereth Israel, Queens. Image 1

Congregation Tifereth Israel ("Splendor of Israel") is an Orthodox synagogue located in the Corona section of Queens, New York. It was founded by Ashkenazi Jews who had moved to Queens from Manhattan's Lower East Side. Estée Lauder and her parents were early members.
The congregation constructed its synagogue building in 1911, a wooden Gothic and Moorish revival structure designed by Crescent L. Varrone, and modeled after the narrow tenement synagogues built on Manhattan's Lower East Side. The walls were later stuccoed. Neighborhood demographics changed, and most Jews moved away starting in the 1970s. By the 1990s, the remaining congregation was aged, and had difficulty paying for synagogue repairs and finding enough men for a prayer quorum.

Congregation Tifereth Israel, Queens. Image 2

Bukharan Jews began moving to Corona in the 1990s, and in the mid-1990s began worshiping in Tifereth Israel's basement. Disputes between the old congregation and the Bukharan Jews and their new rabbi came to a head in 1997. Lawsuits in rabbinical and state courts led to the Bukharan congregation taking over the synagogue. The building deteriorated, and by 2008 was in need of $1.4 million in exterior repairs alone.

As of 2010, the New York Landmarks Conservancy had begun $1.5 million in restoration work. Tifereth Israel's building was the oldest structure built as a synagogue in Queens, and the oldest synagogue building in Queens continuously used for worship.

Contact info:
3136 88th Street,
NY 11369-1495.