Central Synagogue

New York, United States

Central Synagogue was built in 1870-1872 and was designed by Henry Fernbach in the Moorish Revival style as a copy of Budapest's Dohány Street Synagogue. It has been in continuous use by a congregation longer than any other in the state of New York, except Congregation Berith Sholom in Troy, New York and is among the oldest existing synagogue buildings in the United States.

The dramatic style of the building was the subject of much debate during the construction. Some felt its excess would inspire envy and stand in the way of assimilation.

Although the brownstone exterior is 'the finest extant example of the Moorish Revival style in New York City', the plan of the interior is Gothic in nature. The exterior is dominated by two octagonal towers topped by globular domes, as well as by the rose window of geometric design. A small row of arches just below the cornice, at the roof line, adds to the richness of the facade. The north facade, on East 55th Street, features six stained-glass windows framed by Moorish arches.



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Founded: 1870-1872
Category: Religious sites in United States

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Judy Rittersporn (5 months ago)
I've been a devoted Livestreamer from Toronto, Ontario, Canada for nearly a year when I discovered Central Synagogue just prior to Rosh Hashanah 2022. The historic shul, the rabbis, the cantors, the music, etc., are all mesmerizing! Shabbat and holiday services are continuously attended along with special programs. Each service and event offers a phenomenal experience that is genuinely appreciated and exceedingly enjoyed! I consider Central to be my shul even though I live approximately 800 kilometres away. Tremendous thanks go to everyone at Central Synagogue for the finest spiritual naches and overall joy I have ever experienced!
Stu K (6 months ago)
Music is good. Unfortunately, the leadership are non-critical thinkers and joined the "pc" crowd in support of the nonsensical, indulgent, bourgois, anti-feminist and conventional=stereotype-embracing "trans" movement, which is directly responsible for the rollback of the rights of women and gays.
Kurt Hines-Williams (6 months ago)
This community of worshippers, rabbis, cantors, and the many others makes the place feel abundant with love. I feel so accepted and loved when I attend. From the great architecture and structure. To the friendly and kind members. I truly love the environment.
Jullian Phipps (8 months ago)
The architecture, colors, feel & vibe is magical. The service includes a live orchestra which is just Incredible with the acoustics within the sanctuary. The congregation is very open & welcoming to all. Central synagogue gives me something to look forward to weekly. I am so grateful that I get to experience the sanctuary during shabbat.
Anne Scher (8 months ago)
Friday night service with great music. Beautiful Synagogue interior with organ. An incredibly uplifting and joyful experience even though I don't know the prayers or most of the sings or how to read Hebrew. I would go again.
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