Day 815

Churchagogue of the day

March 24th, 2014

This was the childhood house of worship of Ellen Levitt, Queen of the Churchagogues. Her discovery that it had become a church, while still retaining visible traces of its Jewish past, sparked her interest in the subject:

I have located, photographed, researched, and documented the stories of nearly 280 lost synagogues – buildings that once were shuls, are shuls no longer, yet remain standing. There are many other synagogues that are completely gone, but I have chosen to focus on those whose shells remain.

Why did I pursue this? In April 1999, I decided to see what had become of the synagogue I had attended as a little girl. Once known as Shaare Torah, in Brooklyn’s Flatbush section, it had morphed into the Salem Missionary Baptist Church. I snapped photos of the site, on East 21st Street and Albemarle Road, because it still had Jewish [menorahs] on the front railing. The shul’s name [in Hebrew] was still there, alongside an artistic rendering of the burning bush created by the renowned sculptor Ludwig Wolpert.

Leave a Reply