gallin Remembrance of Synagogues Past - The Lost Civilization of the Jewish South Bronx


Each person has a fleeting moment when a new idea crosses his mind. Most of the time the moment and the idea disappear in an instant. Other times, the idea becomes an obsession.

That moment came when the author visited his old neighborhood in The Bronx and saw the Hebrew Institute of University Heights abandoned. Not too long after that, he drove by the Young Men's Hebrew Association on Southern Boulevard near Freeman Street. A week later, he passed the same street and discovered that the building had been demolished.

He realized that other synagogues and Jewish institutions must have been abandoned, demolished or put to other uses because most of the Jews had moved from the South Bronx. Although Jewish institutions still thrived in other sections of The Bronx, there was a need to preserve this part of Jewish history before it disappeared forever.