gallin Remembrance of Synagogues Past - The Lost Civilization of the Jewish South Bronx
Synagogue Organized Dedicated
Khal Adath Yeshurun D'Bronx 1913 1924

Non-Synagogue Type
Salem Assembly of God church

1406 Bryant
at Freeman
Bronx, NY 10459
The building is currently a church.

small - medium - large - full

Personal Impressions

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

The man who helped with the yearly festivals and plays worked in the costume department of the Metropolitan Opera Company. He made all the costumes. The costumes for the Maccabees were the finest you could find outside the Metropolitan Opera.

When the rabbi moved to Israel, he wanted me to study with him. I was a high school student at the time.

There was a large room that was used for social activities. Lekach and bromfin were served to celebrate simchas. My mother catered a large reception following my Bar Mitzvah.

My father's seat was in the third or fourth row, on the aisle on the right side as you entered. My mother always sat on the opposite side upstairs, so we could always see each other.

There was a downstairs section, a Beth Hamedrash, which was always populated by older, more Orthodox congregants which was used during the holidays as an alternate congregation. The women's section was curtained off from the men's by a sheet, and there were certainly more wigs among the women downstairs.

I have a strong memory of my cheder teacher, Rabbi Eugene Perkins. I have often wondered what happened to him. Whatever modern Hebrew I knew, I learned from him. I remember he was able to get passes for us to ball games now and then. He once took us to the Globe Theater in Times Square to see Mr. Emanuel, a film about a teacher trying to save Jewish kids from the Nazis.

My grandmother regularly attended services at the synagogue across from her apartment building on Bryant Avenue. My grandmother persuaded me to go by informing me that there was to be a Bar Mitzvah and bags of candy would be thrown from the women's gallery.

Around 1929 (when I was 13 years of age) I attended the Bryant Avenue shul for about 4 years. The name of the principal was Mr. Abrahamson. His daughter was an excellent teacher. Mr. Grossman and Mr. Schumugger were two teachers who drummed the passages of the siddur into my head which I remember to this day. My parents paid $3.00 per month for this education.

We had our own children's service every Saturday conducted by the children. At the close of services a lady would pass out a small bag of candy to all the children who came to service.

The shul had an upper floor for women and a lower floor for men. You had to walk up 3 steps to the massive doors and then 7 or 8 long marble steps to enter the doors into the shul itself.

My father was the rabbi of the congregation from 1951 to 1983. The congregation relocated to 2222 Cruger Avenue in the 1960s because the neighborhood was changing. The old building was left intact and not sold as a church (which my dad desperately did not want). Many years later, the second owners did resell it and eventually it did become a church.