Synagogues of Newark: Where we gathered and prayed, studied and celebrated" chronicles
the history of Newark’s Jewish houses of worship from the 19th century to the present. Combining photography,
archival materials, and oral histories, this exhibit explores the architectural, spiritual, and social legacy of the
synagogues that once graced the city’s landscape in the past and documents the presence of the Jewish community
in Newark today.
“The Synagogues of Newark: Where we gathered and prayed, studied
and celebrated” opened at The Jewish Museum of New Jersey on Sunday November 27th with more than 100
people attending. Members of the families of the following Newark rabbis joined us: Meyer Blumenfeld, Mordecai
Ehrenkranz, Herman Kahan, Oscar Klein, Eli Pilchik, Saul Zinn and Mates Berkel. We intervied
Marsha Solomon, the daughter of Rabbi Hershel Cohen and Rabbi Samuel Bogomilsky,
the lontime spiritual leader of Congrgation Mount Sinai at the Ivy Hill apartments in Newark. The Joseph Kushner
Hebrew Academy in Livingston loaned us two panels on the history of the Hebrew Academy in Newark.
The exhibit concluded with the film Joachim Prinz: I Shall Not Be Silent.
Filmaker Rachel Nierenberg Pasternak and Prinz' daughter,
Deborah, were guests. This past summer the exhibit traveled to The Jewish Historical Society of New Jersey
Based on extensive archival research
in partnership with The Jewish Historical Society of New Jersey, this first of its kind exhibit presented information on over
fifteen synagogues that served as centers of Jewish life in Newark during the first half of the 20th century, when the Jewish
population of Newark numbered in the tens of thousands. The exhibit traces the lineage of each of these synagogues, their
founders, their rabbis, key events, and the architectural features of the buildings.
Most of the synagogues featured in the exhibit have since relocated to the suburbs during the
Jewish out-migration from Newark which began in the 1950s and accelerated during the 1960s. Several of the buildings that
once housed these congregations now serve as Christian houses of worship. Others have been lost to neglect, disrepair
This exhibit, sponsored by a grant
from the Newark 350 Committee, seeks to bring the memory of these synagogues back to life, to preserve and celebrate their
history as a significant part of the Newark’s history. Phil Yourish curated the exhibit
and Max Herman, Mark Gordon, Harold Kravis, Tim Lee, Paula Borenstein, Rosemary Steinbaum
and Beth Zak-Cohen made major contributions. Linda Lobdell was the graphic designer
and the panels were printed by the Budget Print Center in Bloomfield. Articles on the exhibit appeared
in the NJ Jewish News, and the Jewish Link. Our thanks to Linda Forgosh, the Executive Director of the Jewish
Historical Society of New Jersey - and Warren Grover for his generous support.