108 E. 1st St.
New York, New York

The congregation was organized in 1895 by immigrants from the town of Podhajce in southern Galicia.  The three-story building, which probably dates from the 1880’s, was bought by the congregation in 1926 and was expanded and restructured to serve as a synagogue, with a study on the first floor, a sanctuary on the second, and the women’s section on the third.

 The synagogue has ornate lighting sconces.  On the walls are painted images of the signs of the Zodiac and the Hebrew months.  A marble tablet on one of the walls lists the names of deceased members of the congregation.  Inscriptions outside the sanctuary list the congregation’s officers and contributors to the synagogue, and the front gate says, in Yiddish, “Contributed by the Podhajce Ladies Auxiliary”.  Thus, the history of the congregation is literally inscribed on the walls of the synagogue.

In the 1920’s, the building was shared with another congregation also from Podhajce (Congregation Rodeph Shalom Independent Podhajce) and by the early 1980’s was being used by yet another congregation, Kochob Jacob Anshe Kamenitz of Kamenitz, Lithuania.  The building was not in use from 1985 to 1990, when it became home to Congregation Beth Yitzchok.  In 1995, three artists rented the building and founded The Synagogue Space for the Visual and Performing Arts.  The building has been reconstructed once more and is now used for residences.

Some of this information came from a chapter written by Aviva Weintraub in the book “Remembering the Lower East Side”, edited by Hasia R. Diner, Jeffrey Shandler and Beth S. Wenger.  Published by Indiana University Press, 2000.  Permission to use it was granted by the author, Aviva Weintraub. 


These are pictures of the Podhajce synagogue in New York on East Houston Street.  It is across the street from Katz's Deli, a New York landmark.  The iron decoration says:

Presented by the Podhajce ladies auxiliary

in very anglicized Yiddish. The building is located at 108 E. Houston Street.  The cornerstone says:

In memory of the brothers Shimon and Yisroel, sons of Moshe Einshtases (ad menucha, i.e., to his eternal rest), an offering on behalf of their mother, Golda Einshtases, 1926.

Stone arch: Synagogue of Podhajce people--more or less like Sons of Podhajce.

To the left and right of the star: Torah scrolls.  The angle flattens them out.

Additional photos from Annlinn Kruger Grossman

This photo shows a medal presented to J. Fruhling in 1901.  The photo is courtesy of Blanche Fruling, and the medal was presented to her husband's grandfather, Jacob Fruhling. Click on the thumbnail below to see a larger image. The blurred part of the medal says "Pres-by-Cong.MBA Podhajce K.U.V. 1901."   (KUV stands for Krank unt Verien or Sick and Benevolent.)