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The Shul Building

About the Building

K’hal Adath Jeshurun was founded in 1939 in Washington Heights by refugees from Germany. In November 1938, Kristallnacht had marked the destruction of the Shuls in Germany, the spiritual centers for which these refugees longed in their new land. Under the inspiring leadership of Rav Dr. Joseph Breuer zt’l, the new Kehilla was to provide for all the communal requirements – Bais Haknesses, Torah education, Kashrus, Mikve, Gemilus Chesed – needed for Jewish life in the tradition of the historic Frankfurt Kehilla of Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch under the banner of “Torah im Derech Eretz.” The nascent Kehilla had its first real spiritual home, Bais Haknesses, in a former dance school at 90 Bennett Avenue. Undeterred by the limitations of economic struggle, foreign language, overwhelming concern for those trapped in war-ravaged Europe, the Kehilla grew in both size and scope of activity. When Yeshiva Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch was founded in 1944, the classrooms were located in the back of the hall. However, the increasing size of the Kehilla and the Yeshiva demanded a larger facility. With great enthusiasm, the members heeded the call by Rav Breuer for a new Shul which was dedicated in 1952, a historic occasion. The beloved Shuls of the Old World destroyed by barbarians now found renewal in the new Shul. For the past 60 years, the vibrant Torah life within the Kehilla and especially emanating from its Bais Haknesses, reflects the eternity of Torah. Following in the path of Rav Breuer, his successors – Rav Simon Schwab zt’l and Rav Zachariah Gelley zt'l, and l’havdil Rav Yisroel Mantel, shlita, have continued to lead the Kehilla in its historic course. May the Bais Haknesses of K’hal Adath Jeshurun continue to be the place of tefilla to enhance the lives of the Klall.
(This passage is reproduced from the booklet given at the Kehilla Diamond Jubilee.)

The Building Today

Our building continues to serve as the hub of KAJ. Numerous Minyanim and Shiurim take place inside the Shul on a daily basis, and the former Shul at 90 Bennett (now the Dr. Raphael Moller Social Hall) is used in the event of overlap. The building is kept in perfect condition and is well-maintained, and underwent a full-scale renovation in 2002 and continues to receive various upgrades and touch-ups, both to the building and the premises.
Recent improvements include the refinishing of the Aron Hakodesh, replacement of the roof, as well as an upgrade to the air conditioning systems. Several years ago, trees were planted in the plaza in front of the Shul.
This physical edifice complements and helps set a dignified tone to all the Tefillos taking place in the Beis Haknesses daily. We encourage you to join us for davening on a Shabbos to experience this firsthand.

Exterior of Shul today.

Sat, May 25 2024 17 Iyyar 5784