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Congregation Shearith Israel has been in New York City since the town was still New Amsterdam, forming a central part of what makes New York what it is. Today the synagogue is near Central Park. The Sephardic congregation, originally founded in 1654 by 23 Jewish refugees from Recife in Brazil, has had five temples over its more than 350-year history, marking the island of Manhattan with its legacy. Visit the synagogue today or go around to the four cemeteries dotted around the city, marks of Judaism’s long history in the Big Apple.
Tour the current building, constructed in 1897. The architect was Arnold Brunner; Louis Comfort Tiffany designed the interior and the stunning stained-glass windows that were hallmarks of his style.
Relax in the nearly austere simplicity of the neoclassical building that resisted the more ornate Moorish style that was popular in synagogue construction at the time. Follow the docent on a tour of the congregation’s sacred objects, including colonial-era silversmithing and a set of torah holders shaped like the Liberty Bell.
Go farther afield to the cemeteries. Spot the oldest, built in 1682 in Chinatown; then go up to Greenwich Village for the tiny cemetery, the smallest in the city, built here in 1805. Jewish luminaries are buried in the cemetery on 21st Street, but it’s in Ridgewood, site of the current cemetery, where you’ll find the graves of Emma Lazarus and others.
Right on the western edge of Central Park, Congregation Shearith Israel is easily accessible from a variety of New York landmarks. Reach it in 17 minutes by subway from Grand Central Terminal or in 14 minutes from Penn Station or Times Square. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a leisurely 20-minute stroll away, across the park.
The congregation’s various historical cemeteries are located throughout the city, offering an interesting tour of the different neighborhoods of Manhattan. The current cemetery in Ridgewood is accessible via public transit and is open from Sunday to Friday during regular business hours.
Take a 45-minute tour of the congregation’s current building on the second Wednesday of every month. Pay a suggested donation for entrance.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of 5th Avenue and Grand Central Terminal. Chrysler Building and St. Patrick's Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Grand Central - 42 St. Station is 5 minutes by foot and 5 Av Station (W. 42nd St.) is 5 minutes.
Located in the heart of New York, this family-friendly hotel is steps from Metropolitan Opera House, Central Park, and Lincoln Center. Columbus Circle and Juilliard School are also within 10 minutes. 66 St. - Lincoln Center Station and 59 St. - Columbus Circle Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Madison Square Garden, Macy's, and Empire State Building. Times Square and Broadway are also within 15 minutes. 34 St. - Penn Station (Fashion Av.) is only a 2-minute walk and 28 St. Station (7th Av.) is 4 minutes.
Located in Midtown, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Times Square and Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Broadway and Central Park are also within 1 mi (2 km). Times Sq. - 42 St. Station is 12 minutes by foot and 34 St. - Penn Station is 14 minutes.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Carnegie Hall, Central Park, and 5th Avenue. Columbus Circle and Ed Sullivan Theater are also within 10 minutes. 5 Av.-53 St. Station is only a 4-minute walk and 57 St. Station is 5 minutes.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Central Park and Columbus Circle. Lincoln Center and Metropolitan Opera House are also within 10 minutes. 59 St. - Columbus Circle Station is only a 5-minute walk and 57 St. - 7 Av Station is 5 minutes.
This family-friendly New York hotel is located in the entertainment district, steps from Walter Kerr Theatre, Ambassador Theatre, and Circle in the Square Theater. Duffy Square and Eugene O'Neill Theatre are also within 5 minutes. 49th St. Station is only a 2-minute walk and 47 - 50 Sts - Rockefeller Center Station is 5 minutes.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Carnegie Hall, Central Park, and Ed Sullivan Theater. Broadway Theatre and Columbus Circle are also within 10 minutes. 7 Av. Station (E 53rd St.) and 50 St. Station (Broadway) are within a 5-minute walk.