TITLE: 8th Street Shul

This growing website will tell the amazing story in words, documents, artwork and photographs, of the Eighth Street Shul and its rebirth and brief but vibrant life.

Against all odds, this synagogue, amidst the swirling and feisty history of the Lower East Side, during its brief existence, actually added a notable chapter to world Jewish history, and enriched the uniquely multicultural life of the surrounding community. It generated a one-of-a-kind interaction between the Jewish remnant and the general melting pot of coexisting ethnicities that makes the neighborhood what it is, unlike any other.

All this, in spite of, and because of, a massive though never complete exodus of a once gigantic and in some areas predominant Jewish population, a dwindling degree of traditional religious practice among many combined with an intensification among others, a destructive fire that made the building unusable without serious repairs, a despairing abandonment by erstwhile Congregation officials bent on selling the House of Worship for conversion into ordinary real estate for personal profit, and heroic exertions by a diverse assortment of characters who came from near and far to rescue, resuscitate and remodel the living landmark. Each crisis would call forth an answer in strenuous efforts to breathe yet another life into this institution.

The information and photos in this website are largely based on the extensive pro-se legal submissions of Clayton Patterson in response to the lawsuit aimed at closing down the 8th Street Shul. These submissions contained semi-formal legal papers, surrounded by the collection of memoribilia exhibited herein.

September 29, 2000: Rabbi Isaac/Itzhak Fried is evicted at NYPD gunpoint by NYC Marshalls. For whatever it may signify, this was the same date that the Al Aksa, or Second, Intifada broke out after General Arial Sharon led a military march on the Al Aksa Mosque.

8th Street Shul after 1982 Fire
A police car outside the 8th Street Shul after the Fire of 1982.


Facts in the Life
of the 8th Street Shul:
  • Revived Jewish religious practices with outreach and other functions for the entire community.
  • Ralph Feldman's central contributions volunteered in material and labor to save the 8th Street Shul.
  • Other contributions volunteered in material and labor to save the 8th Street Shul. (Soon to be added)
  • Legal pleadings in defense of preservation of the 8th Street Shul against $1,000,000 lawsuit by derelict former Congregation's usurpers and misleaders, who sought to shut it down and sell it as common real estate.
  • Correspondence of community support and appeals to politicians.
  • Media Coverage of Activities and Repairs at the 8th Street Shul.
  • Ralph Feldman's Page: Biography and Accomplishments.
  • Photo Gallery, under construction (This can take several minutes to load, but will shortly be improved).