The oculus at Shaare Zedek.

With Congregation Shaare Zedek’s synagogue at 212 West 93rd Street, slated to be demolished in the coming months, the temple’s leaders are considering ways to preserve the stained glass panels in the 94-year-old building.

Synagogue President Michael Firestone tells us in an email that there are several ideas being considered.

The short answer is yes, we are taking steps to preserve the stained glass windows.  I will note that the plans for the new sanctuary are in their embryonic stage.  One idea that has been discussed is installing the oculus from the sanctuary ceiling in the new sanctuary ceiling (backlit with LEDs since the overall design of the new building does not allow for a skylight).  It will probably be artistically reduced to accommodate the fact that the ceiling of the new sanctuary will be about 20 feet tall, as compared to the 40-foot height of the present sanctuary.

Other than that, all that can be said right now is that the new sanctuary will be much smaller than the current one and so there will not be anywhere near enough space to re-use all of our stained glass. But we are working with our architects to come up with a sanctuary design that re-uses other elements of the existing stained glass to the extent that it is physically possible and aesthetically pleasing.

Also yet to be explored is the possibility of using some of the sanctuary stained glass in parts of the building beyond just the sanctuary.

Photos via Shaare Zedek.

NEWS | 3 comments | permalink
    1. NYYgirl says:

      Hoping all of the the gorgeous & irreplaceable stained glass from this synagogue meets a better fate than did the ones from the church (Trinity Lutheran?) on the south side of 100th st bet Amsterdam & Columbus, which were last seen pre- new construction 97th-100th there. ☹️

      • JAN LEVY says:

        As the founder of CB7 Landmarks Committee, I am extremely distraught at the thought of the loss of those irreplaceable windows. Have you approached the Jewish Museum in the Warberg Mansion on Fifth Avenue, or any of the other Jewish cultural entities? Is there no philanthropist who will fund moving these precious artifacts to a safe haven? Have you approached the New-York Historical Society or the Metropolitan Museum? Have you sought help from our elected officials? LINDA Rosenthal, NYS Assembly; Jerrold Nadler, US Congress? Please do not allow these treasures to be lost by default. Shaare Zedek has a responsibility to not only the Jewish community, but all of New York City. Losing Mt. Neboh was losing one synagogue too many. there is support for an initiative to save the artifacts of our heritage.

    2. Iris says:

      It is rather distressing that on the West Side a synagogue has to close. Being such a proud Jew and somone who grew up on the West Side, I would enjoy coming to the opening of your new synagogue as should the entire Jewish community. I applaud your devotion to trying to keep so much of the great artifacts, such as the irreplaceable stained glass windows. Hopefully when you reopen your membership will blossom