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Our History

The area of New York City in and around “Far West” 34th Street has gone by many names: Hell’s Kitchen; Midtown West; Chelsea and Clinton; the Garment District; and now Hudson Yards. But whatever the appellation, one characteristic has remained. Our neighborhood has always embraced diversity: tenements of the late nineteenth century teemed with immigrant Jewish multitudes living free from centuries of Europe’s terrors; garment industry factories of the twentieth century offered new Americans a living and financial security; commuters from ever growing suburbs flowed into Penn Station or through the Lincoln Tunnel; and today, the growing High Line Park, the expanded Javits Center, a bold reimagined Penn Station and dozens of gleaming glass towers transform Far West 34th Street into a city within a city for hundreds of thousands of tourists, conventioneers, students and professionals from across the region and the world, offering unparalleled opportunities to dine, shop, live, learn and work right in the heart of town.

Throughout these shifts, our humble congregation has remained “Far West” 34th Street’s beloved, trusted center of spiritual respite and renewal, welcoming the multitudes of Jews calling Midtown Manhattan home for at least part of each day, six to seven days a week.

Founded in 1890, our first iteration, Congregation Beth Israel offered local resident merchants and garment workers a gathering center for worship, spiritual guidance, yahrzeit and burial support services. In 1915, the Congregation officially added the name West Side Jewish Center. Throughout the next fifty years, her congregants staunchly supported the founding of the State of Israel with assertive fundraising, Hebrew and Jewish education, political activism and Aliyah.

In 2016, our congregation has “rebranded” as the Hudson Yards Synagogue. We are here, now and forever, b’H, to continue our synagogue’s century-plus long mission as a Modern Orthodox house of worship, a spiritual home for lives steeped in Torah, Tefillah and Mitzvot for both individuals and families, serving the present and future Jewish diversity of the Hudson Yards neighborhood, and all of twenty-first century New York City.

Our Rabbis

 

1900-1912 Rabbi Goronowsky

1913-1916 Rabbi Glick

1917-1921 Rabbi Louis Shmulevitz

1921-1924 Rabbi Simcha Levy

1926-1937 Rabbi Dovid Yosef Schick

1940-1943 Rabbi Louis Ginsburg

1944-1946 Rabbi Abeles

1947-1948 Rabbi Spiegelman

1948-1952 Rabbi Henry Benn

1952-1953 Rabbi Norman Lamm

1954-1957 Rabbi Harold Gottesman

1957-1994 Rabbi Solomon Kahane

1996-1998 Rabbi Yosef Viner

1998-2005 Rabbi Richard Weiss

2005-Present Rabbi Jason Herman

Sat, July 31 2021 22 Av 5781