Please also check out our other blog at http://newbroadway.blogspot.com/
The Old Broadway Synagogue is the better known name of our congregation, the Chevra Talmud Torah Anshei Marovi. we were founded in 1911 in the West Harlem neighborhood of Manhattanville by a small group of Eastern European Jewish immigrants. The congregation originally met in storefronts and in the back of a bar until we built our own building in 1923 on Old Broadway. The congregation was active in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, but by 1950 was struggling when we hired Rabbi Jacob Kret. Together with his wife, Chana, Rabbi and Mrs. Kret brought the shul back to life by recruiting new congregants, at that point, mostly Holocaust survivors. May of these people moved on, but by this time, Rabbi Kret was a Talmud tutor at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He recruited students from JTS and later also from Columbia (he was a regular at Columbia's daily minyan and was the mashgiach in the Barnard kosher kitchen). For me Rabbi Kret embodied an ideal of Jewish authenticity: knowledgeable, observant, welcoming, warm and loving. We are doing our best to follow in his footsteps. In 2001, the shul was listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. We are slowly trying to restore the building and striving to be a beacon of Torah, Yiddishkeyt and Menschlikhkeyt in West Harlem.