Discover the Secret Jewish Past of Harlem

A Star of David decorates a column of Harlem's Mt. Olivet Church, formerly the Temple Israel synagogue.
A Star of David decorates a column of Harlem's Mt. Olivet Church, formerly the Temple Israel synagogue.

When you think of where Judaism is concentrated in the City, your mind is probably dashing to the LES or Williamsburg. But not that long ago, Upper Manhattan — specifically Harlem — used to be one of the largest cultural centers for Judaism in the City. Remnants of this can be found in symbolism hidden all throughout the neighborhood, even of holy houses of other faiths.

Harlem is full of Jewish symbols, fragments of an older time, if you only know where to look. The cornerstone of the Mount Neboh Baptist Church, on the corner of 114th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, is inscribed with the Jewish year 5668. The enormous Baptist Temple Church, on West 116th, has Stars of David at its top corners — remnants of Congregation Ohab Zedek, an affluent synagogue whose cantor was the renowned Yossele Rosenblatt.

Check out the full article for more on the secret Jewish past of Harlem.

via Forward

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