Congregation Rodeph Sholom (Manhattan)

Coordinates: 40°47′2.07″N 73°58′17.55″W / 40.7839083°N 73.9715417°W / 40.7839083; -73.9715417
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7 West 83rd St

Congregation Rodeph Sholom is a Reform synagogue in New York City. Founded in 1842 by immigrants from the German lands, it is one of the oldest synagogues in the United States.


City directories from the year 1845 to 1853 list the congregation as having met at 156 Attorney Street. The first building constructed by Rodeph Sholom, at 8 Clinton Street on the Lower East Side in 1853, is still in use by Congregation Chasam Sopher. It is the second-oldest surviving synagogue building in New York City and the fifth-oldest synagogue building in the United States still standing.[1]

E63d Street
"TEMPLE RODOPH SHOLOM" (Rodeph Sholom) on East 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue map in 1916

Rodeph Sholom moved to Lexington Avenue and 63rd Street, to a new Victorian Romanesque building designed by D. & J. Jardine and built in 1872-73 for Ansche Chesed. A man named Simeon Abrahams conveyed land to the congregation for a burial ground in 1842. This cemetery was on 88th Street between Madison and Park Avenues.[2] By 1879, there had not been a burial in twenty-six years. It was removed sometime in between 1897 and 1911.[2][3]

Rudolph Grossman was rabbi of Rodeph Sholom from 1896 until his death in 1927.[4]

In 1930, Rodeph Sholom moved to its present location at 7 West 83rd Street on the Upper West Side. The move was supervised by Mitchell Fisher; then acting rabbi of the congregation, he would resign a month later due to what he described as "institutional restraint".[5] The Romanesque temple house and sanctuary, designed by Charles B. Meyers, were built between 1929–30 and dedicated on Purim in March 1930.[6][7] Modern renovations to the lobby and multi-purpose room, overseen by MBB Architects and Chicago-based Judaica expert Amy Reichert, improved the building's accessibility and introduced new artwork.[8][9]

Benjamin H. Spratt is the senior Rabbi.[10] Shoshana Nambi, the rabbinical intern and author of the best selling children’s book, The Very Best Sukkah (Kalaniot Books, 2022), grew up in the Ugandan Abayudaya communities, and intends to become the first female rabbi for the community following her ordination from Hebrew Union College in 2024.[11]

Day school[edit]

In 1970, Rodeph Sholom opened the first Reform movement Jewish day school in the United States.[12] Its goal is to help Jews become self-aware adults in the world today. In 1972, the school expanded to move all the way through sixth grade, and since then it has expanded through eighth grade. The elementary and middle school stands on 79th Street, between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenue. The Brutalist-era building has been renovated with a modern, accessible entrance and two rooftop playdecks designed by MBB Architects.[13][14]

Danny Karpf is Head of School.[15]

Notable congregants[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Gordon, Mark W. "Rediscovering Jewish Infrastructure: 2022 Update on United States Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century Synagogues", American Jewish Historical Society, November 4, 2021. Accessed February 22, 2023.
  2. ^ a b "Some Old Grave-Yards – Homes of the Dead Still Found Within City Limits – Relics of the Past in Unsuspected Corners – An Old Family Burying-Ground in the Midst of Tenement-Houses – The Dutch Manor House on Striker's Lane a Grave-yard on New Bowery With Tomb-Stones Two Centuries Old". The New York Times. May 18, 1879. p. 2. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  3. ^ "NYC Fire Insurance, Topographic and Property Maps". New York Public Library. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  4. ^ "Rev. Dr. Grossman Dies at Age of 60" (PDF). The New York Times. Vol. LXXVII, no. 25444. New York, N.Y. September 23, 1927. p. 27.
  5. ^ "Mitchell Fisher, 86; Rabbi Left the Pulpit To Become a Lawyer". The New York Times. March 22, 1990. pp. B16. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  6. ^ "Rodeph Shalom and West 80s Tour with Andrew S. Dolkart". Landmark West. June 27, 2018. Retrieved March 30, 2023.
  7. ^ "Our History". Congregation Rodeph Sholom. Retrieved March 30, 2023.
  8. ^ "Lobby Artwork: Congregation Rodeph Sholom | Amy Reichert Judaica". Retrieved March 30, 2023.
  9. ^ "SITU – Coffered Ceiling at Congregation Rodeph Sholom". Retrieved March 30, 2023.
  10. ^ "Rabbi Benjamin H. Spratt". Congregation Rodeph Sholom. Archived from the original on June 3, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  11. ^ "A Ugandan rabbinical student in NYC writes a kids' book about her favorite Jewish holiday". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. October 7, 2022. Retrieved October 10, 2022.
  12. ^ Rodeph Sholom School Mission Statement. Rodeph Sholom School. Page copyright 2016. Accessed July 2, 2020.
  13. ^ Leber, Rachel (January 8, 2018). "MBB Architects Designs Play Spaces to Encourage Healthy Kids". School Construction News. Retrieved March 30, 2023.
  14. ^ "Rodeph Sholom School Playdecks / Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects". ArchDaily. August 25, 2019. Retrieved March 30, 2023.
  15. ^ "From the Head of School | Rodeph Sholom School". Retrieved February 21, 2021.

40°47′2.07″N 73°58′17.55″W / 40.7839083°N 73.9715417°W / 40.7839083; -73.9715417