No. 18693 Congregation Adath Jeshurun
Although not technically in Dorchester, many Dorchester residents worshipped here.
The following is from the National Register form for Congregation Adath Jeshurun
Adath Jeshurun is an adaptation by a disparate immigrant group of architectural styles to fit not only a religion but a culture. It was a collaboration between the Jewish founders of the congregation, a Christian Scientist architect, a Jewish builder and his 24 year old son who had just graduated from the Harvard School of Architecture in 1905. It is an exceptional architectural statement of an unusual use of Romanesque styles and polychromatic brick. It takes common ecclesiastical forms and molds them into not only a religious building , but a unique social center.
Its prominent siting, scale and massing makes it the most significant building on Blue Hill Avenue.
The Hakalah, or Jewish law, did regulate certain aspects of the synagogue.
- There must be windows so that the supplicant can see the sky, the sight of which was to inspire reverence and devotion.
- The entrance was to be placed on the east side facing Jerusalem, reminiscent of the ancient practice in Israel.
- The ark should be on the eastern wall so congregates will pray in the direction of Jerusalem.
- The building should be on the highest spot and be the tallest building in the community.
Architect Fred Norcross, designed Adath Jeshurun in the Romanesque Revival style in which the round arch is the dominant stylistic motif. Lacking an architectural tradition, Jews borrowed the building styles from existing secular forms with which they were familiar with in Europe: town halls and monasteries. The Romanesque style also distinguished the synagogue from Christian churches which were usually in the English Gothic style. The style also implied that the Hebrews were European and not exotic Levantines. More importantly, Kaufman astutely notes that the Romanesque style ” reflected the immigrant origins of the ethnic church,” particularly ” the parish churches of the immigrant Catholic churches designed by Patrick C Keeley ” and others.
The single most distinctive feature of Adath Jeshurun – which makes it the most significant and imposing structure on Blue Hill Avenue- are the twin towers. Not only do they soar 84 feet above the Avenue, but the yellow brick trim makes them seem even higher. These towers have the precedent of the steeples of a Christian church, as Kaufman states. The finest synagogue in America at the time was the magnificent Temple Emanu-El built in New York City in 1868. The temple – designed by Leopold Eidlitz – is dominated by twin towers with Romanesque colonettes
The towers also have roots in the tradition of the fortress synagogue. On the Russian and Ukranian frontiers where Jews were forced to live, attacks on them were common and bloody. The synagogue – like the 17th century garrison house – was also built as a fort. It had solid walls and towers which served as lookouts and gaols. The towers of Adath Jeshurun have suggestions of battlements in the corbel frieze of panel brick below the gable and dome.
The copper covered iron Moorish domes on each tower are clear reminders of the Middle Eastern roots of the faith, and are the feature by which the immigrant synagogue is set apart from the careful design of the assimilationist congregation of Adath Israel. The domes are more subtle than was originally planned. The front elevation published in the Boston Sunday Herald of May 7, 1905 shows the domes to be taller. The emerging Jewish community of Roxbury built an imposing building but was hesitant to stand out too much. So they kept the ” foreign” iconography on the street facades to a minimum.
In keeping with the Halakah, the synagogue faces due east. It was built on a main street of the community and towers over every other building around it. But it was not built on the highest point in the community; that location would have been at the intersection of Blue Hill Avenue and Washington Street.
In the interior, the bimah and the ark face east, but are located within the west wall. This meant that the cantor and rabbi had to turn their backs to the east – to Jerusalem – when reading the Torah. This adaptation of synagogue law and American culture was not new. The first break with tradition was in the second temple of Ohabai Shalom. In 1863 it bought and converted a former Universalist Church across the street from its first synagogue. In that remodeling the ark faced westward.
The structure measures 68 feet on its front at Blue Hill Avenue and is 140 feet long on Brunswick Street. It is 69 feet high from the sidewalk to the roof beam at its highest point. The gabled facade is flanked by twin symmetrical towers 84 feet high, topped with domes made of galvanized iron and covered with copper. The Jewish Star, or Magen David, also of iron and copper, is delicately balanced on a pinnacle on the crown of each dome. The Star is two feet high.
The foundation and entrance porch was built of block granite block. The walls were built of load bearing brick from 16 to 20 inches thick. The gable roof was laid with slate as well as the shed roof above the interior aisles.
Norcross used the architectural language of the Romanesque Revival in different ways at Adath Jeshurun. It is a building intended to stand out. The twin towers, which are 21 feet square, are set close to the street and capped with Moorish domes they can be seen a quarter of a mile away. The domes have a radius at the base of 15 feet. But what is most distinctive is the yellow brick trim against dark red walls which frames every architectural feature of the building. Quoins of yellow brick run up the four corners of each tower and frame the huge arched rosette windows on the front and side elevations. The corbel table on the steep gable above the tall round arch front window and at the top of the towers below the domes are also of yellow brick, all of which gives the feeling of great height. The towers are connected by a corbel table of yellow brick on which rests the frame of the window. The yellow brick corbel table also connects five sandstone arch spandrels which rest on Corinthian columns cut also from sandstone. These arches are the main entrance to the sanctuary.
The use of yellow brick against red brick walls is equally dramatic on the side elevations, particularly along Brunswick Street. Here the facade is broken up into six bays by columns of projected yellow brick. The bays are connected by a yellow brick corbel table at the cornice line. Within each bay are tall arched windows framed with quoins
A low brick box of red brick trimmed with yellow brick at the end of the sixth bay is the vestibule entrance that leads directly to the offices, kitchen and social hall; although every other section of part the building can be accessed as well. The door is framed in yellow brick as well as the quoins.This unimpressive box is the principal entrance to the social salon called Brunswick Hall which Norcross designed to appear almost like a separate building.
A gabled roof is flanked by two narrow chimney towers that extend to just a little above the roof line made of yellow brick relieved by a strip of recessed red brick. Centered in the red brick wall is a massive tall arch window which grows out of the basement. It dominates the Brunswick Street elevation because it is the only feature in a wide wall of red brick. It is a much like the window on the Blue Hill Avenue facade and like it is framed in yellow brick. Two squares of single red bricks in a panel of yellow brick separate the round arch window from the square basement windows which allow light into the offices slightly below the grade of the street. A short trench separates the basement from the sidewalk.
Although Romanesque Revival in style, Adath Jeshurun mostly ignores the horizontal massing of that form except for the five spandrel arches in the front. This is a vertical building; Romanesque – Gothic. The towers are made to appear even taller by the yellow brick trim, which also lightens the mass of the building. The steep gable, the exterior structural buttresses on the Brunswick Street elevation, the narrow chimneys of Brunswick Hall and the tall round arch windows all lead the eye and the spirit upwards to God.
The towers provide access to the women’s galleries in the sanctuary and light on the stairwells is provided by vertical strip windows on two sides of each tower capped with a round arch of red panel brick. The windows are divided into thirds and each band has within it two round arch windows in the shape of the tablets of the Ten Commandments.
The synagogue sits high above and close to the street. Blue Hill Avenue is narrow at this part of its straight route from Dudley Street to Mattapan Square, and there is very little set back of the building, only enough for the entrance porch. Its perpendicular site makes it almost an urban church. It uses the topography well to break up the interior spaces. Brunswick Street slopes upward from Blue Hill Avenue and the building sits below grade. The basement level is high. Entrance to the sanctuary is by a stone porch with a flight of steps on each side that lead to a recessed gallery framed by the five connecting arches. The arches rest on Corinthian columns of sandstone.
Access to the basement is by a door built into the center of the street wall of the porch. Wooden swing doors carved with Jewish Stars – since replaced – lead to a long corridor along which were organized the directors office, banquet hall, classrooms and the bet ha midrash; all of which were completely separate from the main sanctuary above. The porch has subtle eye level decorations of the Jewish Star and Lion of Judah. These were cut from the blocks of granite and are slightly raised. They are the only suggestion to the passerby that this was not a Christian church. Although a brash building in every other way, Jews were still a minority in Roxbury and Dorchester and they were apprehensive about calling too much attention to themselves. So the iconography was kept subtle and mostly on the gable and tower domes.
Three Jewish Stars were also cut in stained glass in the top curve of the rosette window on Blue
Hill Avenue. The present congregation removed them with the rest of the window during the 1988 renovations to the building.
Adath Jeshurun is a strong and solid brick building from the main street- indeed it is one of the largest brick buildings in Roxbury today. The interior is distinguished by richly carved wood paneling and complex plaster work attributed to the craftsman David Krokyn.
The synagogue is divided into upper and lower spaces. The richly ornamented ceremonial upper synagogue is devoted to the sanctuary and social hall; while the basement level contains the bet hamidrash, banquet hall, director’s office and classrooms. A long horizontal hall and stairwell divides the sanctuary from the social hall. Both upper and lower synagogue are entered by the ceremonial stone front porch which projects from the building’s Blue Hill Avenue facade.
Heavy oak doors set into the street level of the porch was the entrance to the lower synagogue. After passing through a small vestibule with two side rooms which were originally bathrooms, another set of swing doors – still in place – opened out to a 40 foot long corridor, 14 feet wide. The banquet hall and a classroom were on the left and the spacious director’s office and the bet ha midrash on the right side. The largest rooms were the banquet hall and the bet ha midrash. Natural light once entered from tall windows in basement wall; all but one of these were bricked up in the 1988 renovation. The former bet ha midrash still retains the original wooden high backed pews, raised platform and reading stand. At the end of the corridor, a third set of swing doors leads to a hallway spanning the building’s width with stairwells at each end. These stairs lead to the upper synagogue: the sanctuary, women’s galleries and the social hall.
There is no center door to the synagogue. Entrance is from side doors in the towers. Worshippers walk up the steps from the sidewalk and turn to the right or left, through the recessed arcaded portico framed by the five arch spandrel, to the entrance doors. The wall behind the portico is fenestrated by three pair of round arch windows set at eye level providing light to the vestibule inside. The central bank of windows is framed on each side by marble tablets. These are one of the most unique features of any church in Boston and are not found on any other synagogue. These tablets in the shape of the Ten Commandments were carved with the dates of the incorporation of the congregation, the dedication of the building and the names of the officers and the founders. At the bottom are two Jewish Stars. The tablets on the left have been painted over but the paint is chipping to reveal bits of carved inscription.
Within the towers are wooden stairs leading to the women’s galleries. The top of the north tower contained a women’s’ toilet facility and the south tower had the rabbi’s office. The north tower interior is more plainly dressed of wood. In contrast, the interior of the south tower has a marble floor and wrought iron rail banisters. After entering the synagogue, women and children would climb to their seats in the horseshoe shaped gallery while the men would enter the main sanctuary through one of three sets of swing doors: one each side aisle and the third to the center aisle. The center door was built into a long and narrow vestibule where coats would be hung and boots stored during services. The sanctuary is 60 feet long and 34 feet wide. It is 44 feet high from floor to the center of the ceiling.
Entering through the center doors, worshippers would face an enormous round arch reredos 32 feet high set in the west wall with three points: at the center and on each side. It reaches from the floor to a vast barrel vault ceiling. The reredos and the ceiling are framed by plaster and wood decorations featuring Classical motifs of garlands and shells. Today this ornamental trim is painted in a rich dark gold providing a stunning contrast to the bright white curved ceiling and walls.
The reredos is a very symmetrical design with a lunette balanced on three arches, the columns of which are draped with garlands. The arches spring from a dentiled cornice. Nestled in palm branches beneath the central arch is an open book representing the Five Books of Moses. Raised seashell designs resting on narrow double bands are in the flanking arches containing recessed niches.
On the crown of the lunette is a plasterwork detail of a harp and scroll which creates a vertical feel
to the reredos when sitting in the sanctuary seats. The background of the lunette contains a freshly repainted scene of Mt Sinai.
The stunning centerpiece of the lunette is a large raised frame of thick plaster set on a low entablature in which are set marble tablets painted in Hebrew with the Ten Commandments. The tablets are framed by gold leaf plaster decorated with garlands and surmounted by a plaster crown. When the reredos was originally built, flanking Lions of Judah were painted on either side of the tablets giving the illusion that the Laws were being supported by these two guardians.
The lighting fixture above the open Books of Moses was the Ner Tamid, or Everlasting Light that would have illuminated the ark of the Torah. The light is still in place. The Torah is the handwritten parchment scroll which contains the Books of Moses the most sacred of Jewish religious objects. The
Torah was kept in the ark, or Okon Hakodesh, a finely carved cabinet set into the reredos at the level of the bimah or reading platform. The ark was built into the wall directly underneath the Ten Commandments.
The ark has been removed, but still visible today are the holders which contained the six Torahs owned by the congregation. Flanking the ark set in row concave niches of the reredos were two high back, round arch heavy oak chairs in which the cantor, rabbi and other dignitaries would sit. The chairs remain today and are set in the center if the platform which extends out from the reredos. This raised platform was called the bimah. It was always built in or near the center of the sanctuary of the synagogue and was used for the reading of the Torah. The bimah was beautifully made of carved and turned white oak with a railing. Flanking the reredos are two tall projecting boxes that extend above the ark. These were (and are) enclosed heating ventilation systems. They originally had carved wood paneling that matched the ark and were capped with glass domes.
A richly modeled cornice, of dentils and egg and dart design, pulls off from the lunette of the reredos and encircles the entire hall of the sanctuary to the round arch rosette window on the east wall. It connects twelve arches resting on Corinthian capped columns which supports the barrel vault ceiling. The twelve arches and the twelve bays they create – six on a side – represent the twelve tribes of Israel.
The arcade rests on the supports of the galleries. There are twelve columns, 10 feet apart and six on a side, with Corinthian capitals. Waist high carved white oak panels are set between the arches to block any sight of the women by anyone seated on the bimah or in the sanctuary. The cornice and the insides of the arches are painted a dark reddish brown that is in striking contrast against the stark white walls.
Above each arch at the base of the barrel vault ceiling are twelve sets of twin arch windows, representing the twelve tribes as well as the tablets of law. Although boarded up today, they were intended to provide dramatic overhead natural light that would come down in narrow shafts on days of clear sunshine. Light to the galleries was provided by half moon windows set along the floor of the top platform of the seating area. A few still have their original stained glass.
Adath Jeshurun was a modern synagogue in that it took full advantage of electricity in all of its spaces. The sanctuary was lit by three huge electric light chandeliers set into the barrel vault ceiling. Three chandeliers still provide light today but appear to be from the 1930’s. The clerestory windows, the galley windows, the tall windows – still with original stained glass – set along the side walls of the aisle and the tall arch rosette window on the east wall are reminders of the time when natural light was all that was available.
Between 1936 and 1944 three bronze memorial plaques measuring five feet square were installed to honor the founders and members of the congregation. On the right of each name was a small light that would be illuminated on the anniversary of that member’s death. Two of the most significant founding members had separate plaques, Nathan Pinansky and George Wyner.
The synagogue could sit 1200 people. Long wooden pews carved of red oak line the main sanctuary, the aisles and the galleries. These still exist today. The same pews can still be seen in the bet ha midrash. The ends are carved with tablets in low relief.
To maintain traditional Jewish values, Adath Jeshurun included not only a sanctuary but a social hall as well. Although common in Catholic and Protestant churches, it was a departure in synagogue architecture in that it was built into the structure of the synagogue.
Called Brunswick Hall, the center was set perpendicular to the sanctuary and separated by a long hall, measuring 64 feet long and 34 feet wide. The kosher kitchen, rabbi’s office and lavatories were built below the hall. Brunswick Hall was planned for weddings, bar mitzvahs, dinners and dances for the synagogue as well as for the Jewish community as a whole. It was remodeled in the mid 1930’s. The ceiling is flat and the wall paneling is molded in art deco style with low relief columns on top of which also in low relief is the Jewish Star. Each end of the hall had a huge rosette window. A stage was built at the south end of the hall.
There were three large identical stained glass windows in Adath Jeshurun; one was placed in the arch of the east window overlooking Blue Hill Avenue before it was removed during the 1988 remodeling. This was still in place, albeit broken in sections, in 1985. The two that remain are both wheel windows in Brunswick Hall. Each is 13 feet in diameter with eight petals around a four foot diameter wheel. They are strongly based on the architecture of the building and fit the wall very well. The original plan shows a Jewish Star made of glass in the center of the wheel. The organic design of the window includes flowers and vines created of textured and opalescent glass; the flowers and vines motif either replaced the Star during a later remodeling by the congregation or was dropped when the window was made.
The type of design and the glass used was very popular between 1885 and 1910; it is a classic example of Edwardian Era decoration of public buildings in the first decade of the 20th century. It is a style created as a public statement not a spiritual one. The windows fit in with the taste of the day in which the synagogue was built; indeed the style is still popular. The variegated green and blue glass indicates that it is definitely American made.
A strenuous fund raising effort by the First Haitian Baptist Church was begun in the mid 1980’s to repair the old building. In August of 1988, $90,000 had been raised and the building permit was issued in October of 1988. Renovation and repairs of the exterior took place between 1989 and 1990 in a most respectful way to the integrity of the original architecture. The slate roof of the nave was repaired and the asphalt shingles on the roof over the aisles were replaced. All the windows were reset and waterproofed and the brickwork repointed and cleaned. The decaying copper on the domes was replaced or cleaned, The clerestory windows in the barrel vault ceiling were boarded over as were all but one of the basement windows. The small eye level windows on the street level of the porch were blocked up, The old swing and roll up doors at the street level of the porch were removed and a new roll up metal security gate installed. The most significant change was the removal of the original rose window of the east facade, which had badly decayed over time. The frame was repaired and a new window created of glazed glass, opaque panels and colored glass in a rosette shape applied to the interior of the window. In contrast all the
original stained glass in the tall windows of the nave were retained and repaired. After the frames and glass were repaired, vandal resistant guard was placed over the original stained glass window facing Brunswick Street.
In the interior, the original carved Torah ark and reading stand were removed by the synagogue leadership in 1967. The most dramatic change has been the painting done over the last three decades which has obliterated the original wall and ceiling murals. The painting of Mount Sinai was added by the church in the lunette of the reredos.
The most significant interior change has been the remodeling of the rooms at the Brunswick Street entrance. Offices have been built in what were originally the men’s and ladies lounges and coat room designed to serve Brunswick Hall. The kitchen remains but it is smaller and has modern day appliances.
All the original rooms in the basement are intact except for the banquet room which has been divided into classrooms with plywood partitions. The church dies not use these rooms very often because Sunday school is held in the upper auditorium before the main services. Tuesday and Friday evening Bible study is held in the former bet ha midrash.
The only dramatic change on the exterior is the removal of the large stained glass window on the Blue Hill Avenue façade. The frame of the original window remains, but half of it has been carefully boarded over and painted red and the glass has been made much smaller. It the church desired and funds were available, the window could be reproduced from the design of the original windows that are still intact in Brunswick Hall.
Statement of Significance.
It is impossible to trace the history of Boston Jewry in its period of greatest growth between 1910 and 1950 without a study of Congregation Adath Jeshurun, the first synagogue in Boston built by Orthodox ghetto Jews of Eastern Europe. It demonstrates the immense determination of impoverished immigrants speaking only Yiddish, Polish or Russian, who made fortunes and used their wealth to create a community of their own. The synagogue was the first to be built by and for Jews on their own land in their own community. Jewish homes, businesses, schools and other synagogues followed the congregation; within 20 years Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan included the largest Jewish community in New England. Out of that congregation also grew a foster home for Jewish children, a Jewish owned bank, Beth Israel Hospital and Hebrew Teachers College, all of which still exist.
The word synagogue comes from the Greek meaning ” assembly”. In the 6th century BC, the Babylonians destroyed the temple built by Solomon in Jerusalem and deported the Jews. They became disoriented , but convened informally. For the Jew in exile the synagogue became a place of comfort, of assembly, as well as worship. By the first century AD, the synagogue had emerged as an institution that was at the very center of Jewish religious and social life. It was a direct response to the demand in Exodus 25; 8 ” And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them “. For the Russian Jews in exile in Roxbury, Adath Jeshurun would be sanctuary in a strange land as well as a religious center of communal Jewish life.
Because Jews had been long excluded from craft guilds and trade schools in Eastern Europe, there were no conventional architectural styles. Some basic precepts had evolved over time, however. The 14th century Spanish Jew Profiat Duran stated that “The House of Learning should be beautiful and pleasing in structure. This increases the desire for learning and strengthens the memory because the viewing of pleasing forms and … reliefs rejoices the heart.”
The first synagogue in Boston was built in 1852 for Congregation Ohabai Shalom at 73 Warren Street in the South End. It was designed in the Italianate style popular in pattern books such as The Architecture of Country Houses published in 1850 by Andrew Jackson Downing. As David Kaufman notes, it was an inconspicuous building closely modeled on the only other synagogue in New England, the Tuoro Synagogue of 1763 in Newport Rhode Island. It bore no outside symbols suggesting a Jewish house of worship.
Congregation Adath Jeshurun – the name means House of the Flock of the Righteous – emerged from a community of Eastern European Jews who initially settled in Boston’s North End. These Jews were mostly Russian and strictly Orthodox. On October 4,1887 one of the earliest Orthodox synagogues of this immigrant community was formed in rented space at 287 Hanover Street near Fleet Street. In 1888, the congregation purchased and remodeled the old Home for Little Wanderers at the end of Baldwin Place, off Salem Street, also in the North End. It was transformed into a beautiful synagogue called Congregation Beth Israel. Among the founders were four men who would create Adath Jeshurun: Nathan Pinanski, Coleman Levin, David Krokyn and Joseph Rudnick. Krokyn was First Vice President of this synagogue. He was a building contractor who would construct Adath Jeshurun. As David Kaufman writes in The Jews of Boston (Northeastern University Press, 1995), Baldwin Place would become the shulhoff, or synagogue court, of the North End Jewish community for the next 30 years. Out of it came the leaders of Adath Jeshurun.
There are two Boston precedents for Adath Jeshurun. The first was the Reform temple Congregation Adath Israel on Columbus Avenue, which remains today as the Columbus Avenue AME Zion Church. It was designed by the assimilated German Jewish architect Louis Weissbein in 1885 in the German Rundbogenstil – or round arch style which would be familiar to the German Jew. As David Kaufamn notes, Weissbein did incorporate one element of the Protestant church, the steeple, which he placed on the top of symmetrical stair towers on each side of sanctuary. These steeples were capped with the Jewish Star set on the gable peak of the nave.
Jews of means were soon leaving the cramped tenements of the North End as well as East Boston and Chelsea for homes of their own. Some began moving into Roxbury where large estates were being broken up into house lots following the extension of electric streetcar service down Blue Hill Avenue. In
1894, Mark Werbalski and Jacob Pinofsky organized a group of former members of Congregation Beth Israel into a new synagogue chartered as Congregation Adath Jeshurun. The name ” Adass ” or ” Adath ” was chosen to convey the belief that this congregation were the true sons of Israel. Originally the name of minority orthodox congregations in mid 19th century Germany (from whence the first Boston Jews came), they were formed to hold back the influence of reform Judaism. The declaration of principles of Congregation Adath Jeshurun were ” Educational, charitable, religious and benevolent purposes,[ and ] the worship of God according to orthodox Jewish Ritual.” As the years passed, however, Adath Jeshurun became less orthodox in their practices.
Following in the practices of a thousand immigrant groups then and now, Congregation Adath Jeshurun first worshipped in rented spaces, beginning in the old Dudley Street Opera House and in 1900 in a three story wooden Episcopal chapel at 320 Blue Hill Avenue. In 1901, the chapel was bought by the congregation. (Storefronts built in 1934 occupy the site today).
Boston’s original 18th and 19th century Jewish community was comprised of German immigrants, but by the late 1880’s they were being rapidly swamped by poor, ghetto Jews fleeing the pogroms of the Russian Czar. They crowded into ancient buildings converted into tenements in the North and West Ends, East Boston and Chelsea. Some prospered and moved out to be replaced by others. One of those who moved out of the tenements of East Boston to Roxbury in 1903 was Nathan Pinansky, who would be the President of Congregation Adath Jeshurun for its first thirty years. Writing in 1949, Jacob Pinofsky’s son Aaron Pinkney stated that he was ” The one person to whom can be given credit for this marvelous development … a great and dynamic leader.”
Pinansky was born in Russia in 1862 and immigrated to the North End at the age of 18. He built his fortune in the real estate business and was a pioneer among moving picture distributors. His son Samuel became president of the Pinansky theater chain known as M & P (for Pinansky and Mullins) Theaters. One M& P Theater was the Shawmut on Blue Hill Avenue between Intervale and Creston Streets a few blocks from Adath Jeshurun.
Roxbury’s Jewish community counted about 50 families in 1903. As Aaron Pinkney wrote, ” Nathan Pinansky soon saw the great possibilities this Roxbury section had for a growing Jewish community. Stores were soon established to cater to the wants of Jewish settlers.”
It was the beginning not only of Congregation Adath Jeshurun but also of the largest Jewish community outside of New York City stretching over the undeveloped lands of Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan.. As The Boston Sunday Herald reported on May 7, 1905, ” it was the open boast of the residents [of Roxbury ] that no Jewish peddler or merchant dared to come into the place. Now the section is decidedly Jewish, nearly all of this growth has come in the last ten years. Many of the leading real estate owners, business and professional class of the [Jewish] race in this city live in the Elm Hill district of Roxbury.” It was the beginning of a new era in Jewish Boston and it required its own House of Prayer and Center of Culture. As President of the congregation and Chairman of the building committee, Nathan Pinansky began the fund raising drive in late 1904 with $1000 of his own money. One hundred other men followed his example with $1000 each.
The Building Committee formed the emerging leadership of the young congregation. Joseph Rudnick, Vice Chairman, was small in stature but strong and powerful; he arrived in Boston from Vilna , Lithuania, (then part of Russia) in 1886. A builder by trade, he formed a construction company in the early 1890’s. Once established, he sent for his family. Unable to speak English, he hired a tutor to teach it to him, although his wife spoke Yiddish all her life. From the North End he moved to Roxbury, eventually living on Ruthven Street.
In 1910, Rudnick hired Fred Norcross, the architect of Adath Jeshurun, to design number 58 The Fenway, one of the first apartment houses in that section of Boston. In 1911, Rudnick built number 463 Park Drive which Norcross designed as well. In 1914, Norcross designed a third Rudnick development, number 116 Homestead Street, Roxbury in which his son Michael lived. In the garment district on Kneeland Street Rudnick developed two office buildings, number 75 and number 35 both designed by Jacob Frederick Krokyn and his partner Ambrose Brown. After moving to Brookline about 1920, Rudnick joined a young congregation on Harvard Street. Under his leadership and financial support rose up Brookline’s magnificent Congregation Kehillath Israel in 1925.
Myer Dana, also from Vilna Province, served as Financial Secretary. Born in 1872, he immigrated to Boston’s North End in 1893. Virtually penniless, he sold matches on street corners and peddled household goods. He soon entered and flourished in the real estate business in the design and financing of commercial buildings. In 1912, architect James S. Ball designed for Dana a magnificent Georgian Revival house at 250 Seaver Street in Roxbury opposite Franklin Park. Dana served as the second vice president of the congregation for over a decade. His most significant achievement, and one in which his family is most proud of to this day, is the founding of Beth Israel Hospital. It was in the parlor of the Dana house in 1915 that the newly formed Beth Israel Hospital Association met to plan the conversion to hospital use of the former Dennison mansion on Townsend Street in Roxbury, which the Association had just purchased. Dana contributed $40,000 to start the hospital. Five thousand people gathered at Adath Jeshurun to march behind a military band to the hospital at the opening day in 1916. As President of the Hospital, Dana planned its relocation to its new medical building complex on Brookline Avenue in 1928. He served on the Board of Trustees of Beth Israel until his death at the age of 71 in 1944.
Albert Ginzberg was a member of the Building Committee and for many years was on the synagogue Board of Directors. In 1914, with the support of the great philanthropist and financier, Abraham C Ratshesky, founder of U.S.Trust Company, Ginzberg opened the Grove Hall Savings bank. In 1931, Jacob Krokyn designed the austere art deco building at 451 Blue Hill Avenue in the heart of Grove Hall as the bank headquarters; now the Beulah Pilgrim Holiness Church.
Another contributor to the young synagogue was the leather merchant Lassor Agoos. After emigrating from Russia at the age of 20, he lived in Boston for 40 years. He was regarded as New England’s foremost orthodox Jew and was a major contributor to the construction of the synagogue. He patronized Fred Norcross: when he moved to a house at 50 American Legion Highway in Dorchester 1903, he hired Norcross to design a stable and carriage house on the lot. In August of 1919, he established the Agoos Charitable Foundation with $100,000. At his death at the age of 63 in 1921, it was said at the services at Adath Jeshurun that Lassor Agoos ” loved his people and loved mankind.” In 1994, the Lassor and Fanny Agoos Foundation had assets worth $2 million.
George Wyner was never a director or a member of the building committee, but he quietly contributed the land for the synagogue. He was born the son of a rabbi in Vilna, Lithuania in 1863. He moved to South Africa to avoid being drafted into the Czar ‘s army. There in Momsbury, near Capetown, he managed a large and prosperous grain business and on his farm bred horses and ostriches. His wife Gussie (who was born in Minsk, Russia) did not like Africa so Wyner moved to Boston where his brother Henry lived. Wyner first lived at 9 Gaston Street in Roxbury near Adath Jeshurun and then on Charlotte Street in Dorchester. In Boston he built a second fortune in real estate and textiles; constructing three textile mills. In 1926, he bought land on Arlington Street in the Back Bay and built the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he lived until his death at the age of 80 in 1943.
On December 1,1903, Wyner bought a 14,763 square foot parcel on Blue Hill Avenue from the estate of the late powerful Democratic ward boss, Patrick J. Maguire. Maguire was the close friend and political mentor of Hugh O’Brien, the first Irish mayor of Boston. In 1865, Maguire began buying up land in Roxbury on which he built 16 houses including his own on Intervale and Brunswick Streets. Wyner transferred the deed to this land to the congregation on December 9, 1904.
Speaking in 1991, Francis Kopelman, the grandniece of Albert Ginzberg, said with pride that the founders of Adath Jeshurun were ” real makkers … as ritzy a group as you could ever imagine”.
Like the Irish Catholics, with whom they were familiar in the North End, this group faced contradictions in establishing their houses of worship. The first was of adapting ancient customs of religious architecture to an increasingly multi cultural America. The second was building a very early immigrant religious building in a city which, if not as hostile perhaps as it was to Irish Catholics, at least not friendly to Hebrews.
In 1910, for example, Cantor Halperin of Adath Jeshurun protested to authorities that Jews were being harassed on the Blue Hill Avenue streetcars right outside his synagogue; in August, 1910. The Jewish Advocate reported that real estate agents refused to rent to Jews in Roxbury; and in 1911, Jewish youngsters walking home from High Holiday services through Franklin Park were set upon by hoodlums shouting “Kill the Jews”. “The police”, reported The Advocate. ” refused to interfere.”
Many Boston churches adapted the gable fronted, square corner tower form, but one such parish church which would have been intimately familiar to David Krokyn and Nathan Pinaski was St. Francis Catholic Church (today called St Leonard’s Church) built between 1891 and 1899 on Prince Street in the heart of the Jewish North End, about two blocks from Baldwin Place. The architect William Holmes designed a rectangular plan church in the Romanesque Revival style. Like Adath Jeshurun, it has an arcaded brick trim, a large central circular window and 4 story squarish (although asymmetrical) towers. Also like Adath Jeshurun, the church is noted for its simplicity of decoration: the only Christian symbol was a single cross on top of the central dome of the nave. (The statue of St Francis on the Prince Street facade was added at a much later date.) The timing of the construction of St Leonard’s Church in a community of Orthodox Jews, strongly suggests that it was used as a model for Adath Jeshurun.
The principal architect was Fred A. Norcross (1871 – 1929). He was born into a Christian Scientist family in Allston on August 11, 1871. He moved to Fair Oaks Park in Needham in 1916 and he died there suddenly on November 17,1929. He opened his practice at the time when the multifamily apartment building had gained acceptance in Boston. His earliest documented buildings were built in the 1890’s. In 1900, for example, he designed 24 Anderson Street, 100 Myrtle Street and 38 to 40 Grove Street; all on the North slope of Beacon Hill most of which were done by Jewish developers. In a career which lasted for 36 years, he designed hundreds of apartment buildings in the North End, Roxbury, the Fenway, Brookline and Brighton , all of brick or stone and most for Jewish developers. He designed only two other buildings which were not apartments and both of these were houses of worship: the first was Adath Jeshurun; the second was the First Church of Christ Scientist at 870 Great Plain Avenue in Needham which he designed in 1919 and which was completed in 1927. Both buildings are of brick and were designed with twin symmetrical towers; the towers were never built on the Needham church, however. His last commission was a block of storefronts in Central Square, Cambridge at 468 to 480 Massachusetts Avenue designed in 1929.
At first the building committee for the new synagogue turned to the contractor David Krokyn to help them with the plan. A professional architect was required and Norcross was a logical choice given his experience with Jewish developers. At the age of 34, he would design his largest single building. The contractor’s son Jacob (1881 – 1960) also joined the team to give him ideal hands on training for the nascent architect.
Adath Jeshurun reflects a diversity of sources including ancient Jewish law, European architectural styles and American culture. Author and historian David Kaufman was among the first to recognize architectural adaptation in Jewish architecture and according to him it was fully shown for the first time in Boston at Adath Jeshurun. The Krokyns played a very important role in this adaptation process especially Jacob Krokyn. He was the bridge between the immigrant builder’s world of his father and the new world of the Harvard School of Architecture in the heart of Christian America. After the completion of Adath Jeshurun, Jacob Krokyn relocated to San Francisco and contributed to that city’s rebuilding after the devastating earthquake of 1906. He spent World War One in Washington DC with the Federal Housing Administration. Upon his return home, Krokyn became the first Jewish architect in Boston when he established his own firm in 1919. He is best remembered for his design of Congregation Mishkan Tefila at 218 Seaver Street in Roxbury in 1924. His last building was the Hebrew Rehabilitation Home on Center Street in Jamaica Plain which he and his firm designed in the International Style between 1953 and 1960. It was completed in 1963. Krokyn died at the age of 79 in December 1960.
Since Adath Jeshurun was an Orthodox synagogue there were two basic interior requirements. A
separate gallery for women and a smaller less elaborate chapel called the bet ha midrash for daily
The building permit was issued on May 31,1905 and the synagogue was completed in December of 1906. It is built entirely of brick with a slight trim of sandstone. In its weekly issue of May 12, 1905, the Jewish Advocate reported that ” the new synagogue, which will be of Oriental architecture, will cost $50,000 clear of land. Modern in every respect, the building will take its place among the best examples of architecture to be found in our city”.
The cornerstone was laid in mid June of 1905. The dedication ceremony was planned for Rosh Hoshana , the Jewish New Year of 1906. When Adath Jeshurun was finally completed in December, 1906, it cost $145,000 to erect and furnish.
Mayor John Fitzgerald was the principle speaker at the dedication ceremony on September 16,1906. Fitzgerald was born and raised in the North End in 1863 and lived his boyhood in a red brick tenement on Salem Street near the old North Church, a few blocks up the hill from the center of Jewish life. He was no doubt well known to the North End Jews of Roxbury. At the dedication ceremony, the mayor was escorted to one of the tall backed chairs on the bimah by the cantor, Morton Halpern, a German Jew who had served at Congregation Beth Israel. The Mayor was presented with the keys to the synagogue on a satin pillow surrounded by roses by ten year old Sadie Helen Eilenberg, who lived two blocks away. Keys were also presented to Nathan Pimasky. In the presence of over a 1000 people, the Eternal light was lit and the torah scrolls placed in the ark.
Every Boston newspaper but one covered the event. The Boston Morning Journal wrote in its edition of September 14,1906, that “The edifice which now adorns that part of Roxbury is probably the finest structure of its kind in New England. There are only 140 members in this congregation and only 100 who are in a position to contribute anything substantial toward the cost of building the synagogue. As it is, by the time the church (sic) is finished the 100 members already mentioned will have averaged more than $1000 each. Seven times the collector of the church (sic) has come to the handful of rich citizens and asked them to give more money and each time they have given without a murmur… owning to the small number in the congregation the achievement of building this magnificent edifice reflects very credibly on the efforts of the people in the little congregation.” The Jewish Advocate – itself only three years old – wrote on September 14, 1906 that ” The ediface now dedicated is a splendid and imposing structure which will be for all time a monument to the self sacrifice and religious fervor of this congregation.”
The first Rabbi was Phineas Israel, an immigrant from Odessa, Russia. He served until 1918. The parent synagogue, Temple Beth Israel, slowly lost members as people moved to Roxbury and joined Adath Jeshurun. In 1923, it merged completely with the Blue Hill Avenue synagogue.
Fred Norcross not only designed Adath Jesurun, he designed the urban landscape around it as well. It would be the first opportunity in his long career to design entire streetscapes. In 1906, Simon Hurvitz asked Norcross to design a row of apartment buildings that filled the entire block of Blue Hill Avenue from Brunswick to Intervale Streets, at 387 to 395 Blue Hill Avenue. The Romanesque Revival style fit in well with the new synagogue. In that same year he designed a series of three family brick apartments with alternating bow fronts at 52 – 56 Brunswick Street opposite the synagogue social hall; Norcross also designed number 60 – 64 Brunswick Street in a style compatible with the rest of the block.
The first synagogue in New England, Truro in Newport, was built by Sfardic Jews, These were remnants of the Jews exiled from Spain in 1492. A small community of Sfardic Jews, immigrants from Morocco and Gibraltar, settled along Blue Hill Avenue. They were cigar makers by trade and spoke only Spanish. They peddled their cigars from pushcarts in the downtown business district, in Dudley Square and along Blue Hill Avenue. To the Jews of Roxbury, the Sfardic Jews were strange and often treated them with disdain, but Congregation Adath Jeshurun opened their doors to this small community and rented out the bet ha midrash to them for weekly services.
There were many small loan societies in the early synagogues of Boston, but the most prominent was the Hebrew Free Loan Society which operated out of a basement office of Adath Jeshurun. In 1912, Nathan Pinansky, Lassor Agoos and three others contributed $2500 each to organize the credit union. Loans were given to anyone in the community – Jew or Gentile – with legitimate reasons or for emergencies, free of interest charges. Loius Pokroiski, the recording secretary of the Congregation,
managed the Hebrew Free Loan Society for over 25 years. In that period of time the immigrant Jewish community of Roxbury had loaned out $4.7 million for a new business, a first home, a college education, steamship tickets for a wife and children from Poland or Russia or to care for the elderly.
Adath Jeshurun the building remains, but Congregation Adath Jeshurun is gone. Yet it would be oversimplistic to say that the building ceased being a synagogue because the Jews moved away. Within the very dynamics that caused Adath Jeshurun the building to be built lie the answers to why the building ceased to be a synagogue. In his 1999 book Urban Exodus, Why the Jews Left and The Catholics Remained, Gerald Gamm carefully explains these dynamics.
The synagogue is essentially a private institution which recognizes no authority except the Torah. It recognizes no boundaries and no membership. As early as 1844, Rabbi Isaac Leeser of Philadelphia wrote “We have no ecclesiastical authorities in America other than the congregations themselves. Each congregation makes its own rules.” (quoted in Gamm ).
Adath Jeshurun the building was built by a group of wealthy Jewish laymen; indeed the land was bought and temporarily owned by one of them, George Wyner, before he transferred it to the congregation. Only after the building was built did it become a synagogue when the Torahs were carefully installed behind the white oak doors of the bimah. The members of Congregation Adath Jeshurun took their identity only from the Torah – The Holy Books – regardless of the pride they had of the architecture and furnishings of their new house of prayer.
The leadership of the synagogue comes from the elected officers, not the rabbi. The rabbi is the spiritual leader, the teacher and scholar but not the governor of the congregation. Congregation Adath Jeshurun went for three long periods without a full time rabbi. The first period was between January,1925 and July, 1926. The second was during the Great Depression from 1929 until 1939; and finally in its last ten years. During these periods, the congregation paid a visiting rabbi to hold services. Rabbi Elizar Berkovitz was the last full time rabbi in Adath Jeshurun’s history. He served for six years and after he
resigned in the spring of 1956 due to budget cuts voted on by the Board of Directors, he was retained as a guest rabbi at all the services during the High Holidays of that year. All decisions related to policy, personnel and finances rested with the elected Board of Directors of Congregation Adath Jeshurun. It was that authority which raised the synagogue and which closed it.
Congregation Adath Jeshurun was an autonomous institution organized and sustained solely by its dues paying members. Everything from the mortgage payments for the building and nearby Hebrew School, to salaries, custodians, water, heat, electricity, and phone serve all came from only three sources: dues, contributions and the sale of seats for high holiday services. This would be a challenge enough for a building the size of Adath Jeshurun, but the congregation was in competition with no less than five other synagogues within a 3/4 mile radius; three of which were two blocks away. Five more synagogues were located within a mile and a half of Adath Jeshurun. Most of these synagogues were built within the first two decades after Congregation Adath Jeshurun. As Gamm points out, all of these competed for dues paying members. A Jew living on Seaver Street could walk past two other synagogues before entering the doors of Adath Jeshurun on Blue Hill Avenue.
This second dynamic caused not only rivalries but severe financial strain. More than anything else Congregation Adath Jeshurun disappeared because of crushing financial burdens exacerbated by competition with other synagogues so close together. The Great Depression struck all Jewish institutions especially hard because of the way in which they were governed and financed. The Board of directors of Adath Jeshurun faced with either paying the heating bills or salaries, dismissed its full time rabbi in 1929. At the end of the year 1938,for example, the Congregation had only $12 in the bank. It used guest rabbis until 1939 when the economy of the region improved as a result of the war in Europe.
The third dynamic was that the synagogue did not define the neighborhood. Adath Jeshurun was a pioneer institution and its majestic presence on Blue Hill Avenue was a magnet for Jews from all over the City and Chelsea, but that dominance was strictly architectural. Only for a brief period was it the sole cultural center of the nascent Jewish community. Within nine years three other congregations had built their own houses; Temple Beth El in 1912 on Fowler Street in Dorchester; Hamidrash Hagadol on nearby
Crawford Street in 1915, while Sharai Tfilo opened its doors that same year two blocks from Adath Jeshurun. It was true that the construction of Adath Jeshurun attracted many developers to build apartment blocks and store fronts all around it; even today the immediate neighborhood of the synagogue is a pleasing steeetscape of buildings which relate to each other. But as Gamm shows, within twenty years most the leadership of the congregation moved to the suburbs. It was no longer possible for a member -or even a non Jew – to meet the Congregation President at the meat market or the automobile garage. And no rabbi ever walked the streets greeting the neighbors. Everyone knew Adath Jeshurun, the big Blue Hill Avenue synagogue; it was seen daily by thousands – Jew and Gentile alike – passing on the streetcars; but it was not the center of its community any more than its competitors were.
Men of wealth built the building Adath Jeshurun and men of wealth sustained Congregation Adath Jeshurun. These men not only contributed to their synagogue but also to the Hebrew School, Beth Israel Hospital, The Hebrew Home for the Aged and other Jewish charities in Boston. But one by one these men moved away and by the late 1930’s had passed away. While they lived in their new suburban homes, most of them- such as Nathan Pinansky – still maintained their leadership and financial contributions. Some – like Vice President Joseph Rudnick- became absorbed in their new communities; Rudnick founded and funded a new synagogue, Congregation Kehillath Israel in 1925. (The first rabbi of this pioneer Brookline congregation, in a very prophetic move, came from Temple Hamidrash Hagodol in Roxbury which was only ten years old ).
As the original leadership moved away from both Roxbury and Adath Jeshurun, the
socioeconomic status of the new members changed dramatically. Jews moving into the honeycomb of apartment houses clustered around Grove Hall and Elm Hill in the 1930’s and 1940’s were not rich. The increasing reliance on poorer members for funds began to cause financial problems for the Board of Directors.
After World War II, Roxbury and Dorchester Jews opened their hearts, doors and pocketbooks to the survivors of the camps in Eastern Europe. These devout Jews found the Orthodox services and the architecture of the building familiar and comfortable and they felt at home, but they were all but destitute and could not meet the financial demands of the congregation. Those that could were not moving into Roxbury. Younger Jewish families were not settling in the brick apartment blocks of their parents; they preferred their own homes in the newer, single family or two family houses of the Mattapan and West Roxbury districts of Boston. Roxbury was growing with a new community too: blacks began moving into Elm Hill after St Mark’s Church relocated to Humboldt Avenue and Townsend Street – on the margins on the Jewish community – in 1926, and this community grew steadily in the 40s and 50s.
The pivotal year for Roxbury and Dorchester Jews was 1955. In that year Temple Beth El organized a Newton congregation and Mishkan Tefila broke ground for its new Chestnut Hill synagogue. Despite emergency loans from Associated Jewish Philanthropies, The Menorah Institute, The Hebrew school of Adath Jeshurun, closed in 1957. The year before, the Board of Directors was forced to dismiss its rabbi, Elizar Berkovits; he would be the last full time rabbi of Adath Jeshurun. In 1957, Congregation Mishkan Tefila pointed to the future by being the first synagogue to move out of Roxbury for the suburbs.
But it takes a lot to move a congregation. As Gamm writes, it is difficult, expensive and requires two basic conditions. First it must have substantial financial resources made possible only by a large membership. Second, it must have the full support of the membership living in the community in which it will relocate. Congregation Adath Jeshurun had neither. Perhaps, as Gamm states, the congregation waited until it was too late. Or perhaps the synagogue was too old and not modern enough in its practices to keep and attract a younger post war Jewish community. Still as one by one as its sister congregations closed, Adath Jeshurun remained and its membership became increasingly isolated in a demographically changing community.
“The dissolution of a congregation,” explained Daniel Elazar in American Synagogue History,” like its establishment, is a simple matter done entirely by the authority of its members.” (quoted in Gamm). The future- or rather the fate – of Adath Jeshurun was in the hands of the Board of Directors and they were more reluctant than the others to face the fact that the life of Congregation Adath Jeshurun, which their fathers had called into being , was over.
The abandonment of a synagogue was a new phenomenon in Jewish life. Historically Jews left their synagogues only in the face of banishment or death. But in Roxbury the Jews left voluntarily, and Adath Jeshurun was faced with the specter of becoming a phantom. In 1966, the congregation’s leadership – all of whom lived in the suburbs – were confused over what to do.
Rudolph Wyner, son of George Wyner, addressed the issue squarely in a letter to recording secretary Leslie Pike dated December 14,1966. ” I am convinced that if the people who founded this building, including your own father, were able to give us guidance now they would say to us that we have used this building for 50 years and it has been a source of a great deal of good and now it should be disposed of without delay.”
Selling a synagogue to a Christian church is forbidden by Talmudic Law, but in 1906 Congregation Mishkan Tefila set a precedent by selling its synagogue on Shawmut Avenue in Lower Roxbury to the 12th Baptist Church. The rabbi resigned in protest, but the Congregation Board demonstrated that they set the policy. An even closer precedent occurred in 1961 when Congregation Sharai Tfilo – created by disaffected members of Adath Jeshurun in 1906 – closed its synagogue on nearby Otisfield Street. The next year the Board sold it to the Mt Calvary Pentacostal Church which remains to this day.
But by then there were no Jews left to sell the synagogue to, and the Board no doubt shuddered at the suggestion made by a few national Jewish leaders that redundant synagogues by held in trust for the future; in effect leaving it vacant in a community already worn down by disinvestment. On August 31,1967, the Board of Directors sold the former Synagogue Adath Jeshurun to a Spanish speaking Christian Church, Congregation Ecclesia Apostolica of Boston.
Lester Dana and Rudolph Wyner, sons of Meyer Dana and George Wyner, handled the transaction. After outstanding debts were paid, $25,500 was divided equally to the Maimonides School, an Orthodox day school for Jewish youngsters, and Young Israel of Brookline. The very large bronze Menorah, the seven – branched candelabra that symbolizes the light of the Torah and the soul of man, was presented to Shalow House in Milton, another Orthodox Jewish day school. Congregation Adath Jeshurun owned six Torahs, and these were divided among Temple Beth El of Newton (which had just removed there in 1966 from Fowler Street, Dorchester ) and Young Israel of Brookline. In gratefully accepting the precious and priceless Torahs, it was not lost on Rabbi Abraham Koolyk of Beth El that as it disappeared, Adath Jeshurun passed its lifeblood, the Holy Books, to a flourishing new – suburban – congregation.
Before taking his leave, the last guest rabbi of Adath Jeshurun, Reverend Meyer Loketch removed the three bronze memorial plaques dedicated to the founders and members of the synagogue and installed them in the bet ha midrash of Young Israel of Brookline.
In October of 1978, the former synagogue was bought by the present owner, Premier Eglise Baptiste Haitienne de Boston, The First Haitian Baptist Church of Boston. It is the first and largest French-speaking Baptist Church in Boston. The membership stands today at about 300, but most Sundays from 500 to 600 people come to worship and testify. Reverend Verdieu La Roche, who pastors and guides the church today, founded the church in 1969. He emigrated from northern Haiti with his wife to join his sister- in- law in 1968.
For seven years services were held at 108 Seaver Street, the former Young Men’s Hebrew Association building, After removing to a storefront on Blue Hill Avenue to be closer to the Haitian community, it soon outgrew those quarters as worshippers traveled from across Boston and neighboring suburbs. A search committee of lay ministers was formed and they chose the former Adath Jeshurun as their new home. The purchase price came from the church membership and leadership, exactly as in the days when Adath Jeshurun was built.