With a flutter of leaflets and a blare of newspaper advertising the “mushroom synagogues” open their annual campaign to profit by Jewish piety.
Perhaps the most perennial scourge of the Jewish community are these fly-by-night “synagogues,” which open up in ramshackle buildings or stores, sell tickets, hold mock religious services for the high holidays, and then close up while the promoters pocket the profits and wait for another year to roll by so they can resume operations.
In the meantime established congregations struggle to remain open throughout the year, affording the religious Jew a place in which to perform his daily devotions, and when the long awaited High Holidays, the most lucrative days for a synagogue, arrive, thousands of dollars which otherwise would go to these houses of worship are diverted into the hands of profiteers who, by using condemned buildings and underpaid cantors, manage to retail their tickets at far less than does the established schul.
With ballyhoo and cheap advertising methods which mock the name of religion, the promoters of the alleged synagogues break into print with stories of the “marvelous, greatest, most magnificent cantors whom we have engaged.”
“Come to hear the chazan who