NEW YORK (May. 21)
The new Sutton Place Synagogue and Jewish Center for the United Nations was consecrated in ceremonies last Sunday, marking the construction of the first Jewish sanctuary in the city’s east midtown area since the turn of the century, center officials said. They noted that with the recent completion of the Catholic Center for the UN and the Protestant Church Center, the new building will be a living symbol of the three faiths’ equality in America.
In addition to housing community facilities for the east midtown-Manhattan area, officials expressed hope that the new building will serve as an international landmark for Judaism, a home of hospitality to persons related to the UN and a research center for those concerned with international affairs. It is also hoped the synagogue will be a meeting place for the exchange of views between Jewish leaders and a research center to further understanding among co-religionists for the UN.
The new $1.5 million structure is located in the same spot where the old Sutton Place Synagogue stood for 74 years. Originally. It was known as Congregation Orach Chayim and later as Beth Hamidrash before becoming the Sutton Place Synagogue in the 1940’s. The synagogue’s central location in the city and the establishment of the UN brought a large number of visitors to its religious services, among them the late Israeli Prime Ministers Ben Gurion and Levi Eshkol, officials recalled. Sunday’s dedication ceremonies were attended by U.S., UN and Israeli dignitaries. Rabbi David Kahane is the spiritual leader of the congregation.