Iconic Synagogue-Center


Your story, “In A Changed Crown Heights, A Reunion Of Respect” (Sept. 9), references the architectural model of the Brooklyn Jewish Center on display at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. Your readers may be interested to know that we felt the Brooklyn Jewish Center was so iconic, so emblematic of the synagogue-center, that we had a model specifically commissioned for our core exhibition.

At the time the Center was established, Jewish leaders became especially concerned that a new American-born generation just coming of age seemed to question Judaism’s significance in their daily lives. Jewish religious institutions adjusted to meet the needs of a population that had begun absorbing more influences from mainstream American culture. All three major strands of Judaism — Reform, Conservative and Orthodox — explored new ways of serving their followers as they wrestled with the challenges posed by American life.

We invite visitors to the museum to see the model of the Brooklyn Jewish Center and explore over three floors how the American Jewish community throughout its history to the current day struggles between the practice of Judaism and modernity.

Michael Rosenzweig
President and CEO

Ivy Barsky 
Museum Director

National Museum of American Jewish History