On Demise of 92Y Tribeca


No organization should be beyond criticism. I read about the closing of 92Y Tribeca with minor dismay. The decision to move to Makor in 2007 from a central location to an inconvenient location made no sense.

Tribeca might be “hip” to the leaders at 92Y, but mostly has older, high-income couples and families. But I guess the Y wanted to cash in on the real estate, and sell [the original Makor building] to the New York City taxpayers as well.

I was involved with Makor in the early 2000s. By the time it moved [from the Upper West Side], it had a rhythm of programming that combined more mature music events with lounge space and Jewish programs. I can’t think of anywhere else with a Tuesday night classical cafe.

But the Y never seemed that interested in attracting entry-level people. For example, free, self-run language clubs were highly attended. Attendees often bought food and drink. However the Y decided to charge $7 a session. A pained 25-ish program manager walked into a club and collected the fee by hand. The clubs were soon over. Many attendees were still in school or living with their parents.

While “artsy” Jewish programming is now de rigeur, much of it can be attributed to the ideas of Makor. Meanwhile, years later, I don’t think the building on East 92nd Street appeals to young people except for the most Jewishly active.