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Free Synagogue to Have Building of Its Own; Plan $1,500,000 Structure

April 12, 1927
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The announcement that the Executive Council of the Free Synagogue has decided to build a synagogue was made by Dr. Stephen S. Wise at the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the Free Synagogue held Sunday night at the Hotel Commodore. More than eleven hundred people were present at the banquet. Charles E. Bloch acted as toastmaster.

Dr. Wise stated that the building will cost $1,500,000. Of this amount over $800,000 has already been raised. Hitherto the Free Synagogue has worshipped in Carnegie Hall.

The location of the new building has not yet been decided. It will seat 2,500 and will house the social service activities of the synagogue, the religious educational work, under the leadership of Dr. Moses Hadas, the Men’s Club, the Women’s Organization and the Child Adoption Committee.

The Synagogue House at 40 West 68th Street will be turned over exclusively to the work of the Jewish Institute of Religion.

Governor Smith, Dr. Nathan Krass, Sol. M. Stroock, Justice Benjamin Cardozo, Henry Morgenthau, the Reverend John Haynes Holmes, Judge Julian W. Mack, Sir Wyndham Deedes, Dr. Frank Oliver Hall of the Divine Paternity Church and Dr. Sidney E. Goldstein delivered addresses in which the work of the Free Synagogue as an expression of a distinct thought of Liberal Judaism and the leadership of Dr. Wise as its founder and head, were described and praised. Sir Wyndham Deedes in his address spoke mainly of the aims of Zionism in Palestine and stated that the Jews in Palestine will give the world a new interpretation of the term “national.”

In the course of the addresses by Judge Mack and Dr. Krass and the reading of an address by Abram I. Elkus, frequent reference was made to the possibilities of Governor Smith as candidate in the next presidential campaign, several of the speakers addressing the governor as the next president The references were caused by an allusion in Mr. Elkus’s letter, wherein he stated that the late Woodrow Wilson addressed a dinner of the Free Synagogue when he was Governor of New Jersey, prior to his election as president. Governor Smith in his address made no comment on these remarks.

Dr. Wise, while declaring that he would not commit himself as to his attitude in the 1928 presidential campaign, said he would wish that when the election comes, the American people will be “ready to affirm definitely and clearly that a man shall not be barred from the presidency because he belongs to an ancient communion of Christianity which happens not to be that of the majority in this country.”

In his concluding remarks Dr. Wise spoke of the history of the Free Synagogue and its future plans. He expressed appreciation for the loyalty and devotion of its membership and urged continued adherence to the Free Synagogue idea.

Dr. Frank Oliver Hall declared in his address that Dr. Wise does not belong to the Free Synagogue alone but he is claimed by all America.

Announcement of the decision to suspend the activities of the Neighborhood Playhouse was made by Miss Alice Lewisohn, who with her sister, Miss Irene Lewisohn, founded the playhouse twelve years ago.

The theatre is not to be permanently abandoned, but will probably be resumed at some future date in a larger and more centrally located playhouse.

It was estimated by those connected with the playhouse that the Misses Lewisohn had provided an annual endowment fund of $45,000

During the twleve years since its establishment #### of $546,483 has been met. The annual outlay in paying the deficit has been more than the yearly appropriation of the French Government for the famous Comedit Francaise, it was pointed out.

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