Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Temples Emanu-el and Beth-el to Amalgamate, is Report

March 21, 1926
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The amalgamation of Temple Emanu-El and Temple Beth-El, the two largest Temples in New York, is now under consideration, according to rumors reported by the “American Hebrew” in its last issue. Committees representing both liberal congregations have already met and have tentatively agreed upon a plan of action.

This plan calls for the erection of a great house of worship on Temple Emanu-El’s new plot on the Old Astor site at Fifth Avenue and Sixty-fifth Street, on dimensions big enough to accommodate two congregations, a structure with an auditorium to seat three thousand or more.

Similarly the community and school house which Temple Emanu-El planned to erect on the Sixty-fifth Street side of this site will be enlarged to contain every modern feature of such a building and to accommodate a greater number.

Temple Beth-El’s structure at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Seventy-sixth Street, facing the Central Park, is to be sold and the funds of the two congregations merged.

Inquiry among real estate men brings the information that the Beth-El site is valued at close to two million dollars.

The amalgamation of these funds will create an endowment for the consolidated congregations larger by far than any other Jewish congregation in the United States.

It is reported that should the merging eventuate, Temple Emanu-El will immediately carry into effect the agreement with Mr. Benjamin Winter, who purchased their building at Forty-third Street and Fifth Avenue, whereby the congregation will be released from its payment of rentals to Mr. Winter during the period of the erection of the new structure on Upper Fifth Avenue. This rental according to Mr. Marshall’s statement amounts to four and a half per cent per annum on the $6,500,000 which Mr. Winter invested in the property, in addition to taxes.

It is said that it will require two years to build the new Temple Emanu-El. Thus, while the two congregations will be worshipping together in the present Temple Beth-El, the coming treasury will gain another $400,000.

Among the activities which the consolidated congregations will undertake, as these are being discussed by members of Emanu-El and Beth-El, will be the erection and conduct of chapels and religious schools under the auspices of the new congregation in various parts of the city. These will be maintained from the great endowment fund which the amalgamation is to build up.

Each congregation will have the proposition placed before it for action, since it is desirous that if the amalgamation is to go through, the consolidation should be effected before the Fall High Holy Days.

The present rabbis of Temple Emanu-El are the Rev. Dr. H. G. Enelow and the Rev. Dr. Nathan Krass, and the present Rabbis of Temple Beth-El are the Rev. Dr. Samuel Schulman and the Rev. Dr. Simon Cohen.

Mr. Ben Altheimer is the President of Temple Beth-El; David M. Bressler, Honorary Secretary; Otto E. Dryfoos, Treasurer. The Trustees are: Felix M. Warburg, (Honorary), Saul Bernstein, David Dinkelspiel, Jacob L. Frankel, Max Kalter, Mrs. Wm. Klingenstein, Benjamin S. Moss, Carl Rosenberger, Leopold Stern, Myron Suizberger, Ludwig Vogelstein, David A. Brown, Sydney H. Herman, Morris H. Rothschild and Roger W. Straus.

Mr. Louis Marshall is the President of Temple Emanu-El; William I. Spiegelberg, Secretary; Henry M. Toch, Treasurer. The Trustees are: Henry J. Bernheim, Philip J. Goodhart, Daniel Guggenheim, Irving Lehman, Benjamin Mordecai, Samuel M. Newberger, Adolph S. Ochs, Edward Schafer, William I. Spiegelberg, Henry M. Toch, Arthur Zinn.

Recommended from JTA