Several eras end at one Lower East Side building


The collapse and demolition in 2006 of the First Roumanian-American Congregation synagogue at 89 Rivington Street — the “cantors’ Carnegie Hall” — seemed to have eradicated almost every trace of what was once a large and vibrant Jewish community.

But it had not. There is a remarkable vestige of the First Roumanian-American Congregation at 70 Hester Street, between Allen and Orchard Streets. It is the synagogue that the congregation built in 1860 and expanded as its membership grew, before moving to the much larger sanctuary on Rivington Street.

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