Astoria Center of Israel
Astoria Center of Israel
|Location:||27-35 Crescent Street,
Astoria, New York
|Area:||less than one acre|
|Architect:||Louis Allen Abramson|
|Architectural style:||Classical Revival|
|Added to NRHP:||October 16, 2009|
The Astoria Center of Israel (1925–26) is a historic synagogue located in the Astoria, Queens neighborhood of New York City, listed on both the New York State and the National Registers of Historic Places.
The Astoria Center was designed by architect Louis Allen Abramson as one of the earliest synagogues in Queens. The building features a brick façade, two-stories tall, and five-bays wide. The trim is cast-stone, and features double-height Ionic piers flanking round-arched windows. The piers support an entablature and are topped by a balustrade. Its round-arched entrance is topped with a cartouche within which is inscribed a Star of David.
According to the Center's website, the “roots” of The Astoria Center of Israel can actually be traced back to Jewish congregation Mishkan Israel, begun sometime in the 1880s, constructing a building in 1906. In 1921 that congregation built a "Talmud-Torach" center next to its first building, where education could "implant in our children a love and reverence for our noble tradition." That education building later became the home of the Astoria Center of Israel, with the original Mishkan Israel building later destroyed in a fire.
In 1926, efforts were begun to enlarge the building that housed the new Astoria Center of Israel, and by 1929 ACI "had become a fully operational 'Center' of Jewish life in Queens." It was added to the National and State Registers of Historic Places in 2009.
In 1926, Rabbi Joshua L. Goldberg became the Center's first rabbi. He had been drafted into the Russian Army during WWI, fleeing to the United States to enlist and serve with American forces in Europe before returning to New York to attend rabbinical school and become a rabbi. With the outbreak of WWII, Goldberg returned to the U.S. military, this time as a chaplain, as the first rabbi to serve with the U.S. Navy in WWII. In 1951, he was named rabbi emeritus of ACI.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
- "Conservancy holds exclusive tour of historic Queens Synagogues", New York Landmarks Conservancy website. Accessed April 2, 2010.
- ACI website, "about" section, retrieved October 30, 2011.
- Obituary, "Joshua L. Goldberg, Jewish Chaplain, 98," New York Times, December 26, 1994
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