The Lost Shuls of Brooklyn


lost-shuls-smallJewish life in Brownsville, East New York, Flatbush-East Flatbush, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and other nearby areas of Brooklyn through the 1950s was a lively, rich, and varied environment. During the next few decades it dissipated greatly. As Jews moved to other areas, they left behind their shuls. Avotaynu’s latest book, “The Lost Synagogues of Brooklyn,” is a  photographic essay of these ex-shuls; it tells what happened to them and how they appear today. Many became churches whose facades still have Jewish symbols. The book offers photographs, interviews and analyses on 91 of these former Jewish houses of worship. Some have been faithfully preserved while others are in disrepair. Described in the book are memories of Jews who belonged to
these old congregations as well as the Christians who now fill the pews. This is supported by extensive research and stirring stories.

Author Ellen Levitt is a life-long Brooklynite who has delved into a subject  dear to her. Some of the photographs featured in this book were part of her photography exhibit at the Brooklyn Historical Society, which ran from
November 2006 through February 2007. She also lectured on this subject to the Society. The exhibit and lecture were the genesis for “The Lost Synagogues of Brooklyn.”

lost-shulsAdditional information as well as the Table of Contents and a sample page can be found here.

Shuls featured in the book are:
Congregation Adath Yeshurun, 1403 Eastern Parkway at Lincoln Place, Brownsville  Congregation Agudas Achim Ansche Bobruisk, 729 Saratoga Avenue, Brownsville

Agudas Achim Anshei Mishnitz, 726 Driggs Avenue, Lower Williamsburg

Agudas Achim Anshei New Lots, 43 Malta Street, New Lots

Agudath Achim Anshei David Horodok, 855 Saratoga Avenue, Brownsville

Congregation Ahavath Achim of Bedford Section, 404 (402) Gates Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Agudath Achim Bnei Jacob of Erolandasgustaitis@gmail.comast New York, 503 Glenmore Avenue, East New York

Congregation Ahavas Achim B’nai Abraham, 394-396 Logan Street, East New York

Ahavath Achim Anshei Brownsville, 105 Riverdale Avenue, Brownsville

Congregation Ahavas Achim of East Flatbush, 203 East 37th Street, East Flatbush

Congregation Ahavath Chesed Day Nursery, 394 Hendrix Street, East New York

Ahavath Chesed, 740-742 Jefferson Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Ahavath Israel, 760 Sackman Street, East New York/New Lots

Ahavath Reyim, 209 Rochester Avenue, Northern Crown Heights

Anshei Azaritz/Azaritz Young Friends, 885-887 Thomas Boyland (Hopkinson) Street, Brownsville

Anshei Krashnik of East New York Nusach Sfard, 473 Vermont Street, East New York

Congregation Beth Abraham, 770 Howard Avenue near Livonia Avenue, Brownsville

Beth Hamedrash HaGadol, 777-779 Schenectady Avenue (East 47th Street), East Flatbush

Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Nachloth Zion of South Flatbush, 2175 East 22nd Street, Sheepshead Bay

Beth Hemidrash Hagadol, 611 Williams Street, East New York/New Lots

Congregation Beth Israel, 771 Sackman Street, Brownsville

Congregation Beth Israel, 8910 Remsen Avenue/ 650 Avenue A, Remsen Heights/ East Flatbush

Beth Israel, 231-233 Ainslie Street, Williamsburg

Bikur Cholim, 3 (or 3-5-7) Lewis Avenue, Northern Bedford-Stuyvesant

Congregation Bikur Cholim Bnai Jacob, 2134 Dean Street, Weeksville-Bedford-Stuyvesant

B’nai Israel Jewish Center, 9517 Kings Highway, East Flatbush/Brownsville border

Chevra Ahavath Israel Anshei Ostrolenker, 375 Bristol Street, Brownsville

Chevra Poelei Tzedek Anschei Glubucker of Brownsville, 167-169 Chester Street, Brownsville

Unlock the Hidden Power of Google for Your Genealogy Research Congregation Chevra Tehillim Nusach Ashkenaz, 511 Elton Street, East New York

Chevra Torah Anshei Radishkowitz, 135-139 Amboy Street, Brownsville

Chevre Anshei Zedek/ Talmud Torah Anshei Zedek of East New York, 308-310 Atkins Avenue, East New York

Daughters of Zion, 130 Boerum Street, East Williamsburg

Congregation Dorshe Tov Anshei New Lots, 21 Louisiana Avenue, New Lots

Congregation Eliezer of East New York, 133 Hinsdale Street, East New York

Etz Chaim Machzikei Hadath, 1477 Lincoln Place, Brownsville

Ezrath Israel, 496 Gates Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Congregation Friends Oholei Torah, 890 Lenox Road, East Flatbush

Gates of Prayer/Community Center Congregation and Talmud Torah/Odessa Benevolent, 180-182 Van Buren Street, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Glenwood Jewish Center-Lila R. Korf Talmud Torah, 888 East 56th Street, Old Mill Basin

H.E.S. (Hebrew Educational Society), Thomas Boyland (Hopkinson) Street at Sutter Avenue, Brownsville

Hebrew Ladies Day Nursery, 521 Thomas Boyland Street, Brownsville

Hebrew School of Williamsburg, 310 South 1st Street, Williamsburg

Hessed Ve Emeth Society of Castorialis, 69-71 Malta Street, East New York

Independent Chevra Sphard of Perryslaw, 247 Snediker Avenue, East New York

Congregation Independent Esrath (or Ezrath) Achim, 144 Newport Street, Brownsville

Israel Elioe Brethren of Yale, 474-476 Kosciuszko Street, upper Bedford-Stuyvesant

Jewish Center of Hyde Park, 779 East 49th Street, East Flatbush

Judea Center, 2059 Bedford Avenue, East Flatbush

Congregation Kachlow Israel, 220-222 Hegeman Avenue, Brownsville-East New York

Kenesseth Israel Beth Jacob, 35 Blake Avenue, Brownsville

Kesser Torah, 2310 Cortelyou Road at East 23rd Street, Flatbush

“Kevelson’s” Shul, 1387 East 96th Street, Canarsie

Machzikei Torah Bnei David, 175 Hart Street, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Men of Justice, 1676-1678 Park Place, Brownsville/East New York

New Hebrew School of Brooklyn/ Bnos Israel Malbush Arumim, 146 Stockton Street, Bedford-Stuyvesant

New Lots Talmud Torah, 330-370 New Lots Avenue at Pennsylvania Ave., East New York

Ohev Shalom (Bais Harav Midrash Eliyahu Anshei Charney?), 744 Dumont Avenue, East New York

Ohev Sholom Anshei Sfard, 157 Leonard Street at Stagg Street, East Williamsburg

The Parkway Theater, 1768 St. John’s Place, Brownsville

Congregation Petach Tikvah, 261 Rochester Avenue, Crown Heights

Petrikower Anshe Sfard of Brownsville, 493 Herzl Street, Brownsville

Prospect Park Jewish Center and Yeshiva, 153 Ocean Avenue, Flatbush

Rishon L’Zion, 409 East 95th Street, East Flatbush

Shaare Torah, 305 East 21st Street at Albemarle Road, Flatbush

Shaari Israel, 810 East 49th Street, East Flatbush

Shaari Zedek, then Ahavath Achim, 765-767 Putnam Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Shaari Zedek, 221 Kingston Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Sheveth Achim (?), 276 Buffalo Avenue, Brownsville and The Little Temple Beth Jacob, 285 Buffalo Avenue, Brownsville

Sons of Abraham, 157 Leonard Street at Stagg Street, East Williamsburg

Congregation Sons of Isaac, 300 East 37th Street, East Flatbush

Congregation Sons of Judah, 864 Sutter Avenue, East New York

Talmud Torah Atereth Eliezer Glovinsky, 747 Hendrix Street, East New York

Talmud Torah Atereth Israel, 85-87 Fountain Avenue, East New York

Talmud Torah Beth Jacob Joseph, 368 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill

Talmud Torah Tifereth Hagro (originally Talmud Torah Tifereth Zion), 425 Howard Avenue, Weeksville

Talmud Torah Tifereth Israel of West Flatbush, 1913-1915 West 7th Street, Gravesend

Temple Beth Ohr, 1010 Ocean Avenue, Flatbush

Temple Isaac (aka Ohel Yitzhok), 554 Prospect Place, Prospect Heights

Temple Sinai, 24 Arlington Avenue, Highland Park

Tifereth Israel, 656-8 Willoughby Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Tifereth Yehuda Nusach Sfard, 347 East 49th Street, East Flatbush

Tomchai Torah, 1320 Sutter Avenue, East New York

Mystery Jewish establishment on Varet Street, 101 Varet Street, East Williamsburg

Congregation Vezras Achim, 341 Pennsylvania Avenue, East New York

Woodruff Avenue Temple, 151 Woodruff Avenue at East 21st, Flatbush

Yeshivat Rabbi Meyer Simcha HaCohen, 309 East 53rd Street, East Flatbush

Yeshivath Torath Chaim of Greater New York (also Young Israel of East New York), 631 Belmont Avenue, East New York

Young Israel of Brownsville and East Flatbush, 1091 Winthrop Street at East 94th Street, East Flatbush-Brownsville

Young Israel of Prospect Park, 2170 Bedford Avenue, Flatbush

The book can be ordered by clicking here.

 {Avotaynu/ Newscenter}


  1. link on bottom not working

    unreadable! This usually occurs when a cart-id code is not formed correctly in the “item” variable.

  2. i had a memorial plack in a shul at east 94th street between winthrop and clarkson avenues i would like to know what happens to the memorial placks when a shul closes this shul was in brooklyn N.Y in memory of my father.


  4. I have a leaded glass window from the new lotts ave synagogue and would like to authenticate it. Can u help if I send u a photo


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here