Today's post is about school at the shul. Did the Eldridge Street congregation form a cheder, a school for boys, as many other local synagogues did? I found the following in an index of the congregation's Yiddish books, discovered in the basement at the start of the restoration:
During the turn of the century Cong. Adath Yeshurun ran a Hebrew School, for how many years is not clear. This book has on the inside cover Beth Haseifer, Congregation 12-16 Eldridge Street, NY, October 13, 1901. Beth Haseifer, is what Hebrew schools were called. This is a ledger book for the Hebrew School. On page 9 the date seems to be Dec. 1902. It reads "Take out door of cellar . 50." None of the other expenses concern the shul building. This book contains other expenses, etc. of the shul, as well as minutes of the Loan Committee of the shul.It appears that for at least a year there was indeed a cheder inside the Eldridge Street building. However, it seems that the school was short lived, as this is the only mention of any such school in the entire collection. Why did the school close after only a year? What does that tell us about the members' desire to educate their children in Bible, Talmud and Jewish law? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this matter.
Next time, we'll explore the most popular option for LES children: the local public schools.