I’ve been dying to tour this synagogue ever since we first visited last year for Tu B’shvat. We managed to get there in time for a last tour on a Friday, and it was a tour with much information on the history of the people who ran the synagogue, the neighborhood, and its congregation throughout the years. When this synagogue opened in 1887, it was – as its founder Roberta Gratz noted – “the most spectacular structure on the Jewish Lower East Side” – but a century later it was found in cobwebs and with pigeons living within its rafters. After 20 years and an 18 million dollar renovation, the synagogue is “secure, stable and glorious again.” The beautiful blue stained-glass window on the front is always a show stopper, but learning more about the details inside was equally as intriguing (an adjustable sheet-music tray on the bima for a cantor of any height, and the chandelier was flipped upside down to accommodate the installation of electricity when the shul modernized). The tour was brief enough that the kids didn’t get too antsy – in fact, they enjoyed it as well. See more about this beautiful landmark here or here, and Shabbat Shalom!