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Landmark of the Spirit: The Eldridge Street Synagogue Hardcover – December 21, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


"Do stones speak? They do on Eldridge Street, through the words of Annie Polland's beautiful and important book."—Bill Moyers
(Bill Moyers)

"It is no mere building that is the focus of this book. The Eldridge Street Synagogue is a magnificent building, to be sure. . . . But this synagogue is a landmark of the spirit as well: the spirit of an ancient people on a new exodus and the spirit of a new nation committed to the old idea of liberty. Every synagogue is a means of keeping Jewish consciousness alive, but this one's mission of memory is unique in the world. Four-fifths of today's American Jews descend from the eastern European refugees who came in that exodus. The Eldridge Street Synagogue connects the generations one to another. It is also sacred ground to many of us who are not Jewish:  it is sacred to the very love of freedom that drew all our forbears here. . . . Do stones speak? They do on Eldridge Street. And through the words of Annie Polland's beautiful and important book, hear them: 'In remembrance is the secret of redemption.'"—Bill Moyers
(Bill Moyers)

“I can’t think of a better book about American Jewish history published in recent memory.”—Michael Alexander, associate professor of modern Jewry, University of California, Riverside, and author of Jazz Age Jews
(Michael Alexander)

“Far more than a history of one remarkable congregation, Landmark of the Spirit is an extraordinary examination of Jewish religious life on the Lower East Side over three-quarters of a century.”—Jeffrey S. Gurock, Libby M. Klaperman Professor of Jewish History, Yeshiva University
(Jeffrey S. Gurock)

“A fascinating, lively history of the Eldridge Street Synagogue that takes the reader through the inner workings of the congregation and the physical structure of the building itself.”— Tony Michels, George L. Mosse Associate Professor of American Jewish History, University of Wisconsin, Madison
(Tony Michels)

About the Author

Annie Polland is vice president for education at the Museum at Eldridge Street, where she oversees the development of exhibits and curriculum and coordinates lecture series, and a visiting professor at the New School and at New York University.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 1 edition (December 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300124708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300124705
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,964,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brenda Safer on January 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very easy to read and enjoyable study of the Eastern European Jewish immigrants in New York. I could picture in my mind the trials endured in building a synagoge which today has become a wonderful museum.
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