Seeking Sanctuary: 125 Years of Synagogues on Long Island by Brad Kolodny
Brad Kolodny provides an important history, inventory, and photo archive of the synagogues of Long Island. He has identified 219 active synagogues on Long Island (not counting Brooklyn and Queens), of which 166 are in Nassau County and 53 in Suffolk County. Additionally, there are 67 still-standing former synagogue buildings, 44 in Nassau and 23 in Suffolk. This volume offers a look at all these synagogues and in so doing traces the history of Long Island’s Jewish religious life.
In these buildings we see the variation in American synagogue design for functional and aesthetic reasons. We also track the trajectory of popular styles throughout the 20th century and see how styles reflect changes in Jewish community organization and Jewish identity. Through synagogue design we see how Jews have viewed themselves and presented themselves to others. Different branches of Judaism and different budgets explain some changes. But so, too, do different eras, as the American Jewish experience has played out on Long Island and continues to develop and evolve.
Year first published: 2019