The first Reform Judaism synagogue in New York City, Temple Emanu-El is one of the largest synagogues in the entire world. Rivaled only by historic synagogues of Europe and by the Moscow Choral Synagogue, Temple Emanu-El is a historic landmark, religious pilgrimage destination, and active congregation of the faithful.
Founded in 1845 by German Jewish immigrants, the congregation of Reform Judaism didn't find its place until 1868 when they decided to build a new construction. The designing architect did not disappoint with his stunning Moorish Revival structure which soared above Fifth Avenue with a beautiful facade. That synagogue, however, was not meant to last and was sold to a developer who in turn had it demolished for commercial development. In the end, Temple Emanu-El merged with Temple Beth-El in 1927 and settled at its present location on 65th Street and Fifth Avenue. Here the congregation thrived and grew, absorbing incoming Jewish immigrants into their faith community. This congregation has known notable individuals over the years including Former New York Mayor Bloomberg, Joan Rivers, and many others besides.
Temple Emanu-El continues to practice the Jewish faith and is open for weekly services. If you wish to tour the complex, tours are available self-guided or guided through reservations. Tours focus on the history of the temple and immigrant congregation, the beautiful mosaics and interior artwork, and more. Also visit the Herbert & Eileen Bernard Museum of Judaica for a deeper, interesting look into the religion through history.