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The Glory & The Grandeur: A European Synagogue Ceiling Mural

Hosted By: Orange County Community Scholar Program (CSP)

When we think of the Lower East Side, we envision the grimy cramped tenements and the smelly noisy streets of the end of the 19 th and the early part of the 20 th Centuries. But there were areas of oasis, and the Bialystoker Synagogue was one of them! When we think of synagogues and synagogue art we envision embroidered cloths, silver finals, and maybe stained-glass windows in some type of abstract design. But there were (and are) synagogues that had, among other things, zodiacs emblazoned on their ceilings, and the Bialystoker Synagogue is one of them! In 2023 we are used to synagogue buildings being sold to become churches. But there were churches that were sold to become synagogues, and the Bialystoker Synagogue is one of them! Join this 2nd CSP Local adventure in NYC when to visit and explore this unique Jewish gem hidden in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge with our guide Dr. Sharon Keller. Meeting spot: Meet on the sidewalk in front of the Bialystoker Synagogue at 10:20, 7-11 Willett Street/Bialystoker Place New York.

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Dr. Sharon Keller

Dr. Sharon Keller set her sights on a Ph.D. in Bible and Egyptology studies when she was in the sixth grade, and she steadfastly worked toward that goal, earning her doctorate at NYU’s Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies in the areas of the Bible and the Ancient Near East. Dr. Keller is currently on the Classics faculty at Hofstra University, where she teaches courses as diverse as Magic, Miracle, and Medicine in the Ancient World and Greco-Roman Comedy. She has been an assistant professor of the Bible and Ancient Semitic languages at the Jewish Theological Seminary and at Hebrew Union College.
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