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Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts

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Art, concert & performance space in a historic synagogue building

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Lower East Side
Institution, What New Yorkers Find Beautiful, Arts and Entertainment, Performance

Place Matters Profile

Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts is an art, concert and performance space established in 1992 by a group of artists who were inspired by the work of sculptor Angel Orensanz.

The building on Norfolk Street grew out of the 19th century religious reformation of Germany. At this time many German and German Jews immigrated to the United States and many settled in the Lower East Side, including workers, intellectuals, social activists, and businessmen. They started factories, theaters, and cafes and houses of worship, including this one called Anshe Chesed (The People of Loving Kindness) on Norfolk. The Jews who patronized the space brought with them the idea of the Jewish Reform movement from Germany. They felt that they were making Judaism simpler and inclusive to all as well as making it relevant to civic, political, and cultural affairs. For instance the congregation of Anshe Chesed launched letter writing...

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Angel Orensanz Foundation


Debra Mentz

The first Reform synagogue in New York, it had a German-Jewish congregation. It's a beautiful blend of Gothic, Victorian and European design.

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