104B.jpg (22581 bytes) New York Architecture Images-Upper East Side

Park East  Synagogue (Congregation Zichron Ephraim)


Schneider & Herter


163 East  67th Street.




Moorish Revival







This synagogue was founded by Jews from south Germany as an Orthodox congregation. It is one of the few synagogues still owned by the same congregation which built it.
Park East Synagogue is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, in New York. It was founded in 1890 as Congregation Zichron Ephraim. Since 1962, it has been led by its spiritual leader Rabbi Arthur Schneier. The current Assistant Rabbi (since August 2006), Rabbi Evan Hoffman delivers a Wednesday evening Bible class which fills the hall to capacity.

In 1976, Rabbi Schneier founded the Park East Day School, which now educates children from early childhood through eighth grade. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Park East Synagogue has served the religious, educational, social and cultural needs of the Upper East side Jewish community for 108 years. Rabbi Arthur Schneier, spiritual leader since 1962, revitalized and expanded the congregation with his vision of building a day school and cultural center. In 1976 the day school started as an early childhood program and in 1977 the new building of the Minks Cultural Center and the Park East Day School was opened. The school expanded its program to include grades 1-8. 
The motto of the synagogue is "l'dor vador- from generation to generation" Its Leon and Gina former Religious School offers an excellent afternoon Hebrew school education to children from kindergarten to junior high. Every week over four hundred children receive their Jewish education at Park East. 

Rabbi Arthur Schneier placed Park East Synagogue in the forefront of issues of concern to world Jewry, human rights and religious freedom. The first rally on behalf of Soviet Jewry took place here - the plaque affixed "Hear the cry of the oppressed - The Jewish Community of the Soviet Union" is facing the Soviet mission to the United Nations. Earlier this year Rabbi Schneier was appointed by President Clinton as part of the delegation of religious leaders to examine human rights and religious freedom in China. The synagogue uploads the Torah value of Ahavat yisrael - love of fellow Jews and Ahavat Habriyot - love of humanity. Park East Synagogue is known nationally and internationally and attracts many visitors from the State of Israel and all over the world. This year the restoration of our building's magnificent facade was completed. Governor George Pataki and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani cited Park East Synagogue for its service to the community and to the people of the city and the State of New York. 


A Blend of Traditional Judaism and Cosmopolitan Culture
Rabbi Arthur Schneier Park East Day School is not just a school. It is a vibrant community that reinforces and strengthens the children's pride in their Jewish heritage and sense of moral values. 

For example, the school cosponsors with the synagogue a wealth of holiday celebrations, ranging from innovative Shabbat services for young children to Chanukah and Simchat Torah parties. The purim celebrations routinely attract hundreds of children, and during Succot, communal meals in the large Succah are truly memorable. 

A number of special events focus on families with younger children. For example, there are Shabbat services each week for young children and their parents. Recently, the early childhood school held a "grandparents day" at Purim, during which grandparents and other friends and relatives spent time in the classroom and participated in a festive meal and communty singing. 

Special Events and Cultural Programs 

Rabbi Arthur Schneier Park East Day School is unparalleled in the special events and cultural programs that enrich the childrens daily school environment. The lobby of the school building has housed both a Renoir exhibit and an exhibit of Dutch masters lent to the school by the metropolitan Museum and the Smithsonian Institution. 

Rabbi Arthur Schneier Park East Day School has some 300 students, ranging from two-year-olds through eighth graders. It consists of an elementary school division, which includes grades one through eight, and an early childhood division, with ages ranging from two to five. For many children and families, the school unfolds as a single continuous experience, beginning in the early years and extending into early adolescence. Though a majority of the students live on the upper East Side, many commute from other parts of Manhattan and from other boroughs. 

The Park East Synagogue, which dates back to 1890, was established as Congregation Zichron Ephraim. In 1976, the Park East Day School was founded by the congregation's currents senior rabbi, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, as an early childhood school. It became an elementary school soon afterward when it merged with East Side Hebrew Institute. In 1990, the school was officially named after its founder, as the Rabbi Arthur Schneier Park East Day School. 

The attractive, modern eight-story building is fully equipped with multimedia classrooms, 350 seat auditorium, meat and dairy kitchens and lunchroom, state-of-the-art gymnasium, and an outdoor roof playground. It has a complete science laboratory, computer center, art studios, library and music room. 

Special Projects 

Interactive Multimedia Computer Assisted Instruction System 

Park East School is working with computer experts to develop a unique computer assisted instruction system to be used by all PES students. Park East School is creating a networked community within the school where students can collaberate in the creation of their materials, integrated with their interdisciplinary studies. Access to the internet will extend staff and student research to museums and centers of learning around the world. The system will provide Park East School teachers and students with state-of-the-art interactive multimedia teaching and learning tool. Students will use the system in Park East School's interdisciplinary curriculum which includes: 

Social studies 
Language Arts 
The Arts 
Hebrew studies 
In a unique learning experience, Park East School students will study Jewish roots and heritage in the context of their individual family history. The study of Jewish immigration to New York will focus on themes such as: 
Diversity of Jewish immigrant's backgrounds 
Adaptation of immigrants to life in New York 
How they maintained cultural identities and religious customs 
Each student will create a personal multimedia record of their families history which will be used by the students in their interdisciplinary study. External public multimedia databases relating to the study topics will be accessed via the internet. The system will be available to all students, from early childhood through eighth grade. 

The heart of the computer training system is a multimedia digital server which contains the digitized multimedia content, computer based training (CBT) modules, snd the interdisciplinary study system. The server will be attached to multimedia workstations in each classroom via fiber optic local area network. 

Jewish Heritage Report
Vol. I, Nos. 3-4 / Winter 1997-98
Park East Synagogue

NYC'S Park East Synagogue Completes Exterior Restoration

The New York Landmarks Conservancy reports (in Common Bond, 13:2, Oct. 1997) that the Park East Synagogue designed by Schneider & Herter and built in 1899-90 on Manhattan's Upper East Side recently completed a major exterior restoration of its landmark Moorish-style facade. The work was performed by Preservation Building Restoration Management Inc., in conjunction with the architectural firm of Peter Koepple & Associates and Turner Construction. The first phase included masonry restoration, wood window frame replacement, metal repairs, and roof improvement. Rambusch Decorating Company had previously completed repairs to the stained glass windows.

February 3, 2000


Rabbi Arthur Schneier, of the Park East Synagogue in Manhattan, will be honored at the Orthodox Union's (OU) Rabbinic Centennial Medallion Awards Dinner on Tuesday, February 29, 2000, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue in New York.

The OU will honor Rabbi Schneier as well as 11 other outstanding rabbis and their congregations who have made unique contributions to Orthodox Jewish life in America. Rabbi Yosef Grunblatt, spiritual leader of the Queens Jewish Center in Forest Hills, NY – who will also be honored at the dinner – will be the keynote speaker.

"Rabbi Schneier is an impressive community and spiritual leader who has made an enormous contribution to Jewish life, " said Mandell I. Ganchrow, M.D., President of the OU.

Born in Vienna, Rabbi Schneier is internationally known for his leadership on behalf of human rights and religious freedom. A Holocaust survivor, his outreach extends far beyond the Park East Synagogue which he has served since 1962.

Rabbi Schneier was one of the pioneers in the struggle on behalf of Soviet Jewry and the revival of Jewish life in Eastern Europe. He has successfully negotiated the return of the Moscow Synagogue to the Jewish community and was instrumental in the restoration of the Ohel Rachel Synagogue in Shanghai. As part of President Clinton’s delegation to China, Rabbi Schneier was privileged to present the Ohel Rachel Synagogue with the first Torah scroll in more than 50 years, donated by the Park East Synagogue.

The "rabbi-diplomat" has met with top political and religious leaders all over the world to promote peace and tolerance. He has had ongoing contacts with prime ministers of Israel on vital issues affecting the State of Israel. Rabbi Schneier was among the select delegation of U.S. religious leaders to meet with China’s president and top governmental officials to open a dialogue on religious freedom. The Rabbi was also called in to assist with conflict resolution in the Balkans, provide his expertise in dealing with the situation in Kosovo and galvanize the American religious community to join in the humanitarian mission of supporting victims of the recent earthquakes in Turkey.

Rabbi Schneier is founder of the renowned Appeal of Conscience Foundation, a coalition of business and religious leaders united on behalf of religious freedom and human rights throughout the world. Through the foundation, Rabbi Schneier strives to promote mutual understanding, tolerance and pluralism in emerging democracies and provide a voice of conscience to protect minorities at a time of increasing ethnic conflicts.

"We cannot overemphasize the importance of rabbis, synagogues and communal institutions working in tandem to insure a thriving Orthodoxy," said Rabbi Raphael B. Butler, Executive Vice President of the OU. "The Orthodox Union acknowledges the synagogue as the focus of Jewish communal life. Each community is built around a vibrant synagogue led by a dynamic rabbi. It is that leadership that we are proud to honor."

The honorees include: Rabbi Yosef Adler (Congregation Rinat Yisroel, Teaneck) Rabbi Moshe Bomzer (Congregation Beth Abraham Jacob, Albany); Rabbi Reuven Bulka (Congregation Machzikei Hadas, Ottawa); Rabbi Mark Dratch (Agudath Sholom, Stamford); Rabbi Joseph Grunblatt (Queens Jewish Center, Forest Hills); Rabbi Dr. Basil F. Herring (Jewish Center of Atlantic Beach); Rabbi Shaya Kilimnick (Beth Sholom, Rochester); Rabbi Zvulun (Sidney) Lieberman (Beth Torah Congregation, Brooklyn); Rabbi Yisroel Miller (Poale Zedeck Congregation, Pittsburgh); Rabbi Adam Mintz (Lincoln Square Synagogue, New York); and Rabbi Harvey Well (Or Torah Congregation, Skokie).

For dinner reservations, please contact Steven Karp at (212) 613-8134.

The Orthodox Union, now in its second century of service to the Jewish community of America and beyond, is the world leader in youth work, advocacy for the disabled, synagogue services, adult education and political action. Its kosher supervision label, the OU, is the world’s most recognized kosher symbol and can be found on over 220,000 products in 62 countries around the globe.

December 15, 2004 - Park East Synagogue

American Zionist Movement, Bnai Zion, Conference of President of Major Jewish Organizations, Haddasah, Jewsih Community Relations Council, Jewish National Fund, Midstream


Commemoration of the Life of



Born in Budapest, Hungary, on May 2, 1860, Theodor Herzl was educated in the spirit of the German-Jewsih "Enlightenment." In 1878 the family moved to Vienna where Herzl received his doctorate in law and worked for a short while in courts in Vienna and Salzburg. Within a year, he left law and devoted himself to writing.

While in Paris in 1891 as the correspondent for the New Free Press (Vienna), he witnessed the rise of anti-Semitism after the court martial of Alfred Dreyfus. Herzl became convinced that the only solution to the Jewish problem was the creation of a haven for the Jews: a national home in Palestine.

In his 1896 pamphlet The Jewish State, Herzl was the first to call for immediate political action. He convened the first Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, in August 1897, which adopted the Basel Program and established the World Zionist Organization to help lay the foundation for the proposed Jewish state. Herzl was elected president of the Organization and chaired the first Zionist congresses. During his remaining years he met with world leaders, trying to enlist support for a Jewish state. Herzl died in 1904 before his dream could become reality.

In 1949 his remains were transferred to a mountain in western Jerusalem, which became known as Mount Herzl, and is today a major military cemetery.

Source: Program of the Commemoration

Welcome and introductions by Rabbi Arthur Schneier
Park East Synagogue
President, Appeal of Conscience Foundation
Honorary President, Religious Zionists of America

Ambassador Dr. Gábor Horváth
Consul General of the Republic of Hungary

POSTINGS: Sephardic Congregation Plans a New Home; A Synagogue for East 58th St. 

Published: February 28, 1999, Sunday 

About 15 years ago, a group of Persian Sephardic Jews who had left Iran and settled in New York started a small congregation that used the facilities of the Park East Synagogue on East 67th Street. 
Over the years, the congregation, which describes itself as ''modern Orthodox,'' has grown to about 200 members. ''We decided it was time we had a synagogue of our own,'' said Kayvan Hakim, a developer, manager and owner of real estate in New York and California. And so demolition will begin in April on a vacant building at 128-130 East 58th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues. And construction is scheduled to begin this summer on a $12 million, 13-story building that is to be a synagogue and much more for what is to be known as the Park Avenue Sephardic Congregation. 

The building, designed by Marvin H. Meltzer of Meltzer/Mandl Architects in Manhattan, is to have a two-story main sanctuary for 400 worshipers; a smaller mezzanine chapel seating 50 for weekday morning and afternoon services; a 3,000-square-foot banquet room with kitchen facilities; conference rooms; a gymnasium, and a swimming pool. 

Seven floors of the building are planned for a co-ed high school for an as-yet-undetermined number of students. ''We are talking to several schools to see if they can run the program for us,'' said David Eshaghian, a member of the congregation's steering committee who is a real estate owner, manager and developer in Manhattan. ''It will be a Jewish high school for students with all kinds of backgrounds and all kinds of knowledge of Judaism, with both secular and religious education.'' 

Mr. Hakim said that the synagogue's goal would be to bring ''Sephardic Jews from all backgrounds, Persian, Turkish, Syrian, Moroccan and others, under one roof -- but we will also encourage membership from the city's large Ashkenazic community; we want to remove barriers, not put them up.'' 

A fund-raising campaign is continuing. ''We need more pledges to get started,'' he said. 

From 1981 to early 1987, the 58th Street site was home to the Roman Catholic Chapel of Saints Faith, Hope and Charity. Before that it was the Fine Arts Theater, a movie house. Mr. Hakim said that he and his family bought the building from the Archdiocese of New York two years ago for ''less than $2 million'' and are donating it to the congregation. 

Mr. Meltzer, the architect, said that he wanted to give the building the identity of a Jewish religious institution, ''in a powerful but subtle way.'' 

''That's where the idea of a glass wall with a subtle design of a Jewish star as the most significant part came from,'' he said. ''It's a tall, thin building, and the Jewish star is up high because 58th Street is heavily trafficked, with trucks always parked there. It will be lit from the inside so people will be aware of it at night.'' 

Mr. Meltzer has synagogue experience. ''I grew up in St. Paul, where my father was an Orthodox rabbi,'' he said, ''and for my college thesis I designed a synagogue for him. It was never built, but it put me on the road to being an architect.'' 

Published: 02 - 28 - 1999 , Late Edition - Final , Section 11 , Column 1 , Page 1 

Copyright New York Times.