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(This series of photographs of Harlem Synagogues accompanies a written essay by the same name. The photographs were taken in July 2011. Captions accompany the series to give some brief information on the synagogues.)
One Tisha B'Av afternoon in the late-80s, photographer and filmmaker Judah S. Harris took a walk in Harlem in search of some of the synagogues that once existed in this former Jewish neighborhood.
Written a decade ago (2006), his essay "Where Synagogues Once Stood" documents his exploration of the places where synagogues once stood, both in New York City and also in Jerusalem, where the grandest of synagogues once welcomed an entire people.
"Visiting the places where synagogues once stood, where Jewish communities once thrived... can be one way of internalizing the meaning of Tisha B'Av, especially if the structures — their exterior architecture and Hebrew inscriptions — still remain visible but the life within them does not."
Read the essay or listen to the podcast version:
Photography by Judah S. Harris