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236 Kane Street / Brooklyn, NY 11231 / 718 875-1550

Kane Street Synagogue gets $750K to restore façade

By Francesca Norsen Tate, Brooklyn Eagle. Originally published May 5, 2015.

The Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust has awarded Kane Street Synagogue $750,000 to restore the façade, including the east and west towers, of its historic sanctuary. Synagogue member Amy Goldman Fowler, trustee of the trust, informed the synagogue of the award on March 27.

The grant continues a history of Goldman family generosity to Kane Street, which included a $1 million gift made by Lillian Goldman, as trustee of the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust Fund of the Sol and Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, used for the reconstruction of the synagogue’s community building. Upon completion of the reconstruction in 2004, the building was re-named the Sol and Lillian Goldman Educational Center. It now serves as home to Kane Street Kids, the synagogue’s pre-school, the synagogue’s after-school Hebrew school and its adult learning center.

In announcing this grant, longtime member and past President Judith R. Greenwald noted, “Architectural critic and Columbia University Professor Francis Morrone, in his book, ‘Architectural Guidebook to Brooklyn,’ compliments Kane Street Synagogue, calling the Congregation ‘the proud steward of this fine building.’ The loyalty and devotion of member Amy Goldman Fowler and her parents, members Sol and Lillian Goldman, and indeed three generations of Goldman family members, which include Sol Goldman’s parents, Fannie and Louis Goldman, are to be thanked for helping us deserve that compliment.”

The grant is viewed by the congregation as a giant first step toward the complete renovation and preservation of its acclaimed sacred space.

Formed 159 years ago in 1856, Kane Street Synagogue, officially Congregation Baith Israel Anshei Emes, is a conservative, egalitarian congregation in the heart of Brownstone Brooklyn. It constructed its first synagogue in 1862 at the corner of State Street and Boerum Place. That structure was the first synagogue to be built on all of Long Island.

In 1905 the congregation acquired its present Kane Street home, a Romanesque Revival building erected 160 years ago in 1855 by the Middle Reformed Protestant Dutch Church.

The synagogue acquired the premises from its then owner, the German Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Church of South Brooklyn. Notable architectural features of the sanctuary interior include ribbed cross vaults, 23 stained glass windows and the Holy Ark, originally built for the congregation’s Boerum Place home. Shabbat morning services are held weekly in the sanctuary.

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