Where is the Fifth Avenue Synagogue?

Just where is that Fifth Avenue Synagogue, called by the New York Post shortly after the Madoff-Merkin scandals broke, the "Temple of Doom?"

Someone we know was invited to a life-cycle event at the Orthodox Fifth Avenue Synagogue but ended up at the Reform Temple Emanuel looking for the simcha.

How did that happen? Well Emanuel is actually on Fifth Avenue at 65th Street. And it really does look like a formidable synagogue. It is "the largest house of Jewish worship in the world." (See the picture.)

The Fifth Avenue Synagogue is not on 5th Avenue. It is on 62nd Street.

And the Fifth Avenue Synagogue does not look like a formidable house of worship. It looks like a modest row house with odd-shaped windows.

Now, there is nothing wrong with naming a place "Fifth Avenue" even if it is not actually on Fifth Avenue. Saks Fifth Avenue has its main store on Fifth Avenue. But its branches in New Jersey are still called Saks Fifth Avenue. That makes them sound fancy and upscale, and that is the point.

Saks also has an "Off Fifth" store in the Bergen Mall in Paramus where they sell discounted fancy and upscale merchandise.

So for the record, in case you are looking for it: The Fifth Avenue Synagogue is off Fifth Avenue at 62nd Street. But just because it is off Fifth, don't expect any discounts or bargains on anything classy there. (Repost from 1/2/09)


Nachum said...

The Young Israel of Fifth Avenue was at 3 West 16th Street.

It's still there, but has changed its name to "The Sixteenth Street Synagogue." There was an ugly falling out when the National Council of Young Israel, whose headquarters was at the same address, attempted to sell the building and shut down the synagogue. The synagogue sued, and eventually the building was bought by one of the congregants. The National Council moved elsewhere and the synagogue struck off on its own.

Anonymous said...

The bargains are free kiddush luncheons for the indigent masses yearning to breathe free; brunch with the rabbi; free classes; free dignity; free services, and most of all, free coat checking!!!

Where's the line?