A West Bronx shul may close, and an era along with it.
“It gets late early” in the Bronx, said Yogi Berra. The Bronx had more Jews than Israel in 1948, and likely more shuls than Jerusalem, but, within 15 years, those who stayed, stayed too late. The borough “changed.”
New York magazine has a great chart comparing two adjacent New York City congressional districts in this week's issue. One is District 14, which includes all of the Upper East Side, parts of Murray Hill, Long Island City, Astoria, and a few other less affluent places too. The other is District 16, just north of the Upper East Side, and covers much of the South Bronx. The stats they line up are startling: the average income in District 14 is $79,385; in D-16 it's $23,073.
As holiday quiet hung over the Bronx neighborhood of Pelham Parkway early Monday morning, one of the few places bustling with activity was Congregation Sons of Israel on Cruger Avenue.
There, shouts of “Siman Tov U’Mazel Tov” echoed as a packed room celebrated dual milestones: The bar mitzvah of one congregant and the 90th birthday of another. After back-to-back aliyot, the two joined Rabbi Moshe Fuchs and other congregants in song and dance that harkened back to another era.