Congregation Talmud Torah Adereth El was established in 1857. It has the distinctionof being New York's oldest synagogue in its original location with continuous services. Founded four years before the Civil War, the history of Adereth El is intertwined with thatof New York City. Rabbi Sidney Kleiman OB"M served as the Rabbi of Congregation Talmud Torah Adereth El from 1939 – 1999. He continued attending services daily as Rabbi Emeritus until his passing at the age of 100 in the Spring of 2013. For more than a decade, Rabbi Gideon Shloush has infused the shul with his energy and creativity, and Adereth El is experiencing a wonderful renaissance. The Synagogue plays a vital role in New York's Jewish community. Adereth El serves the neighborhood through daily prayer services, weekly learning and outreach programs, an array of Shabbat activities, welcoming guests from around the world, providing assistance to those with loved ones in area hospitals
Adereth El's current membership reflects the diversity of its neighborhood, Murray Hill. During the work week, many Jewish businessmen with nearby offices pray at the synagogue. The congregation now includes a number of young, single members due to the growing popularity of Murray Hill with this population. Of note, many Adereth El members are students and faculty at the nearby New York University (NYU) medical center. The synagogue’s proximity to the hospital also brings in many hospital patients’ visitors as guests at Adereth El services. In fact, the synagogue typically has multiple weekly baby-naming ceremonies due to the large number of labor and delivery visitors. Additionally, due to Adereth El’s location near Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, many Stern students regularly attend the synagogue’s services.
The history of Congregation Adereth El is quite colorful and gives us an opportunity to look at the life and times of a Congregation as it struggles and grows in the most exciting city in the world. It is a reflection of the progress and accomplishments of New York Jews for 150 years. It is also an opportunity to look at and remember the names of men and women who have come and gone and yet whose mark lives on in the energies they gave to the Synagogue they loved.
The Text was written by Rabbi Sidney Kleiman and Andre S. Marx to be included in the 100th Anniversary Journal that was distributed at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on October 27, 1957. Not only did the authors undertake the massive job of reviewing the records and minutes of a century's worth of meetings, but it is obvious that they also did extensive field investigation in the community and at the records offices of New York City.