With Our Thanks:

-Former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz
-Former NY City Councilman Michael C. Nelson

Councilmembers: -Darlene Mealy, Stephen Levin, Chaim Deutsch, David Greenfield

-Jim Goldman, Charles Diker, Lloyd Handwerker, Hon Alice Fisher Rubin, Lowell Rubin, Raoul Felder bhs-logo2

BJHI Tours


Meet Your Tour Guides:


Judith R. Greenwald, Esq.


Ellen Levitt


Sarina Roffé


Ron Schweiger

Judith Greenwald

A resident of downtown Brooklyn since 1965, Judith Greenwald is the historian and archivist of Congregation Baith Israel Anshei Emes, a/k/a Kane Street Synagogue, where she has been an active member for 50 years. She wrote the history of the 161-year old conservative synagogue, “The First 144 Years of Congregation Baith Israel Anshei Emes” which was in the collection of essays in the Jews of Brooklyn (University Press of New England, 2002), edited by Ilana Abramovitch and Sean Galvin.Judith R. Greenwald is a graduate of Barnard College and Columbia Law School.

Ellen Levitt

As lifelong resident of Brooklyn, Ellen Levitt is the author of six books, including The Lost Synagogues of Brooklyn (2009), The Lost Synagogues of the Bronx and Queens (2011) and The Lost Synagogues of Manhattan (2013), all published by Avotaynu, the scholarly publisher of Judaic history and genealogy titles. Ms. Levitt has given walking, biking and bus tours on Lost Synagogues in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx. She has spoken on this topic for various groups including the Jewish Genealogical Society of NY, the East Bronx History Forum, Ateret Avot and several synagogue groups. She was a research consultant for the recent exhibit on Jewish Newark history for the Jewish Museum of New Jersey. Ms Levitt is also the author of Walking Manhattan (2015), published by Wilderness Press. In addition her freelance written articles and essays have appeared in several print and online publications, including the New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Teacher, the Jerusalem Post, Your Teen Magazine, Writers Weekly, and others. She exhibited more than 20 black-and-white photographs at the Brooklyn Historical Society in 2005-06, and one of her photographs was part of the BHS exhibit on Hurricane Sandy. A Murrow High School graduate, she earned her BA at Barnard College and her MA in History at Brooklyn College. A 20 veteran social studies teacher, Ms Levitt lives with her family in Midwood.

Sarina Roffe

A journalist, Sarina Roffé has published three books and hundreds of articles in journals, newspapers and magazines as well as many recipes. She specializes in Sephardic history, culture and genealogy and is recognized internationally for her research on Sephardic Jews.Her upcoming book Branching Out from Sepharad traces Sephardic Jews from Spain to the Levant to the Americas over 500 years. Backyard Kitchen: Meditterrannean Salads, is the first in a series of cookbooks, and reflects her grandmother’s influence as the first Syrian Jewish caterer in Brooklyn. Ms. Roffé’s recipes have been included in the New York Times, the New York Times Jewish Cookbook, Joan Nathan’s Jewish Cooking in America (Beardsley Award). She also wrote "Food and Drink, Modern Period: Syria.” Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World (Brill, Leiden, 2014), publishes an online blog and launched Sarina’s Sephardic Cuisine, an iPhone cooking app. Her volunteer activities include Co-Chair of the Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative, serving on the board of Jewish Gen Board of Governors, and as President of the Sephardic Heritage Project. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Ms. Roffé holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Maryland in College Park, an MA in Jewish Studies from Touro College, and an MBA from SUNY Empire College.

Ron Schweiger

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Ron Schweiger is the official Brooklyn Borough Historian, appointed in 00 by then Borough President Marty Markowitz.A teacher, he has conducted walking tours, bus tours and given lectures of Brooklyn’s historic neighborhoods and famous Brooklynites for 37 years. Mr. Schweiger was an official tour guide in 1983 for the Brooklyn Bridge centennial celebration. In 2008, when the Brooklyn Bridge had its125th anniversary, Mr. Schweiger gave tours on the Bridge and was the media spokesperson for NYC & Co. While the famed Kings theater was being renovated, he gave tours and was interviewed by various news outlets. . Mr. Schweiger has contributed to numerous books on Brooklyn history. His volunteer activities include serving on the BJHI Board, President of Temple Beth Emeth v'Ohr Progressive Shaari Zedek (2004-2009), and President of the Society of Old Brooklynites (2013-2015). Mr. Schweiger received both his BA and MA from Brooklyn College, where he chaired the Alumni Association (2011-2015).



Lost Synagogues of Williamsburg and Nearby Type: Walking Duration: 2 hours with stops along the way Date & Time: 2, August @ 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM Guide: Ellen Levitt Meet at: Grand Street Campus High School/Eastern District High School 850 Grand Street Main entrance by sidewalk *The Grand Street Station on the L train is closest Cost: $15 per person ______ Exploring Victorian Flatbush Type: Walking Tour Duration: 3 hours with stops along the way Guide: Ron Schweiger, Brooklyn Borough Historian Highlights: Walk through Brooklyn’s historic neighborhoods of Victorian Flatbush and see the magnificent homes in Ditmas Park, Ditmas Park West, Beverly Square West, and Prospect Heights South. What movies and TV shows have been filmed here? What role did Thomas Edison play in the building of these homes? Learn about the how the neighborhoods were developed, the architecture, unique features and famous people who lived in these homes. Meet at: Cortelyou Rd Q train station ______ Exploring Lost Synagogues and Jewish Sites (Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Brownsville, and parts of East Flatbush) Guide: Ellen Levitt Tour Type: Bicycle Tour Duration: 2.5 hours with stops along the way Highlights: Temple Isaac; Brooklyn Jewish Hospital; Shaari Zedek; Ahavath Reyim; Congregation Petach Tikvah; Men of Justice; Parkway Theater; Congregation Adath Yeshurun; Hebrew Ladies Day Nursery; HES (Hebrew Educational Society); Anshei Radishkowitz; B’nai Israel and others Meet at: Brooklyn Museum ______ Exploring Lost Synagogues and Jewish sites - Flatbush and East Flatbush Guide: Ellen Levitt Tour Type: Bicycle Tour Duration: 2.5 hours with stops along the way Highlights: Prospect Park Jewish Center, Woodruff Avenue Temple, Shaare Torah, Kesser Torah, Judea Center and yeshiva, Glenwood Jewish Center, Shaare Israel, Jewish Center of Hyde Park, Beth Israel, Rishon L’Tzion and a few others Meet at: Prospect Park subway train station (B/Q/S trains, the Brighton Line) we will bike south and east to explore these neighborhoods and their Jewish past. ____ Exploring Williamsburg and northern Bedford-Stuyvesant Guide: Ellen Levitt Tour Type: Bicycle or Walking Tour Duration: 2.5 hours with a stop Highlights: Beth Israel; Bialystoker Bikur Cholim; Daughters of Zion; Israel Elioe Brethren of Yale; New Hebrew School of Brooklyn; Ohev Sholom (one of the oldest Brooklyn former synagogues); Ahawath Scholom Beth Aron; Tifereth Israel; Free Hebrew Burial Society for the Poor of Brooklyn; B’nai Jacob Joseph and others Meet at: Grand Street Academy by the L train station ___ Midwood/Flatbush Synagogue Bus Tour Type: Bus Tour Duration: 3 hours Guide: Ron Schweiger, Brooklyn Borough Historian Highlights: Jewish Centers played a unique role as the center of Jewish life for many years, combining school, synagogue and social events under one roof. See the insides of three remarkable synagogues and Jewish centers in Midwood and Flatbush - Flatbush Jewish Center, Temple Beth Emeth v’Ohr Progressive Shaari Zedek and East Midwood Jewish Center. Learn unique features, architectural highlights, interesting anecdotes and about their spiritual leaders. Meet location will be emailed to particpants _____ Sephardic Brooklyn - From Bensonhurst to Flatbush Type:  Walking with use of public transportation (Bring a metro card) Duration: 3 hours with stops Guide: Sarina Roffé, Sephardic Heritage Project Highlights: Learn about the people and places of Brooklyn’s Syrian Jewish community beginning with the landmarked Magen David Congregation, and the surrounding neighborhood. The tour guide will discuss the history of this community, and its organization. Then hop on the Kings Highway bus to the main food shopping area in Flatbush where you will find peruse food stores, bakeries and Kosher restaurants, filled with Arab and Hebrew speakers. Explore the magnificent homes, Sephardic synagogues, including the magnificent Congregation Shaare Zion, schools and community centers. Meet at: 18TH  Avenue station of the N Train