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The logo for Brooklyn Jewish Heritage Initiative whose mission is to Organize Public Events, Create Oral & Video Histories, Provide Resources to the Brooklyn Jewish Community

Brooklyn Jewish
Historical Initiative

Brooklyn Heights

The story of Jewish Brooklyn began in 1654, when Asher Levy, a Sephardi Jew from Recife, Brazil, was among the first Jews to arrive in New York City. Levy was also the first member of the tribe to invest in property in Brooklyn, setting in motion two trends that have reached a zenith in 2018: Brooklyn real estate madness (in trendy neighborhoods, seven-figure home prices are routine) and Jewish community.


The Brooklyn Heights Synagogue

Brooklyn has been called, in the past, the Borough of Churches.  This was particularly true of Brooklyn Heights, which  has several historic and beautiful churches of several denominations. The community did not have an active Jewish community until around 60 years ago.  The Brooklyn Heights Synagogue, a reform congregation, was established in 1959 and outgrew its first building on Remsen Street, moving into two larger buildings also located on Remsen Street.  The original building  was sold to the Orthodox community which now houses the Chabad as well.  A conservative congregation is now well settled in Cadman Plaza. All three communicate well and belong to the Brooklyn Heights Clergy Coalition.