The Shmooze

Estee Lauder’s Synagogue Gets a Facelift

By Michael Kaminer

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Estee Lauder and her parents once worshiped at Congregation Tifereth Israel in Corona, Queens — the borough’s oldest synagogue. So it’s about time that the century-old wooden shul is getting a makeover.

The landmarked building, “a rare survivor of the earliest vernacular synagogues in the borough” according to Crain’s NY Business, will undergo a major renovation that will “first strip away the building’s stucco coating and then restore the original clapboard, as well as its wooden windows and doors. Also to be restored will be the building’s Moorish-style metal domes and finials, as well as its paint colors.”

The synagogue, Crain’s reports, has been revitalized in recent years by Bukharan Jews. Money for the project came from a variety of sources, starting with $1.1 million in New York City capital funding allocated by Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. The project also received a $200,000 restoration grant from the New York state Environmental Protection Fund, according to Crain’s.

Philanthropists — including Leonard Lauder, son of Estee, and hotelier Sam Domb — kicked n another $360,000, Crain’s says.


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