NEW YORK - It was built in sweeping Moorish architectural style nearly a century ago and hosted Yossele Rosenblatt’s glass-shattering chazzanus.
On Thursday, the New York State Board for Historic Preservation recommended that Congregation Ohab Zedek, a Manhattan shul originally formed for Jews of Hungarian heritage, be added to a state and federal list of historic sites.
Along with 22 additional properties, resources and districts across the New York, the formally named First Hungarian Congregation Ohab Zedek but commonly referred to as “OZ” will be eligible to apply for a variety of benefits if the State and National Registers approves its listing.
Ohab Zedek was built in 1926, a period when New York City was becoming one of the world’s major Jewish population centers. Rabbi Hillel Klein, zt”l, Dayan on Chief Rabbi Harav Yaakov Joseph’s beis din and his assistant, was Rav of the kehillah – which was founded decades earlier – for around 35 years until his petirah in 1926, the same year that the current shul was built.
Yossele Rosenblatt, z”l, who had served for 15 years as the chazzan in the shul’s previous home, rejoined in 1929.
The State and National Registers are the official lists of buildings, structures, districts, landscapes, objects and sites significant in the history, architecture, archeology and culture of New York State and the nation. There are more than 120,000 such sites throughout the state.
Once the recommendations are approved by the state historic preservation officer, the properties are listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places and then nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, where they are reviewed and, once approved, entered on the National Register.
Other sites recommended for the listing includes the Landing Historic District in Coeymans. First settled by Barent Pieterze Coeymans in 1673, the Landing is one of the state’s oldest continuously occupied settlement. Also on the list is Lady Tree Lodge in Saranac Inn. The 1896 building served as the summer home for New York Gov. Charles Evans Hughes in 1908 and 1909.