Nachum Segal Network Inaugurates New Studios After Fire

By Reuvain Borchardt

Opening day at the new Nachum Segal Network studio on the Lower East Side, Thursday. (NSN/Shimon Gifter)

NEW YORK — Last Thursday began as has every other weekday morning of the last 40 years on the Lower East Side of Manhattan: the sun rose over the East River, not a bird chirped nor a cricket sang, many horns honked and traffic snarled. And at exactly 6:05 a.m., an ebullient voice bellowed over the airwaves, “Good morning, my name is Nachum Segal, you’re listening to the Jewish Moments in the Morning radio program.”

But this time, Segal, the legendary Jewish radio pioneer, disc jockey, and talk-show host, was broadcasting from a brand-new studio, almost a year to the day after his old studio was devastated by fire.

The electrical fire on March 27, 2022, completely destroyed the studio at 551 Grand Street that Segal had been using since 2002.

The Nachum Segal Network, which has always subsisted on listener funding through online campaigns, immediately launched an emergency fundraising drive, which netted over $200,000.

“The listeners have always come through and support the work that I do,” Segal told Hamodia during a phone interview Tuesday from Jerusalem, where he is broadcasting from a temporary studio. “And this time they came through big time.”

Segal spent the past year broadcasting from a temporary space in Teaneck, N.J., while rebuilding his studio at 551 Grand. The other broadcasters on the Nachum Segal Network did their shows from home studios, where many of them had anyway been broadcasting from since the start of the Covid pandemic.

In addition to rebuilding the Manhattan studio, Segal decided to build a new one in Teaneck as well. With the two fresh studios, he’s looking to have more of his network’s hosts broadcast in-studio and expand the brand.

“With our rebuilt studio in Manhattan and a brand new one in the vibrant Teaneck community, we hope to make our virtual global entity become a physical global entity,” he says.

At the grand opening of the Manhattan studio Thursday, March 23, 2023, a small slice of the many Jewish A-listers who have participated in “JM in the AM” broadcasts over the decades stopped by to participate and wish Segal well, including state Sen. Simcha Felder, composer/singer Eli Gerstner, Hamodia publisher and Project Witness Founder Mrs. Ruth Lichtenstein, NYPD Inspector Richie Taylor, and long-time listeners, friends and supporters. Rav Berel Feinstein, shlita, rosh yeshiva of Mesivta Tifereth Jeruslaem, installed the mezuzah on the new studio, just as his father Rav Dovid, zt”l, did in 2002.

“Nachum Segal is not just a Jewish but a New York institution,” political consultant Michael Fragin, who has a show on the NSN, told Hamodia after the grand opening. “Even after four decades, he remains a vital part of life in the Big Apple.”

The new Teaneck studio had its grand opening Friday.

“The network feels rejuvenated, energized and full of exuberance,” Segal says, “and ready for the next 40 years.”

Many things have changed in the world since 1983: Pickles sold out of buckets on the Lower East Side cost more than a nickel. Nobody has to adjust their antenna now to listen to Nachum Segal, who broadcasts not on radio but online. Segal runs not just a show, but an entire network of Jewish hosts. The HASC concert, which he has emcee’d for decades, has revolutionized live Jewish music.

But there have been some constants: Joe Biden still holds political office. Russian aggression still threatens the world. MBD is still the King of Jewish Music.

And every weekday morning, at exactly 6:00 a.m., the sounds of Regesh’s Modeh Ani over the airwaves begins to rouse Jews cross the country, and five minutes later, a large man with a larger smile and even larger voice begins to ring in the new day.

Rav Berel Feinstein, shlita, installing the mezuzah on the new studio. (NSN/Shimon Gifter)
State Sen. Simcha Felder, at right. (NSN/Shimon Gifter)

NYPD Inspector Riche Taylor. (NSN/Shimon Gifter)

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