The student who maps Manhattan’s old shuls

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The student who maps Manhattan’s old shuls

Twitter account set up to chart the delis and nail salons of today while educating readers as to the synagogues there before.

A synagogue used to be here
A synagogue used to be here

A Texas student is gaining online followers after deciding to showcase on Twitter the locations of former synagogues across Manhattan, typically depicting one every day.

Amy Shreeve is behind a Twitter account called ‘This Used to Be a Synagogue’ (@OldShulSpots), which charts the delis and nail salons of today while educating readers as to the synagogues there before.

The history student started the account as an academic project on memory and location after accessing a public database from the Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute at the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan.

The database lists more than 1,000 names and addresses of past and present Manhattan synagogues and Jewish organisations. Shreeve “geocoded” the details to automatically show Google Streetview images of the sites.

She told JPost she was “curious about naming patterns and mapping out where people came from” and “interested in thinking about the geography of Eastern Europe and seeing how people organised in New York based on where they came from”.


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