The Sutton Place Synagogue has been considered the Jewish Center for the United Nations since 1965. Its congregation dates to 1901, when the synagogue was held in a loft above a blacksmith's shop. Since relocating to 51st Street near the United Nations, the synagogue has actively participated in the international and political community, as well as holding the Jewish Town Hall Lecture Series (featuring speakers such as Elie Wiesel, Henry Kissinger, and Isaac Bashevis Singer) since the 1980s. In addition to regular services, a participatory musical service is held on the second Friday of each month.
The congregation of Sutton Place Synagogue was originally incorporated in 1901 as the "Beth Hamedrash Hacodosh Talmud Torah" Congregation. It was formed by Jews in a neighborhood within the German and Irish community of East Midtown Manhattan. The synagogue was located in a loft above a blacksmith's shop at 401 East 50th Street until 1906, when it moved into a building on East 51st Street purchased from the Congregation Orach Chaim. Under the spiritual leadership of Rabbi David B. Kahane, the congregation became the conservative East 51st Street Synagogue in the 1950s. Rabbi Kahane (leader from 1949-1993) began the Jewish Town Hall Lecture Series, as well as High Holy Day Services for Singles. In 1965, United Nations Secretary General U-Thant recognized the synagogue as the Jewish Center for the United Nations for its active participation in the international and political community
On September 3, 1976, the present Sutton Place Synagogue opened at 225 East 51st Street. Elie Wiesel, Henry Kissinger, and Isaac Bashevis Singer are three of the many speakers to participate in the Jewish Town Hall Lecture Series at Sutton Place Synagogue since 1981. In 2001, a new religious school was opened, featuring a nursery school and educational programs. The building was refurbished by Israeli craftsmen and included a rooftop playground and garden overlooking the waterfall of Greenacre Park. An outreach program, the PJ Library, mails monthly shipments of children's literature and music to Jewish families in the area.
"History and Vision." Sutton Place Synagogue. Accessed Web, 5/6/17. https://spsnyc.org/about-us/history-vision.
"Sutton Place Synagogue." Manhattan Sideways. Accessed Web, 5/6/17. http://sideways.nyc/2014/09/sutton-place-synagogue.