New York, NY – New iPhone App Breathes New Life Into LES Eldridge Street Synagogue

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    Max Smith, a congregant at the Eldridge Street Synagogue, had his oral history recorded 20 years ago. He died in 2009. Photo: DNAinfoNew York, NY – Want to hear an oral history of the 125-year-old Eldridge Street Synagogue located on the Lower East Side? There’s a free iPhone app for that.

    Thanks to the work of former synagogue interns and recent NYU Tisch School of the Arts graduates Carlin Wragg and Anna Pinkas, iPhone users will now be able to select from 19 archival recordings featuring fond, personal recollections of congregants – many of whom are deceased – which were previously recorded on audio tapes in the 1980s and 1990s.

    DNAinfo.com reports (http://bit.ly/TZNvxN) that Wragg and Pinkas synced all of the recordings to the shul’s floor plan, so visitors can choose an area of the synagogue they want to learn about and listen to the corresponding recording. According to Wragg, the app uses “cutting-edge interactive technology to guide you along a sonic pathway of voices, music, and environmental sounds, exposing the synagogue’s architectural treasures, fascinating history, and long musical tradition.”

    “All of these recordings of people, many of whom have passed away, were members of this landmark,” said Amy Stein-Milford, the deputy director of the Museum on Eldridge Street which oversees the shul. “They are utilizing these amazing oral histories that have been locked away, literally, on tapes.”

    The “Storywalks” iPhone map tour will be available as of December 6.


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