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The William Portner Memorial Exhibit on Jewish Life at Eastern State

The restored Alfred W. Fleisher Memorial Synagogue and the companion exhibit on Jewish life at Eastern State Penitentiary are open to the public during all public hours.

Alfred W. Fleisher Memorial Synagogue

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The William Portner Memorial Exhibit on Jewish Life at Eastern State

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Before the Restoration



The Eastern State synagogue prior to preliminary preservation work carried out during Summer 2004. Visible amidst the ruins are the Torah Ark (background) and Reader’s Table (foreground).

An Eastern State intern works on clearing out the approximately six inches of debris that covered the floor of the synagogue. This painstaking process involved dividing the interior space into sections and using brushes and trowels to “excavate” the layers of debris.

The Eastern State synagogue after the excavation was nearly complete. Samples of decorative plaster and paint fragments that were found during the excavation are visible on the floor.

To learn more about the history of the synagogue and the restoration process please see our Saving ESP Synagogue Stabilization Page.