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THOU SHALT NOT FORGET THE JEWS OF HARLEM
Black Jews started forming Harlem congregations in the 1910s, based on the conviction that Africans were descended from ancient Hebrews and that Christianity was a religion imposed on them during enslavement in America. But few traces of their presence remain in the neighborhood.
Last month the documentary filmmaker Marlaine Glicksman stood outside that group’s elaborate former synagogue, an 1890s brick town house on West 123rd Street at Mount Morris Park West that was originally built for a baking-soda tycoon. The congregation, amid controversy among factions, sold it to a developer in 2007. (The writers James Fenton and Darryl Pinckney are now turning it into their home.)