Congregation Anshei, Roosevelt, NJ

The town of Roosevelt, which just celebrated its 75th anniversary, has a very interesting history. It was founded in the 1930s as part of a WPA project to move recent immigrants, largely Jews from the Lower East Side, to a farming cooperative type of living. The architecture of the town is largely Bauhaus-style residences. The original buildings were designed by architect and planner Alfred Kastner, although his assistant, a young Louis I. Kahn, is another reason why this community is significant to fans of modern architecture.

There are few commercial structures, although there is a utilitarian town hall and a Bauhaus-style school. The school has a Ben Shahn mural from 1936-37 and a large bust of FDR next to the school and done by his son. Both Shahns lived in the town.







The synagogue in town is a later addition from 1955-56. It was designed by Nathan Nadler, who moved to Roosevelt with his family in 1938 as one of the early settlers. He eventually moved to Florida and worked as an architect there until his death in 2006.

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2 Responses to Congregation Anshei, Roosevelt, NJ

  1. The Roosevelt synagogue is one of the most exuberant MCM structures I have ever seen! This is a building with relatively simple, but fun design elements. I heard that the congregation was not doing well some years ago, but the building looks like it is being cared for lovingly especially the landscaping.

    • Herbert Celler says:

      My father was the mason who built this building in 1955 1956 I remember it well. I still have pictures of it going up

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