The synagogue, of the oldest in the United States, was established in 1887 in the Lower East End, by Jews from Eastern Europe, who immigrated to the United States. For six years community members from the congregation of the Kahal Adath Jeshurun collected the money to build the synagogue, that was built with 3 wings. After the money needed was collected, they turned to Peter and Francis William Herter, the architects, to design the building in the Mori-style.
The synagogue was a successful Jewish Center, especially between 1900-1940. In those years, the synagogue was used as an absorption center for immigrants who were just arriving in the United States. In addition to religious services, community-oriented events took place here as well, like the collection and donation of money the Jewish State of Israel.
With time, many of the community members left the area, and immigration limits limited the number of immigrants who were arriving in New York. The Great Depression did not help the situation of the Jewish community, and with time the synagogue was closed for lack of resources to take care of it.
In 1986 a non-profit organization was established called "Project Eldridge Street," to return the building to its former educational, cultural, and community activities. The renovation ended on December 2, 2007, at the cost of $20 million. It was open to the wide public under the current museum name. The Jewish community worked hard to get it to its current situation so it can be accepted as a National Historic Monument.
Today, the building has a modest synagogue and a wonderful museum with guided tours and activities for children. You can also look through the museum archive of genealogy, and see if any of your relatives were members of this synagogue.