Our History

The Miracle Synagogue

The menacing clouds of war erupted into World War II in September, 1939, bringing with it the horrors of the Holocaust and the murder of six million Jews and the total destruction of the great Jewish communities of Nazi dominated Europe, It was at that moment in history that a small group of survivors gathered in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn to begin Jewish life anew and created a Synagogue. These survivors were so grateful for having miraculously survived the evil of Nazi persecution, that they named the new congregation, Machane Chodosh, a new camp; a new beginning.

Machane Chodosh Main Sanctuary, Forest Hills 108th St
2016 Machane Chodosh Main Sanctuary, Forest Hills 108th St

It was in rented facilities that the fledgling congregation began to develop, and culminated in the building of a new Synagogue on Carroll Street hi Brooklyn. It was truly a miracle! The Shul thrived beyond anything imagined, but its growth was short lived. Sudden and drastic neighborhood changes threatened the very existence of the congregation. Many beautiful Synagogues were afflicted in this manner, and so many unfortunately succumbed.

Only a bold and courageous act could save the Shul, and that was to move the entire congregation to a new location. The leadership of the Shul saw a viable chance in Forest Hills, and began to explore the possibility. While still retaining the Brooklyn Synagogue, Services on the High Holy Days were held in Forest Hills beginning in 1968. It was a huge success. Hundreds of worshippers filled the rented quarters., and most immediately became members. It was a miracle! Plans were formulated to buy the property needed to build a new Synagogue. But there was practically nothing suitable available.

It was then, as a result of the sheerest coincidence, MIRACLE, is a better word, that the property on 108th Street, between 67th Road and 67th Drive became available. The rest reads like a page straight from the Bible. In September, 1979, the new Synagogue was dedicated with all the gratitude, joy and dignity appropriate for such an illustrious occasion. The Orthodox Union recognized the tremendous efforts of relocating an entire Shul at its 94th Anniversary National Convention, in December, 1992, and presented to the Congregation its National Synagogue Achievement Award.

The new Synagogue in Forest Hills reflects to this day the feeling of its members depicted in its cornerstoae:

In Memory of the Holy Congregations Who Gave Their Lives for the Sattctiftcation of the Divine Name.

On November 7, 1999 the corners of 108th Street and 67th Road were officially renamed as Holocaust Memorial Corners, by an act of the Mayor of New York, the Hon. Rudolph Guliani and the City Council of the City of New York. More than a thousand persons attended the Dedication Ceremony which was graced by leading national, state and city dignitaries.

Machane Chodosh is deeply involved in every facet of support for the State of Israel, It is a major participant for Israel Bonds, and numerous Jewish institutions and causes. Two ambulances for the Red Magen David for Israel, and an ambulance for HATZOLAH were donated by the members of the congregation.

Today Congregation Machane Chodosh is a leading Synagogue of the Forest Hills-Rego Park community. We welcome new members and will make every effort to make them feel at home in our midst.