A Yiddish theater on Curry Row.
Finally, Daniel Libeskind has found a New York project that David Childs and Larry Silverstein can’t get in the way of. He’s overseeing the redesign of the Community Synagogue, a rectitudinous 1848 edifice on the relentlessly tacky Indian-food block of East 6th Street, to make it into the permanent home for the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre (which was founded 90 years ago and has been performing at borrowed venues for the past three decades). But don’t expect anything too radical, à la the steep voids and shardlike forms of Libeskind’s Jewish Museum in Berlin. This is more a question of supervising the conversion of the pews into 300 theater seats, sloping the floor, and adding an elevator. Nonetheless, it’s “an inspiring project,” says Libeskind, a childhood accordion prodigy who went to Yiddish-speaking summer camp. “It’s emotional. It’s theater of the heart.” And it’s miles away from ground zero.