The three different types of Eruvim are defined succinctly in Wikipedia. The first section of this page is about Eruvim in Manhattan for carrying, followed by a section on the history of Eruvim in Manhattan and then by some links to blog entries on Eruvim. KOE uses the Upper Manhattan Eruv, when it is up.
Eruvim in Manhattan (Upper West Side)
Fifth Avenue Synagogue’s web site has the status and a map of the Upper Manhattan Eruv. This status is updated every Friday. On weeks where there are issues, one can get the latest status by calling Fifth Avenue Synagogue’s office (212-838-2122 extension 3). If you want to sign up for the weekly Eruv status email, please email Eruv Status Email signup and provide your name and email address and specifically request to be put on this email list.
The Manhattan Eruv covering all of Manhattan no longer exists. See the History section below for more information.
The shteiblach on the Upper West Side do not hold by the Upper Manhattan Eruv based on various tshuvot and other considerations.
Eruvim in Manhattan (Washington Heights)
The Yeshiva University Eruv status, map and other information can be found on YU Eruv. This Eruv is around the YU campus in the eastern part of Washington Heights and was completed in June 2003.
The Mount Sinai Synagogue’s Eruv status, map and other information can be found on the synagogue’s web site, Mt. Sinai Synagogue. This Eruv surrounds the western part of Washington Heights. The two Washington Heights Eruvim do not overlap. The largest community in this part of Washington Heights, Breuer’s, does not hold by this Eruv.
Eruvim in Manhattan (NYU and nearby neighborhoods )
An Eruv is in the planning stage for the New York University area and nearby neighborhoods. As of October 2006, the boundaries were not finalized, but the plan includes extending northward enough to overlap a small part of the Upper Manhattan Eruv.
History (various Manhattan Eruvim, past and present)
A short history of the original Lower East Side Eruv, no longer in existence, was written by Elliot Mankin, under the title eRuv: A Street History in Semacode. Unfortunately, Elliot Mankin’s semacode project has ended.
Under the leadership of Rabbi Menachem Kasher, and other rabbis, the Manhattan Eruv was created in 1959, with the sea walls, piers and some other constructed parts demarcating the entire borough of Manhattan. The Manhattan Eruv was checked weekly, and there was a phone number to learn the current status.
In June 2005, a group of Manhattan rabbis accepted a report by the Monsey based Rabbinic court, Mechon L’hoyroa, that concluded that parts of this Eruv had physically disintegrated so much that the Eruv could no longer be fixed and maintained to meet halachic standards. Inspections of this Eruv were discontinued, the phone line no longer was updated, and a letter explaining the issues was distributed to various rabbis and synagogues. The Manhattan Eruv no longer exists. See Esther Kustanowitz’s blog entry of July 8, 2005, for more information.
Another Eruv, called the Upper West Side Eruv, was built in the late 1990s. It went from the lows 60s to either 107th or 108th Street depending on the block, and from Central Park West to Riverside Drive, and in places, into Riverside Park. The part of this Eruv on Central Park West was taken down each year before Thanksgiving so that the balloons for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade could be inflated. Some years the eruv was back up the day after Thanksgiving, but some years it could not be completed that Friday.
In 2004 there was a substantial expansion of the Upper West Side Eruv and it was renamed the Upper Manhattan Eruv. The expansion was from Central Park West to the East River, permitting carrying in Central Park and throughout a large part of the Upper East Side. The expansion also moved the Eruv both south into the high 50′s and north of Central Park. See the Upper Manhattan Eruv map for the current boundaries. This removed the need to take down the Eruv for the Thanksgiving day parade balloon expansion.
This Eruv expansion was designed by and the status is checked weekly by Mechon L’hoyroa. They can be contacted by phone at 845-425-9565 for questions about the Upper Manhattan Eruv (the weekly status is available through the Fifth Avenue Synagogue’s office, (212-838-2122 extension 3). For more information on this expansion, see Rabbi Kermaier’s article.
Additional information on Eruvim
http://eruvonline.blogspot.com/ has halachic sources and history on Eruvim plus specifics on Brooklyn Eruvim. In addition, this blog also has links and maps to Eruvim in cities across the United States.
Esther Kustanowitz’s blog entry of July 8, 2005, contains information about the ending of the Manhattan Eruv, including excerpts from the letter from Rabbi Adam Mintz of Kehilat Reyim Ahuvim to the community.
Questions or comments on this web page should be emailed to Info@koe.org
KOE thanks everyone involved in the careful and thorough work done by Mechon L’hoyroa and other individuals to create the Upper Manhattan Eruv. KOE thanks Fifth Avenue Synagogue for their permission to link to their web site, provide their phone number and eruv status email signup. KOE thanks Mt. Sinai Synagogue, the YU Eruv coordinators (specifically Ariel Chelst), Elliot Mankin and Esther Kustanowitz for permission to link to their web sites, pages and / or blogs. Thank you to Rabbi Yehuda Sarna for providing information on the status of the Eruv in planning around NYU.
- Robert Sacks for KOE, 2006 November 16