The Nathan Lamport Auditorium in Yeshiva University’s Zysman Hall, located in the northern portion of Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus in Manhattan, was granted $1.5 million in funding for renovations, the university announced on Wednesday.

The Wilf Campus is one of Yeshiva University’s four campuses located in New York.

The securing of the funding for the university renovations was made possible due to efforts on behalf of senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, the University wrote in a press release.

The renovation project was one of multiple proposed projects in a bipartisan federal omnibus-spending package proposed for Fiscal Year 2023. The spending package was signed into law by President Joe Biden and earmarks $1.5 million for community project funding.

The funding will be used to restore the auditorium’s “Art Deco and Moorish-gothic revival architecture,” the university stated in the press release. Additionally, the hall will receive some of the latest “audio-visual technologies.”

Jewish Community Leader Susan Stern, Dr. Rabbi Aaron Glatt, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and second gentleman Doug Emhoff light menorah candles during a celebration of Hanukkah at the White House in Washington, US, December 1, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE)

“Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand are true friends of Yeshiva University and champions of the Jewish people. This grant empowers us to restore an important piece of New York’s Jewish history,” said Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, President of Yeshiva University. “Lampor Auditorium is both beautiful and historic, and by returning it to its original glory, as well as much-needed upgrades, we anticipate many years of use in hosting important cultural icons and local community events.”

Where does Lamport Auditorium get its name?

In 1928, the Jewish Daily Bulletin wrote that the auditorium was named for Nathan Lamport, the then-president of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary “in recognition of his work for the institution for higher Jewish learning during the past thirty years.”

Zysman Hall, the building containing the Nathan Lamport auditorium, houses the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy, or the Yeshiva University High School for Boys. The academy is affiliated with Yeshiva University. Zysman also contains a study hall, classrooms and University residence spaces.

Lamport Auditorium has a rich history and has a firmly established cultural and local significance. Every year, the hall hosts thousands of visitors and has seen figures of monumental, global significance including Golda Meir, Albert Einstein and Eleanor Roosevelt.

I am proud to have secured this funding for Yeshiva University to modernize Lamport Auditorium with cutting-edge technology and restore its historic architecture,” said Sen. Schumer. “The Lamport Auditorium is a piece of New York’s Jewish history and its restoration and modernization will enable many more decades of hosting cultural figures, symbols, and local community events important to the Washington Heights community. I’ll continue fighting for the federal resources to support Yeshiva University, its faculty, staff, students, and the broader community.”

Chuck Schumer is the Senate Majority Leader. In 2021, when he became the Senate Minority Leader, he became the first Jewish man and the first New Yorker to serve as a Senate leader, the Washington Post wrote in 2016.

“The restoration project will contribute economically and culturally to the community,” continued Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman. “The project is anticipated to produce several jobs for the duration of restoration work and will help to ensure the preservation of a space that embodies the cultural heritage of the neighborhood.”