Harlem House Community • New York, NY

About Us:
Our community house consists of house parents and single adults. By living together in peace, purity, and love right in the middle of New York City, we try to demonstrate the love of Jesus to all people. We enjoy lending neighbors a helping hand and exploring the city.

Harlem House was founded in 2006 as the first Bruderhof location in New York City. We’re located on West 138th Street in Manhattan, a quiet, tree-lined street. After work you might find us catching up with neighbors on the front stoop or playing corn hole on the sidewalk. Inside the house are common areas for cooking and dining, as well as apartments for families and single people. Our tiny backyard is full of flowers, and the rooftop garden provides us with fresh vegetables. Come evening, we’re often on the rooftop deck enjoying family-style dinner with friends, singing folk songs, or roasting marshmallows as we watch the sunset.

Connecting with Neighbors:
Harlem is one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse parts of New York, and we love calling it home. Living in a city with a population of over eight million gives us opportunities to meet all kinds of people. We love participating in block festivals, Christmas carol sings, and other events in our immediate neighborhood. Members also volunteer at the Bowery Mission, the Salvation Army, Harlem Grown, and the Sisters of Life. Our location also serves as an urban touch point for the other, largely rural Bruderhof communities in the United States.

Face2Face Dinners:
Because most of our residents are college students, we host a dinner discussion each Thursday when local colleges and universities are in session. Join us as we discuss faith, discipleship, current events, and related topics. The best way to get involved is to join our Facebook group; you can request to join in there, and get in tune with our upcoming topics. But don't just get involved online – we hope to see you at a dinner soon!

Meet some of the people who live at the Harlem Bruderhof:

tim maendel

Tim: Hi, my name is Tim Maendel and I live with my wife, Kathleen, in Harlem House in Manhattan, New York City. We have a Shiba Inu (that’s a dog) named Sammy and some honeybee hives on the roof. None of our six children or two grandchildren live with us, but instead our family is a group of young people that go to college here in New York or have jobs serving others. We enjoy sharing and living in an urban small community. It was a total change of gears for us country folk, but we love the people in our neighborhood and the endless opportunity to meet others that the big city presents. All we have to do is step outside! During the day I’m checking on beehives, working in healthcare (I’m a nurse) or just meeting people. We also help coordinate Breaking the Cycle events – using real stories to teach ending violence through forgiveness. Oh, and before I forget – you are invited to come join us for our evening fellowship meal!


Annika: Hi, I’m Annika! I’ve been living in Harlem House in New York City for the past two years and, while I could have never imagined myself in this setting several years ago, I love it now. I’m a student at Borough of Manhattan Community College, a school I picked for its renowned nursing program, but almost more importantly, a school whose campus lies in the shadow of the One World Trade Center – there couldn’t be a more picturesque campus! What do I love about living here? Pretty much everything. My work in healthcare has brought me to a field hospital in the Javits Center, an Upper East Side nursing home, and pop-up COVID swabbing sites in Times Square: I didn’t have to go far to find a place to help out during the pandemic. Beyond work though, New York is teaming with fascinating people; it just takes talking to them to figure it out. Living in a small urban community allows for just that: whether it’s inviting a stranger over to dinner, helping the neighbor across the street shovel snow, or just chatting with friends on the stoop, life is far from boring. More than ever, we’d love to see you come by our house – look out for the star lamp over the front door or follow the aroma of burgers grilling on our rooftop deck!

DonaldBollerDonald: I have been living in New York at Harlem House for almost two years. I’ve come to love a place that some call the center of humanity! I initially moved here for my recovery from a motorcycle accident, which almost killed me. (That’s another whole story.) Between frequent appointments at hospitals citywide, I work at The Bowery Mission homeless shelter. When I’m not repairing a sink, mending a wall, or cleaning an AC at work, I am doing whatever else I’ve been trying to accomplish for the past month at home – building a book box, painting my shower, training for a marathon, patching a bike tire. My only deficit is time!

Even after eighteen months I still feel new in town, and I can’t pinpoint why. Most likely it’s the sheer immensity of New York City. My packed schedule must be responsible as well. Looking back feels like looking into a kaleidoscope of fragmented images – The Bowery’s red doors, IHOP pancakes, the wall I built in Brooklyn – merged together, perhaps, by the A-Train. I can’t explain it, but whatever’s responsible for my chronological disorder must be what makes New York City a thrilling place to live.

An emotion I encounter frequently is pleasant surprise. It’s impossible to define such a metropolis with a single definition. But, having immersed myself in this place for the past eighteen months, I do feel some experiences are definitive. Like the time the old lady on the bus noticed my bloodshot left eye. “Is your eye OK, honey? Have you tried saline drops?” Or the time a girl offered me her seat on the train when she noticed my eyepatch. “You OK? Sit down here.” Pleasant encounters and instances like these are so prevalent; I am ready to believe that they are intrinsic to the city that never sleeps. More than once, I have pursued an encounter. “What made you ask? Why are you so friendly?” And repeatedly, I have received a prompt, good-humored explanation: “I’m a New Yorker.”

Admittedly, I am romanticizing New York City. I cannot deny rampant crime, or an ugly underside to this place. Perhaps something in my accident left an inaccurate optimist inside me? Whatever changed in my mind, I’d like to retain it. I want to believe that the positive experiences I have had are all truly dominant traits of New York City. Anyone who’s reading this, I’d love to meet you once at our house. Come join us for dinner on any day of the week. If it’s warm enough, we’ll have it on our rooftop deck!  



Contact Information

Harlem House
226 West 138th Street
New York, NY 10030
United States
Tel: 212-283-5693
Email:  harlemhouse@bruderhof.com

Established: 2006

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