A lot has happened in the past 6 weeks and we want to highlight some of these events that affected the JCC Family.
SUPERSTORM SANDY: October 29th– The Island was devastated. Water and sand almost everywhere. Many of our members on LBI and in Beach Haven West and other parts of the mainland sustained lots of damage to their homes or businesses. The water rose several feet, and in many areas garages, storage areas and living areas on ground floor level had to discard everything. That includes floors, carpeting, dry-wall, furniture, appliances, and paper, pictures and records that cannot be replaced.
The garage of the JCC Condo had several feet of water and we threw away almost everything stored there. Fortunately, our JCC building is raised a sufficient level above ground, and while the crawl space under our building was flooded, nothing in the building itself was damaged. We have had professionals inspect the structure and the space under the building, and we are told there is no damage or moisture that may cause mold to appear later.
Food that Sisterhood had stored in the garage, and all the food in JCC kitchen and pantry had to be discarded. Power was lost for several days. The Island lost all natural gas service so buildings couldn’t be heated or cooled. Power was restored within a few days, but gas service was off for several weeks. Our building could not be used, so we moved Office to space in Marcie Deutsch’s home which she and Richard graciously allowed us to use. We were able to move the Office back into our building on December 2nd, and we resumed our Friday eve services on November 30th. All activities are now back on schedule, including weekly mahj, and we had a very successful Chanukah party/luncheon on Sunday, Dec.9th
The St. Francis facility in Brandt Beach sustained heavy damage, and we offered the use of our Sanctuary for their services, but they are holding services in one of their other churches on the island. Their Thursday bridge group is meeting in our social hall until they can move back into their facility.
Zachary Doctor, son of Stuart and Dana, was scheduled to be Bar Mitzvah at JCC on November 3rd. Through the efforts of a lot of people, mostly Michael Jay, our guest Rabbi, Zack’s Bar Mitzvah was held at a room at Clarion Hotel in Tom’s River. Prayerbooks and Talleisim, were borrowed from other synagogues, and Rabbi Hammerman lent his Torah. Rabbi Jay conducted the service and Zack did an excellent job, in spite of all the trauma and necessary last minute changes.
GUEST RABBI: Rabbi Michael Jay continues to serve as our Guest Rabbi. He has conducted services, offered counseling, visited sick and bereaved, and provided a weekly message for our Shabbat Reminder. We are very fortunate to have him with us during these trying times
SAD NEWS: The sad news to report is that Rabbi Jacob Friedman, our Rabbi Jack, passed away Tuesday eve, November 27th. As you know, he had been ill for a long time, and spent the last few months in the hospital. The funeral was on Nov. 29th. Many of our members were in attendance, and Lynn Berkowitz delivered remarks on behalf of our congregation. Rabbi Jack served as our Rabbi for 10 years.