The Board of Trustees of the JCC of LBI voted in 2009 to initiate a campaign to raise funds to build a new physical structure here on Long Beach Island on the same site where we have been located since 1961. Our motivations driving this enormous project were strong and numerous.
- Our physical space was too small for holiday services, for social events, for classroom space.
- Our kitchen facilities were inadequate as were the restrooms.
- The Holy Ark suffered from mold.
- There was no handicapped access to the Bimah.
- The outward appearance did not reflect the wonderful things which happen inside our building.
We wanted and needed a building which is a reflection of who we are as Jews. We want a Jewish House of Worship that is welcoming and reflective of a thoughtful, dynamic and creative group of people for whom the JCC of LBI is an anchor in their lives on both a social and religious level. Whether we are raising a family here, are full-time retirees or summer residents, we look to our synagogue as a place to be, and as a place of which to be proud.
Judaism teaches us that we must take responsibility for our actions, for each other and for our world, Ed Dreyfus took the assignment to chair the building design and construction, and Rose Valentine agreed to chair the Capital Campaign Committee. As the project progressed, Jeff Shapiro assumed the chairmanship of the Rebuild Project with Ed in an advisory capacity,
After a review of many applicants, Craig W. Brearley of Manahawkin was chosen as Architect, and The Bannett Group, LTD, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, as General Contractor.
To make this project a reality, we had to borrow $500,000 from members, all loans have been repaid. The balance was achieved through intensive fundraising efforts.
While many members were involved, chief accolades must go to the following:
ED DREYFUS, who was the originator of this current project. When personal matters prevented Ed from focusing all his efforts on this pursuit, he handed over the day-to-day responsibilities to
JEFF SHAPIRO. who was in charge for the entire construction and follow-up phases;
DON PRIPSTEIN, President of JCC for his wisdom and tenacity, and for keeping things together when tensions mounted;
ROSE VALENTINE, for her outstanding accomplishment of raising enough money to place this project within our reach;
HAROLD FARIN, who worked diligently on the transportation and storage of our precious artifacts, as well as the relocation of our personnel, services, and all other JCC items;
SHERRY FRUCHTERMAN, for her boundless design talents, which worked to deliver a beautiful building within our monetary guidelines;
EILEEN LEVIN, for her marshaling of resources and her noble battle on behalf of the Sisterhood, for the sake of avoiding compromise on the size and style of the kitchen;
TIGER WOLPERT, for his insight into the “energy/green” designs and his religiously significant suggestions, as well as for providing valued historical resonance related to previous plans for a new structure
STU SNYDER, who worked on the legal aspects of this undertaking;
THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES, for acting swiftly and diligently while representing the interests of the entire congregation;
And RABBI JACOB FRIEDMAN z/l, who was our spiritual leader, was always there to lend advice, and to speak about the project and encourage all members to participate.
Groundbreaking for the project took place on March 16, 2011, and we moved into our new facility on February 17, 2012. The Official gala celebration and dedication was on June 24, 2012.
Updated Interior Sanctuary Views
February 2011: Below is updated floor plan showing revised 60 foot wide sanctuary and 2 classrooms.