The Beach Haven Jewish center, prides itself for it's inclusive environment and welcoming atmosphere. The goal is to continue the expansion of this Jewish community of Gravesend, where Jewish people of all backgrounds and affiliations can find a home.
Our story began in the 1950’s, when Rabbi Israel Wagner was appointed as Rabbi of a newly established Jewish community of Beach Haven. Many of the local residents were holocaust survivors and army veterans who had witnessed the horrors of WWII.
In its infancy, the community’s approximately 30 members prayed in an underground garage in one of the development’s buildings. After just a few years under Rabbi Wagner’s warm leadership, the community expanded exponentially and the space was no longer large enough to accommodate the congregation's needs.
Having only heard about their landlord, Mr. Fred Trump, by name, Rabbi Wagner set out to meet him in the hopes that Mr. Trump would assist them in establishing a new facility as a Jewish community Center.
From the first meeting, a deep friendship sparked between Mr. Trump, a Lutheran land developer, and Rabbi Wagner, a Polish Jew. Their mutual love, respect, and friendship only deepened over the next 48 years.
Mr. Fred Trump donated the plot of land where the synagogue was built and contributed towards the construction. He then attended the dinner every year and generously donated to the Beach Haven Jewish Center. He affectionately referred to Rabbi Wagner as “My Rabbi” at their yearly meetings.
From the onset, the Beach Haven Jewish community was founded on a few core principles: deep faith, Ahavat Yisrael (loving your fellow as you love yourself,) the love of Israel, and a firm belief in the power of a strong and authentic Jewish identity.
The community understood that the future of the Jewish people lies in the education and involvement of the youth. One of the first communal programs established was a Hebrew School. The Youth Congregation was also a focus of the Beach Haven Jewish Community. Under the guidance of Rebbetzin Wagner, the Young Women's Group was also established.
The community was established on a base of unity and friendship and continues to be that way until today. The love, warmth, and energy upon which the Beach Haven Jewish community were founded, have only grown.
Our Rabbi & Rebbetzin:
Since 2013, Rabbi Shimmy and Sarah Silver and their family have dedicated their life to support the continued growth of family and youth programs. They host Bar/Bat Mitzvah Clubs, Monthly Shabbat Children’s programs, Shabbat and Holiday Festivities, Weekly prayers, and so much more- all permeated with vibrancy and joy of Judaism.
Step inside! With a searching heart and a curious mind, you are sure to find something you connect to.