On December 13th, the White House Chanukah Party will be illuminated by a beautiful brass Menorah from Temple Israel of Long Beach NY, that was rescued just one month ago from Hurricane Sandy’s devastation. Rabbi David Bauman, Executive Director of the Union for Traditional Judaism, and the synagogue’s spiritual leader, and President of the synagogue Bruce Sklover, will transport the Menorah to Washington for this special honor at the Chanukah party, hosted by President and Mrs. Obama. This solid brass, hand crafted Menorah is one of a matched pair that has graced the pulpit of Temple Israel of Long Beach for some 90+ years. Standing 7 feet tall, this majestic pair of Menorahs has been a source of strength, comfort and solace to the scores of worshipers who have for over nine decades entered Temple Israel, to come together as a united family, in both good times and difficult times. The congregation is very thankful that despite the vast devastation of Hurricane Sandy, in the true spirit of the miracle of Chanukah, that these strong beacons of its history were able to be saved and will continue to shine brilliantly for decades more to come!
Temple Israel of Long Beach was the very first Synagogue opened on the South Shore Barrier Island and dates back to 1920. With one of the largest physical facilities, it seems to have suffered the most extensive damages from the storm. The three building complex had its entire lower level completely compromised and under 10 feet of water. The Synagogue lost 6 Sifrei Torah, which have been certified totally irreparable. The lower level included a daily chapel, fully stocked Judaic library, conference room, 4 religious school classrooms, computer lab, social hall, 2 sets of bathrooms, youth lounge, dairy kitchen and full utility room including boilers, air conditioning equipment and electric service. The Synagogue still remains without any basic services, heat or electric and just held Shabbat services for the first time since the storm, with the use of a generator and temporary heating. The membership is largely displaced and scattered, as far away as Florida, with many not sure when they will be able to return to their homes. Since the storm the synagogue has been under a massive clean out and gutting of the lower level by a licensed restoration company and must be declared hazard free before even contemplating the rebuilding process. The primary goal to date has been to assist any members with basic needs that they may not be able to acquire or afford.
Donations may be made through the Synagogue’s website at www.templeisraeloflb.org or by mail to Temple Israel of Long Beach, 305 Riverside Blvd., Long Beach NY 11561 and are fully tax deductible.
For any additional information please call 646-221-4993.