History of Congregation Beth Tikvah

CBT

Congregation Beth Tikvah (CBT) is a consolidation of three former long standing conservative congregations bringing together the best of Jewish ideals and conservative practices. In 2007, the Farmingdale Jewish Center (FJC) and Wantagh Jewish Center (WJC) combined to become the Farmingdale Wantagh Jewish Center (FWJC). In 2010, the Israel Community Center (ICC) joined our congregational family making the Farmingdale Wantagh Jewish Center one of the oldest continuous congregations on Long Island.   In August 2012, the Farmingdale Wantagh Jewish Center was renamed, Congregation Beth Tikvah.  The sanctuary has recently been renovated.

CBT Sanctuary

FWJC

On July 1st, 2007, both the FJC and WJC combined resources to form the Farmingdale Wantagh Jewish Center. With over a combined 130 years serving our communities this made FWJC one of the oldest continuous congregations on Long Island with over 400 families. Serving the needs of all Jewish families in the south eastern Nassau and western Suffolk areas the FWJC began by offering a variety of spiritual, social and community programs for all age groups. Programs and activities included Jewish education, Bar or Bat-Mitzvahs, weddings and other life style events. Additionally, there is an active Men’s Club, Sisterhood and Chavurah (couples club), as well as Book and Yiddish Clubs, movies, many other activities and of course, daily services. >
On August 5th 2007, the Torahs from Farmingdale Jewish Center were transferred to their new home at the Farmingdale Wantagh Jewish Center in an emotional ceremony. For the story and pictures read the Torah Rededication Ceremony.

In January 2010, the Israel Community Center joined the congregational family of the Farmingdale Wantagh Jewish Center. With the addition of this 60 year old congregation, who temple property was deeded by William Levitt, the ICC brought a deep desire to perpetuate the spirituality and traditions that define our faith and further strengthen the our congregation and Jewish presents on Long Island.

History of the Farmingdale Jewish Center

The Farmingdale Jewish Center (FJC) traces its roots back to 1926 when the First Hebrew Congregation of Farmingdale was founded. In 1944 the name was changed and the first building that we could call our own was dedicated in 1948. In 1968 the current structure became our new home. This makes us one of the oldest continuous congregations on Long Island.

Serving the needs of all Jewish families in the eastern Nassau, western Suffolk County areas, FJC offers a variety of spiritual and social programs and activities for all age groups.

On April 15 at separate congregation meetings, the congregations of Wantagh Jewish Center and Farmingdale Jewish Center, in overwhelming votes by each congregation, voted to consolidate both synagogues effective July 1, 2007. The new Shul will be called The Farmingdale Wantagh Jewish Center.

History of the Wantagh Jewish Center

On October 29, 1950 the group known as the Wantagh Jewish Community Group was formed and voted to be a Conservative congregation. In July 1951 Rabbi Mordecai Rubin was hired as a weekend Rabbi as well as for the High Holiday Services. May 1953 saw the groundbreaking for the synagogue.

Max Shapiro became the first congregation president. Claire Rogoff became sisterhood president, while Ted Rothenberg became men’s club president.

The years 1953-1954 saw the first bazaar, and the first Hebrew School commencement. December 6, 1953 witnessed the dedication of the synagogue.

During the years 1955-1956 Chazzan Charles Davidson was hired as full time cantor. The youth program started.

The groundbreaking for the new building, first youth director hired, as well as the first school principal being hired occurred in 1957-1958.

1964-1965 represented our Bar Mitzvah year. We were a thriving congregation, featuring bazaars and journal weekends in the Catskills.

Our Bar Mitzvah celebration was held on March 20. We held our big banquet in honor of Rabbi Rubin and our first presidents. Our guest speaker was Dr. Max Routtenberg, the president of the Rabbinical Assembly of America.

Rabbi Howard Morrison, who led the congregation for 9 years, succeeded Rabbi Rubin in 1991. A Wantagh Jewish Center reception took place on June 7, 1998, and there were two recipients honored, Sol Feld and Doris Kramer. For more than 30 years they promoted Jewish education in the Wantagh Jewish Center. Today the schools, named in their honor, the Doris Kramer Pre-School and the Solomon Feld Religious School of the Wantagh Jewish Center, remember them.

Rabbi Alan Lavin joined us in 2003 as our spiritual leader. The Wantagh Jewish Center provides daily minyans, adult education programs, a sisterhood, men’s club and couples club and is devoted to maintaining our children’s love for Torah and spiritual feelings for Judaism.

On April 15 at separate congregation meetings, the congregations of Wantagh Jewish Center and Farmingdale Jewish Center, in overwhelming votes by each congregation, voted to consolidate both synagogues effective July 1, 2007. The new Shul will be called The Farmingdale Wantagh Jewish Center and will be located in Wantagh at what was once the Wantagh Jewish Center.

History of the Israel Community Center

The story the Israel Community Center begins when William Levitt built the community of Levittown. He deeded three parcels of land, for a period of 99 years, for the use and construction of a religious institution. At that time, Lou Goldberg, Paul Wildlitz, Jim Pedowitz and many others gathered to discuss finding a place to practice religious services. From that beginning in 1948 the Israel Community Center was established. The ICC was a center for both spiritual and social gatherings and established a vibrant Jewish presents in the community of Levittown.

Initially, the temple consisted only of two rooms, the sanctuary and a room called the social hall. Hebrew school was taught in the kitchen. Next, the office and maintenance rooms were added. To create consistency throughout the building a brown wooden Star of David was place on the ceiling by the main entrance. The final part of the building was the school wing which also included a brown wooden Star of David on the ceiling. As each section was added the congregation came out like it was a barn raising. The congregants put up the walls, the roof and the shrubbery. Only the trades were called for electrical and plumbing work. Each section was built the same way with the men doing the construction, the women preparing the food and the children helping out.

Sadly, over the years membership dwindle, expenses increased and the building was unable to be maintained. After exploring several alternatives the congregation decided to consolidate with the FWJC. After sixty years the ICC was forced to close its doors. In January 2010, the Israel Community Center joined the congregational family of the Farmingdale Wantagh Jewish Center bringing their desire for spirituality and tradition and the continuations of the congregation.