History

1893 – To Present

The North Shore Jewish Center was originally founded in the late 188O’s as an Orthodox synagogue under the name of Agudat Achim (Organization of Brothers), and is one of the oldest synagogues on Long lsland. In 1893, the congregation erected a building on Main Street in East Setauket to serve the influx of almost two hundred families, some of whom arrived In Setauket directly from Ellis Island to work in the local rubber factory.

The Golden family came to this area in 1885 and was instrumental in the organization of the congregation and in the building of the Main Street Synagogue. David Pines was also instrumental in the building of the synagogue.

The late Mr. Samuel Golden, was born in Setauket. Mr. Golden became a Bar Mitzvah in 1911 in the sanctuary of the Main Street Synagogue. The reception that followed was held in a tent borrowed from a Cook’s traveling show. They pitched their tent where the American Legion Hall now stands.

The congregation flourished until a fire destroyed the rubber factory. Slowly, the families left Setauket and by 1914 the synagogue was closed. The synagogue was opened again in 1916 to provide religious services for servicemen who were housed at the site of the Port Jefferson High School during World War I. The end of the war saw the closing of the synagogue. The Torahs remained in the deserted building for two years after the closing. Rather than leave them, the Torahs were given to a congregation in East Northport, which in turn gave them to a congregation in Springfield Gardens.

In 1946 Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Goldberg, Mr. and Mrs. Herman Golden, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Golden, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Greenberg, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Hersh, Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Katz, Mr. and Mrs. Herman Pines, Mr. and Mrs. James Prince, Mr. and Mrs. Morris Remz, Mrs. Gerald Rubin, Mr. and Mrs. Isadore Tagun, and Mr. and Mrs. Edward Vogel met at Mr. Golden’s home to discuss the future of the building. They would meet every two or three weeks to get this synagogue going again. Mr. Golden borrowed chairs from the funeral home to accommodate the growing number of people who became interested in the synagogue.

They elected Mr. Golden as president of the congregation at that time. Ed Vogel was secretary, Sy Hersh, vice president. They voted to fix up the building. In the interim others came, and in that way, the congregation was started. Much work was done by volunteers. In 1947 there was an official opening with an overflow crowd. The Torahs were located and in 1947 brought back to the North Shore Jewish Center.

The congregation was renamed the North Shore Jewish Center and opened as a Conservative synagogue with a part time rabbi and a Hebrew school. By 1965, the congregation leaders realized that the surge in the North Brookhaven population would create a need for synagogue expansion. The new property at the corner of Old Town Road and Norwood Avenue was purchased in 1965. The new synagogue was completed in 1971. The congregation attracts members from Shoreham to Smithtown, and from Long Island Sound to the middle of the Island.

We as a congregation, have the pride and admiration for those leaders and members of the North Shore Jewish Center who have dedicated themselves to the goals of Jewish life and education. May we go from strength to strength and rededicate our efforts for the future.