Excerpts from Allan Glaser first President: 1968-70
On August 8th 2012 the DHJC became 44 years old. This article is to respond to the many who have asked me to describe the creation of the Dix Hills Jewish Center. In the winter of 1967, Dix Hills had a population of approximately 5,000 families. There were two synagogues in Huntington that my wife Judy and I attended, to try and find a synagogue to join so that we could educate our 2 little girls. By May of 1968, Judy and I had visited both synagogues in Huntington several times, but on the way home one Friday Mike Ostrow asked how I liked the service and Rabbi at the Huntington Hebrew congregation? I jokingly responded "We need a Dix Hills Jewish Center and I was going to have a meeting with those interested in joining such an endeavor this Sunday at 2pm".
After dropping Mike off, Judy and I looked at each other and talked about the idea of creating the Dix Hills Jewish Center. "It will take years". We did not know anyone who could provide a large amount of money. Quite the contrary, everyone we knew was young (20's and 30's) with young children requiring funds to furnish the new houses that were being built along Vanderbilt Pkwy.
There were four "back yard" Sunday meetings in July 1968 about building the Dix Hills Jewish Center. During the first meeting in my backyard, nine families were represented and all agreed to the concept that the DHJC was needed. All agreed that driving to Huntington or Commack was too far and that we needed a DHJC that would educate the young, provide a minyan for those who needed one and a Rabbi to help us grow. Every time we voted on creating a Conservative or Reform synagogue, the Conservatives won by a 60% to 40% vote.
Finding a Rabbi, was satisfied when the Conservative Synagogue in New York agreed to send a student out for the services, provided we housed and fed him. The owner of the Park Shore day camp on Deer Park Avenue agreed to allow us to use the dining room for services on Friday and Saturday provided we cleaned up the area after use. I still remember doctors and lawyers mopping up and stacking chairs.
On August 8, 1968 more than seventy families joined the DHJC and their names are inscribed on the Founders Plaque hung in the lobby of the synagogue. I became President and appointed the first Board of Trustees:
- Buddy Rosenberg
- Henry Lichtenstein
- Michael Greenbaum
- George Feinsod
- Norma Feinsod - Sisterhood President
- Dr. Martin Feller
- Sy Rubin
- Dr. Buddy Magid
- Dr. Hy Marinbach
- Howard Cohen
- Paul Finfer
- Sandy Sirlin
- Edward Cantor
- Miles Jacobson
- Barry Klein
- Paul Heller
- Philip Aaron
- Edward Rochell
Now looking back after all these years, I bow my head to those who contributed so much along the way.
To those who passed away but have given so much - I remember you.
To those who adopted an idea of greatness and contribution of what our DHJC could provide - I applaud you.
To those who worked so hard to make the DHJC what it is and remain as vibrant members - I respect you.
To those who moved away and still support the DHJC - I thank you.
Suffolk Jewish Center
The Suffok Jewish Center became an important part of the Dix Hills Jewish Center through a merger in 2004. The Suffolk Jewish Center was located at 330 Central Avenue in Deer Park, NY and was a conservative synagogue that was founded in 1957. In July 1963 Rabbi Gabriel Maza became Rabbi and served for over 40 years up until the merger with the Dix Hills Jewish Center. The past presidents that are currently members of the DHJC include Arthur Chekla, Howard Sorgen, Hal Hartglass, Steve Robins, Jerry Buchferer, and Ron Weisbrod. We are proud of this past and continue looking forward to the future as one.
Commack Jewish Center
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