In The Beginning – Dedication of the Jewish Center of Northwest Jersey

In The Beginning

Do you remember where you were on Sunday, September 22, 1946? Want a few hints? On that day Louis Schneider was the congregation President and the Board of Directors had 10 members, none of whom were women.Explore a very important piece of congregational history by viewing a Web version of the original Dedication Program for our Temple.

The Dedication was extremely important, but it was not the beginning our story. According to Sally Klein, one of the original members of the congregation, informed us that the property on which the Temple was built was donated by The Washington Underwear Manufacturing Co., owned by Phil Springer, “a single man who lived and had his main office in New York City.” According to Ms. Klein, “townspeople would refer to it as the Washington Underwear Factory.”

Where did we meet before our current building was completed? Ms. Klein tells us that the congregation originally used Brooks Coal & Lumber Co. on Route 31 South, owned by Mr. Louis Brooks.

Some additional information regarding the history of our Center has been provided by Helen Mattson who told us that the factory was replaced by the apartment building located behind the Center. The original Lumber Company where the first meetings were held is now HBM Automotive on Route 31 S.

The first simcha, says Helen, was the baby naming of Ralph Zemel. “There was a chapter of Hadassah at one time at the Center. But it’s been gone from Washington for 20 years or so. The ladies combined with a chapter in Easton.”