Synagogue in Brooklyn Heights, New York Celebrates 40th Anniversary in New Building

March 26, 2000

Source: New York Daily News

On March 26, 2000, the Daily News reported that the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue, a Reform congregation that is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year, now has a new home in a building that was purchased and renovated with funds from a $4 million fund-raising campaign. The building, formerly the Brooklyn Club, contains a sanctuary that seats 300, an upper floor for meetings and classes, and a lower floor that houses classrooms and a shelter. Rabbi Serge Lippe, the spiritual leader of the synagogue, says that there are over 300 "incredibly diverse" households in the congregation: "We have couples in their 70s, 80s and 90s, widows and widowers, singles, couples, gays...Our doors are open to everyone...Anyone who walks in the door is welcome. They come from every discernible racial and ethnic background. We believe in diversity and inclusivity." Starting with the efforts of Rubin and Belle Huffman to establish a synagogue in 1959, the congregation has grown considerably in size and has helped Russian families relocate, visited AIDS patients, sponsored scouting troops, and provided a shelter for homeless women. Rabbi Lippe says that in the years ahead, the synagogue wants to model itself as a Jewish community center; as a place for study, prayer, and assembly.