Temple Israel of Lawrence, Lawrence, NY
Temple Israel of Lawrence was founded in 1908 and was then known as Temple Israel of Far Rockaway. Meetings originally were held in rented quarters. A Temple was then built at the corner of Roanoke and State Streets in Far Rockaway. It was a lovely, white, colonial style building which is still standing and is now occupied by another Jewish Congregation. It is today known in our community as "The White Shul." The present building of Temple Israel was dedicated in 1930, and it was then that we became Temple Israel of Lawrence. It was designed by S. Brian Baylinson, architect, winner of numerous awards in architecture in the United States and throughout the world. A member of the New York Historical Buildings Committee, he created a Sanctuary for Temple Israel, which is acknowledged throughout the country as one of the most distinguished worship centers in the United States. The publication on Synagogue architecture, entitled, "Synagogues of New York City," highlighted Temple Israel of Lawrence as an outstanding suburban Synagogue structure. In 1948, as part of the 40th Anniversary Celebration of Temple Israel, a School Center was created to better serve the needs of our large and expanding Religious School. The Center was dedicated in 1950. In 1966, following a major fundraising campaign, a beautiful new Religious School, together with magnificent new social facilities, was erected. In addition to a number of modern classrooms, the building contains areas for special enrichment programs, children's and adult library, school auditorium, a Chapel for worship and meetings, Kiddush Room, Banquet facilities for weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations, etc. The Nursery Department, an outstanding early childhood education center, has beautiful classroom facilities; indoor and outdoor play areas, gymnasia and two in ground pools. Our Temple today stands on the peak of its strength. Our Religious and Nursery Schools have unusually large enrollments. Our auxiliary bodies offer varied and interesting programs in which the entire Congregation, from the youngest child upward, are invited to participate. We, of Temple Israel, believe that no program can remain static and unchanging. We shall continue to seek new forms and new ideas in order to maintain the ideals of a creative and living Jewish faith.