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Our History

Temple Judea is a diverse, caring, multi-generational, multi-ethnic community that welcomes all seeking connection to Jewish faith: singles, couples, traditional, non-traditional and interfaith families. We consider our members as family enveloped in a warm and welcoming environment – a true second home.

Temple Judea began its illustrious history in 1955 with 75 charter families. The first meetings were held in a local hall in Manhasset, and the first High Holiday services were celebrated in a nearby church.  On May 22, 1960, Temple Judea dedicated a modest building at 333 Searingtown Road in North Hills to be the permanent site of our spiritual home. Yet, as the membership quickly grew, so did the need for the facility to expand. In April of 1968, the Louis A. Peirez Library and the Youth Lounge were dedicated. Then in May of 1970, the Sisterhood School Wing was dedicated. In May of 1978, the Sisterhood Office/ Sophia Hammer Study was also dedicated. In May of 1980 the exquisite Holy Ark Tapestry became an addition to our Temple. With great pride, in 1994 the Holocaust Resource Center was dedicated as a unique memorial to those who perished as well as those who survived the darkest period in Jewish History.

The purpose of the Congregation shall be:
To worship God in accordance with the faith of Judaism
To cultivate love and understanding of Jewish heritage
To stimulate fellowship in the Jewish community
To promote Judaism in all relations of life by means of public and private worship, by religious education and through social and welfare activities.
To maintain our devotion and connection with our spiritual homeland, Israel. 

Article II Purpose – Constitution Temple Judea

Today, over five decades since its inception, Temple Judea remains a spiritual home to over 200 families. Temple Judea continues to offer a wide variety of programs, educational opportunities, and worship services, while also being able to meet the needs and interests of each of its members.  The once modest building of Temple Judea now stands proud and majestic atop its inclined property. It truly represents a beacon of warmth and spiritual guidance for all who enter its hallowed halls. Remarkably, Temple Judea’s greatest accomplishment is its ability to create a haymishe and loyal and vibrant Jewish community. This truth is best evidenced by the fact that the professional staff of Temple Judea chooses to make it the place of their life-long careers.

In 2006, Temple Judea welcomed Rabbi Todd Chizner as its third rabbi in 50 years. Rabbi Chizner’s compassion for others, along with his love of teaching Torah, made him the ideal choice to be the spiritual leader of the Temple Judea family. Rabbi Chizner, a Long Island native, graduated from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. In 1999, he was ordained as a rabbi by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. Following ordination, Rabbi Chizner worked for seven years as the associate rabbi of Temple Beth Torah in Melville, NY. Rabbi Chizner is married to Lauren Chizner and they have three children; Jacob, Jed, and Rachel.

In 2019, Cantor Deborah Jacobson joined Temple Judea bringing with her a wealth of experience. She has served numerous communities as cantor since 1998 including West End Synagogue in Manhattan, Temple Beth El in Stamford, Ct, Temple Ahavat Shalom in Palm Harbor, Fl, and the Reform Temple of Forest Hills.  She has a B.A. in Voice/Theatre and English Literature and a Masters of Sacred Music. She is a published author, has  had numerous appearances on national TV and is a member and has served in various Jewish organizations and committees over the years. Cantor Jacobson was raised in New Rochelle, N.Y. and has two daughters; Maya and Shira.

Rabbi Eugene J. Lipsey z”l, the first spiritual leader of Temple Judea, became the Rabbi Emeritus in 1983. Rabbi Lipsey z”l was a leader in the community, and through his efforts, Temple Judea became the first synagogue on Long Island to hold meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous (which it still does to this day). In Rabbi Lipsey’s honor, the Board of Trustees dedicated the Rabbi Eugene J. Lipsey Gardens.

Rabbi Abner L. Bergman z”l served as Temple Judea’s spiritual leader for 23 years until he became Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Judea in 2006. Rabbi Bergman z”l established himself as an outstanding teacher and counselor. He conducted lectures on subjects relating to Judaism, history, philosophy, and customs. He also took an active role in the education of the Temple’s youth, conducting Confirmation and Post Confirmation classes.

In 2005, Cantor/ Rabbi Richard Berman became the Cantor Emeritus. Cantor Berman is noted as serving longer than any other cantor in America in the same congregation, serving Temple Judea for 44 years. Throughout his tenure, Cantor Berman’s musicianship and graceful demeanor elevated the worship service experience to new heights.

Sat, July 13 2024 7 Tammuz 5784