Jewish Heritage Museum Announces its New Exhibit
Congregation B’nai Israel, Rumon: Celebrating100 Years
Freehold, NJ. [August 23, 2022] – The Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County is pleased to announce the installation of a new retrospective exhibit Congregation B’nai Israel, Rumson: Celebrating 100 Years. The exhibit will be open to the public beginning October 9, 2022, through early January 2023.
There will be an in-person Opening Reception on Sunday, October 23, 2022, from 3PM to 5PM, with guests from the Congregation including Rabbi Douglas Sagal, and several long-time members who have personal insights about the Congregation’s history. Due to covid precautions, the reception will be limited to 50 people. When the limit for attendance to the Opening Reception is reached, interested attendees can register to receive a Zoom link to watch live streaming of the spoken portion of the event. Admission is $18 per person.
The records leading up to the founding of the Congregation are slight. On January 5, 1922, a meeting of the members of the fledgling Congregation B’nai Israel was held at the Town Hall in Red Bank. A few days later, at a second meeting in the Kreidle store, the group decided to purchase the building at 10 Riverside Avenue in Red Bank. The Congregation began with 40 families, and descendants of some of those families remain members 100 years later.
The history of this congregation is, in many ways, a reflection of America’s history and the effect that the nation’s events had on the trajectory of the congregation. The 1920s and ‘30s the congregation felt the effects of the Great Depression. It was also a time when the rise of Nazism in Germany raised alarm bells. The congregation was active in supporting efforts to help European Jews. In the 1940s, the congregation supported the nation’s war effort and military; and in the post-war years, the congregation emphasized education, community service, and support of Israel.
In 1955, the congregation formally affiliated with United Synagogue of America, the central federation of Conservative congregations in the US and Canada.
During the turbulent ‘60s, the congregation focused on discrimination against Jews in the Soviet Union. In addition, as women gained greater influence in public life, so, too, did the women of Congregation B’nai Israel, becoming Board members and leaders, fully participating in the congregation’s spiritual and organizational life.
Through the next decades Congregation B’nai Israel has been in the forefront of social activism on behalf of Israel, community social service needs, and community healing events after national tragedies such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg. All of this, even as the synagogue met the spiritual and life cycle needs of its members with full focus on Jewish tradition, education, and values.
For more information, to register, or to receive the Zoom link, please call the Museum at 732-252-6990 or visit our website at http://www.jhmomc.org.
Funding has been made possible in part by a general operating support grant from the New
Jersey Historical Commission, a Division of the Department of State, through grant funds
administered by the Monmouth County Historical Commission.
The Jewish Heritage Museum is located in the Mounts Corner Shopping Center, at 310 Mounts Corner Drive, Freehold, NJ, at the corner of Route 537 and Wemrock Road (between the CentraState Medical Center and Freehold Raceway Mall). It is on the second floor of the historic Levi Solomon Barn. The JHMOMC is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Now open to visitors by appointment, the Museum is handicapped and assistive-listening accessible. Masks and vaccinations are required.
The Museum’s Board of Trustees denounces racism and all forms of violence against any group,
ethnicity, or race, and stands in support of any targeted community.