Mission and History

The Jewish Center of the Hamptons: Who we are

We are the Jewish spiritual and cultural oasis on the East End of Long Island, in Manhattan, and beyond. Rooted in Torah, prayer, and acts of loving kindness, the Jewish Center of the Hamptons shares the joy of the Jewish traditions and deepens our connections to a rich heritage through progressive Jewish values and a diversity of Jewish voices. In our many avenues of learning we seek to bring relevance and meaning to our daily lives. We are a center without walls, connected to Israel, and the Jewish people wherever they might dwell. We welcome each person regardless of gender, sexual orientation, and race, embracing anyone who chooses to join us on our Jewish journey. As a socially conscious congregation, we dedicate ourselves to mitzvot, fulfilling our obligations to God, and to one another. Come find your center, here.

History of JCOH

Founded on June 1, 1959, by seventeen families yearning for a community in which they could share their Jewish heritage and customs, the Jewish Center of the Hamptons has become a spiritual and cultural oasis. Filled with the drive and perseverance to establish their spiritual home on the East End of Long Island, they purchased property on Montauk Highway in East Hampton. Their dream became a reality when Evan Frankel provided the congregation with a magnanimous gift in the form of 44 Woods Lane, a 2-acre estate, and our home today.

Over the next decade/s growing community needs were met by the expansion of the original space. Initially, our members conducted services on their own until Rabbi Albert Friedlander was hired. When our numbers increased at High Holy Day services, a small tent was erected. Today that small tent has grown to accommodate up to 1,200 worshipers.

By the mid-1980s, a vision of the Jewish Center of the Hamptons as a gathering place of awe-inspiring beauty, led to plans for expansion. The renowned architect Norman Jaffe was hired, and the vision began to take a physical form. Named Shaarey Pardes, Gates of the Grove, was dedicated on August 26, 1988.

Today, the Jewish Center of the Hamptons is the spiritual home to 400 member families and a leading voice of Jewish life on the East End of Long Island. Our “temple without walls” holds services on one of the “most beautiful beaches in the world,” and serves a vibrant and growing community in Manhattan, and beyond.