Mission and History

Mission Statement

Rooted in Torah, prayer, and acts of loving kindness, the Jewish Center is committed to sharing the joy of our traditions and deepening the connection to our rich heritage while bringing relevance and adding meaning to our daily lives. Our mission is to be the cultural and spiritual oasis for Jews and many others on the East End of Long Island, in Manhattan and beyond. We are a temple without walls, and a socially conscious congregation. We place tremendous value on each member and our community.

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.