Jewish Life in The Rockaways

The Rockaways
Jewish Life

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Compiled by Barbara Ellman

Created: Apr, 2014

Copyright © 2014 Barbara Ellman

Many Jewish social service institutions had opened their doors in the Rockaways

Brooklyn Jewish Home for Convalescents


The Brooklyn Jewish Home for Convalescents was founded in Brooklyn in 1921. It moved into its new location at 609 Beach 9th Street in 1948.

Here, over several decades, thousands of Jews would come to convalesce after hospitalizations that left them too ill to resume the burdens of everyday life.  The building had separate wings for men and women with a glassed clubroom connecting the wings.  It also housed a minyan to serve the needs of the convalescents.  Two kitchens were created for meat and dairy where the food would be prepared under strict Orthodox Jewish dietary laws

The Gabbai and Baal Koreh was Daniel Meyers (d. 2001), a colorful Jewish Torah activist who devoted his life to Jewish causes in the Far Rockaway area and elsewhere (especially Yeshiva Torah Vodaas in Brooklyn).

Hebrew Kindergarten and Infants Home

Infants Home

Located at 310 Beach 20th Street, the Hebrew Kindergarten and Infants Home was a branch of a similar institution in Manhattan whose purpose was to "care for children when mothers are obliged to work."

The home in Far Rockaway accommodated children from infancy to  four years of age who are destitute or neglected, or who come from underprivileged families were accepted for full time care.  Kindergarten and Hebrew schools were conducted.  School children could come in for meals and after school activities.

Sanitorium for Hebrew Children

Sanitorium Hebrew

The Sanitorium for Hebrew Children at Rockaway Park was founded in 1878. It provided  a summer program of free excursions on land and water for poor, destitute, and sick Jewish children.  It also supplied medical aid, advice, and assistance to them. 

In 1900, some 17,026 children benefited from the Sanitoriumís programs.  In 1906, the building depicted in the postcard was dedicated.

Social Clubs

In 1918, the following Jewish clubs were listed for the Rockaways:

  • Far Rockaway Club: Far Rockaway, L.I.
  • Ocean Country Club: Far Rockaway, L.I.
  • Rockaway Beach Y.M.H.A., care of Temple Israel.

Today, the Jewish Community Council of the Rockaway Peninsula (JCCRP) has been providing services on a non-sectarian basis to those in need and to serve as advocates for issues of concern to the Jewish community.  Established in 1972, the JCCRP is a member organization consisting of over forty Jewish groups serving the Rockaway Peninsula. The JCCRP mission is to combine and coordinate the efforts of all parts of the Jewish Community, including all the religious, educational, social welfare institutions and Jewish communal organizations within the Rockaway Peninsula; to improve the cultural, educational, social, communal and religious welfare within this community, city, state, country and throughout the world. 

Rockaway hotels were not merely for vacationers requiring a kosher environment.  Catering facilities were used for celebratory events such as weddings, bar mitzvahs and even Sweet Sixteens! 
Many hotels provided Passover Seders and accommodations for the length of the holiday.

Rockaway Kosher Hotels (past and present)

  • Baderís Hotel          Arverne
  • Park Inn Hotel         Rockaway Park
  • Hotel Seville            Belle Harbor
  • Washington Hotel    Rockaway Park
  • Ocean Park Hotel    Rockaway Park
  • Borenstein's             Far Rockaway
  • Genadeen Hotel      Far Rockaway

 Thanks to the Leiman Library for use of the postcards shown.

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