OUR GOAL IS A SIMPLE ONE:
TO CREATE A VIBRANT,
GROWING JEWISH COMMUNITY
IN NORTHEASTERN NEW JERSEY
In the mid-1920s, members of the Cliffside Park Jewish community formed Congregation Sons of Israel. They met in a private home before moving into a building on Edgewater Road. In early 1958, the now-renamed Temple Israel Community Center moved one block east, into a new building at 207 Edgewater Road.
Our synagogue has always been small. Our founders cherished the warmth and intimacy only a small congregation could provide. The new building on Edgewater Road reflected that. Its sanctuary, for example, seated fewer than 150 people. Larger numbers were accommodated by opening a movable wall separating the sanctuary from the social hall. That building served us well for 60 years.
Our “style” has won us a reputation for actually being what other congregations only claim to be: warm, friendly, and caring. Even on the High Holy Days, when intimacy seems impossible, we make “the stranger” feel welcome (because no one who enters here is a stranger). Among other things, people no one recognizes are given honors. The rabbi and officers make several forays during each service into “the pews” to greet as many people as possible, especially those people who are new to the synagogue. Many of our officers sit among the throng, as well.
On August 2, 2015, TICC was joined by Temple Beth El of North Bergen, which was founded in 1923; we changed our name to Congregation Beth Israel of the Palisades to reflect the new partnership.
TBE had a long and wonderful history in North Bergen, a part of Hudson County, which used to be a very Jewish community. At its peak, Temple Beth El had perhaps as many as 300 families that were members.
In the 1980s, however, the demographics shifted. Families began moving to Bergen County. As their children grew up and moved out, the parents began moving to Florida and other warmer climes.
There are younger families in CBIOTP's catchment area. One of the major objectives of the joining of TICC and TBE is to make ourselves relevant to those families, and to create a community that people will want to be part of, including the scores of empty-nesters in the area.
Congregation Beth Israel of the Palisades is committed to doing just that.
For that reason among others, on Friday, December 29, we acquired the building and assets of the New Synagogue of Fort Lee. Our new building—located at 1585 Center Avenue in Fort Lee—is younger, more attractive, and more conveniently located. It also maintains the intimate tradition that has been our hallmark.
Come one Shabbat and check us out. We think you will be glad that you did.