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Our History

Monroe Twp Jewish Center was started in 1979 by a small group of Reform Jews in Monroe Twp who wanted a place of their own. Even today, we are the only full service Reform Congregation in Monroe Twp. Many of the original founding members are still members and now enjoying the fruits of their labor with their grandchildren.

Rabbi Shira Stern was our first full-time Rabbi and spent thirteen years with us. At first, we met in the Dutch Reformed Church in Spotswood but in time, with donated land and fundraising, we were able to build a small building. Rabbi Stern was our educator and Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutor. Since those early years, we've expanded our space and beautified it by adding original stained glass windows and a new ark cover. We also adopted a Hebrew name - Congregation Etz Chaim.

In 1997, Rabbi Ben Levy joined us as spiritual leader.  In 1998, Rabbi Stern was named Rabbi emeritus. 

In 2022, Rabbi Levy retired after a wonderful 25 years and has also been honored as Rabbi emeritus. Rabbi Shmuel Polin became our Rabbi in July 2022. 

The purpose of this Congregation is to worship God following the precepts of Judaism; to impart our deep faith and rich heritage to our children; to fulfill our responsibilities to the Jewish people at large; and to practice the principles of freedom and community, both individually and collectively, and to extend the privilege of worship to all persons of the Jewish faith.

Read about Rabbi Shmuel Polin

Read more about Rabbi Ben Levy, Emeritus.

Sun, May 19 2024 11 Iyar 5784