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Letter: Temple's spirit, community live on

Temple Beth Elohim in Old Bethpage recently closed

Temple Beth Elohim in Old Bethpage recently closed and the building has been put up for sale. The building will become something else and that is hard to grasp because I have deep roots there. Photo Credit: Fass family photo

I agree with much of what reader Ellen Fass Greenspan said in her poignant essay, "Hard to say goodbye to a community" [Expressway, Nov. 9], but I don't agree that Temple Beth Elohim in Old Bethpage "has gone silent."

It's not the building that makes a house of worship -- it's the congregation inside that is drawn together by a common belief: that its members should share their lives, do good and care for one another.

It is true that Beth Elohim's building was growing old. We could have taken the easy way out and closed the doors. But our membership was resilient: We wanted to remain a family.

After a challenging two-year search, we found in North Shore Synagogue in Syosset a community that shared the same beliefs that Beth Elohim has embraced for 60 years. Far from falling silent, we have combined the best practices of two vibrant congregations and melded them into one incredible house of worship.

With a religious school serving 360 students, a nursery school of 180, a youth group known as the strongest on Long Island, and a full menu of programs and services for all ages, we are more than ready to serve the needs of a growing North Shore Jewish community.

So, Temple Beth Elohim hasn't gone silent. We're stronger than ever.

Joel Berlin, Bethpage

Editor's note: The writer is on the board of North Shore Synagogue and is a former board member of Temple Beth Elohim.