Jewish Community Center of LBI Celebrates Five Years in New Building and Honors Its Builders

Jun 07, 2017
Courtesy of: JCC of LBI Clockwise from top left, Jeff Shapiro, Selma and Herbert Shapiro, Edd Dreyfus and Sherry Fruchterman

The Jewish Community Center of Long Beach Island will mark the fifth anniversary of its new building, built on the Spray Beach site of the original edifice erected in 1959. A gala dinner-dance and tribute is planned.

“Five years can fly by when people are busy with the spiritual, cultural and physical well-being of the vibrant and long lived congregation that is the Jewish Community Center of Long Beach Island,” remarked an announcement of the celebration.

To mark the milestone, the dinner-dance is planned for Sunday, June 25, complete with cocktails, dinner, dancing and a high-end silent auction.

Also included is a tribute to those who, along with others, are responsible for the creation of the beautiful building that is now the JCC’s home. They are Selma and Herb Shapiro, Edward Dreyfus, Sherry Fruchterman and Jeffrey Shapiro.

A short program honoring the deserving individuals is planned. Catering will be provided by Foodies Catering in Harvey Cedars, music by Terry O’Sullivan of DJ’s Available Sound and Light.

The silent auction contains exciting items for bid such as original works of art, pottery and stained glass; high-end and fine costume jewelry; a daylong boat trip to the Statue of Liberty; bridge lessons; restaurant dinners and much more.

Chairing the event are Diane Hoffman, Ina Galer, Renee Goldman and Arlene Schragger.

A souvenir program book is also being compiled, complete with advertising and expressions of best wishes to the honorees. Deadlines for advertising and reservations are approaching soon.

For ad journal pricing and dinner reservations, call the JCC of LBI office at 609-492-4090 or visit

The Honorees:

LBI Community

Herbert Shapiro, heading into his 95th year, met his wife, Selma, who is in her early 90s, in junior high school in Elizabeth, N.J. Selma attended New York University and worked at B. Altman & Co., visiting Shapiro on LBI and attending functions with him at Penn. In June 1945, they got married during his five-day leave while in the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific, 71 years ago. Shapiro became a member of the New Jersey Bar in 1950.

Herb Shapiro began summering on LBI in 1930 after his father bought 53 acres from the ocean to the bay, filled with poison ivy, bayberry and cactus bushes. The land was then subdivided and filed on the map as Beach Haven Park by the Sea.

After graduating law school in 1949, Herb and Selma moved to Long Beach Island permanently and raised their children, Mark and Susan, there.

“LBI and the surrounding area has been good to the Shapiros over the years, and we have given back to show our gratitude to the entire community,” they said.

Edward Dreyfus had a long and distinguished career in law in private practice and with Western Electric. In the 1990s he became very involved with the JCC, working on an original rebuild committee for the old sanctuary and then on the committee to create the rabbi’s residence and eventually to design the new building.

Although the plans were revised to become a smaller building to fit a more-modest fundraising potential, Dreyfus’ vision and work over the five-year period were vital to the success of the undertakings. He was also instrumental in convincing Don Pripstein to become president of the JCC board of directors, following Rose Valentine for an eight-year period.

Sherry Fruchterman is a central Jersey native who graduated from Rutgers University in three years with honors as a biology and chemistry major. However, after teaching, she became the project manager for a 365-home development in central New Jersey and in the late 1990s developed a tract of land in Loveladies. All this was in preparation for her present business, Creative Spaces, a design, renovation and remodeling company.

In 2008, Sherry and her husband, Howard, became members of the JCC, a timing that coincided with the planning to rebuild the synagogue. Sherry became an integral part of the creation of the new edifice, working on the interior and exterior design, the selection of all materials and the décor throughout the building.

She remains “committed to maintaining both the beauty and the functionality of the JCC and helping to preserve it for future generations to enjoy as much as we do today!”

Jeffrey Shapiro is a native of Union, N.J. where he met his wife, Nita. A graduate of Rutgers University, Shapiro is a certified public accountant who spent most of his career as a financial executive and chief financial officer. Upon his retirement from that field, he became a real estate broker and a graduate of the Real Estate Institute.

After meeting Rose Valentine and Rabbi Jack Friedman and becoming members in 2005, Jeff and Nita became interested in helping the JCC. Shapiro originally volunteered his services to work on the budget and then on the planning committee for the new building.

“Then we met with the builders, and since there was no one to take on the financial aspect of the project, I stepped in,” he recalls.

After Edd Dreyfus stepped down as chairman of the overall planning committee, Jeff became chairman of the New Building committee. He negotiated with the builder and interfaced with the architect, the town, the builder, the board of trustees, the rabbi and the various committee chairs.

In addition, “I was focused on getting high quality for the best price and not imposing a financial burden on the community for perpetuity,” he said.

He also selected Sherry Fruchterman to be his co-chair during the building and design phase. 

— Maria Scandale 


Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.