Seaside Jewish Community synagogue expansion groundbreaking coming this week


Seaside Jewish Community will hold a groundbreaking ceremony and reception to mark the beginning of the expansion of its synagogue. The event will take place 11:30 a.m. on January 5, 2020, at the synagogue at 18970 Holland Glade Road, Rehoboth Beach.

“We look forward to our congregants, friends and community members celebrating this milestone with us,” says Buddy Feldman, president. “I and Co-President, Alyssa Simon, wish to extend a warm welcome to members of the community to join in this wonderful event.”

The $1.25 million expansion project will double the size of the sanctuary, classrooms and social areas, improve accessibility, update the kitchen, and add new security, video and communication systems. Throughout the planning process, members were surveyed and several meetings took place to learn what congregants wanted in their larger synagogue. The project is anticipated to be completed by the third quarter of 2020.

“We have a terrific team of local partners, and we look forward to working with Warfel Construction, Fulton Bank, Design Delmarva, Merestone Consultants, Harold Blair, Absolute Security, and others to create a new home to serve our members as we grow into the future,” says Mathew Ash, Seaside’s project manager and chair of the House Committee.

An active capital campaign is underway. So far, Seaside has raised about 70 percent of the cost of the project, including an allocation from Seaside reserve funds, and is expecting an additional $50,000 grant for security upgrades from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security via the Delaware Emergency Management Agency.

Seaside is the only Jewish congregation in southern Delaware. It was formed as an independent congregation following a Passover gathering in a local restaurant in 1997. Over the years, Seaside grew, meeting in different locations, and in 2006 bought its present building. Today, as a result of the influx of people moving to Delaware’s Sussex County from nearby metropolitan areas, Seaside Jewish Community serves more than 600 members.

Seaside, with active participation from member volunteers, offers an extensive schedule of worship services, youth and adult educational programs, and social activities. It also partners with many local organizations in a variety of activities and programs. Members participate in extensive interfaith initiatives to improve understanding and mutual acceptance throughout southern Delaware, including partnering with Epworth United Methodist Church in its meal programs for international students and the homeless.

Seaside supports community service projects including donations of clothing, assistance for the bereaved, ill and needy, and contributions to many worthwhile causes in the area.

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