I was born in the Brooklyn on the corner of Coney Island Avenue and Avenue J, the geographical center of Brooklyn, the intersection of the downtown and cross town buses and a few blocks from the subway and the elevated lines. You can’t get a more urban or more Jewish location than this.
It is impossible to attend an event at the sanctuary of BHC without noticing the two stained glass windows placed on both sides of the Ark adorned with the following inscription in Hebrew and English versions, one on each window:
In Memory of
Our Beloved Daughter
Born May 19, 1902
Died May 6, 1928
Who Paid for the First Torah Scroll of Bethlehem Hebrew Congregation?
The earliest document related to the establishment of BHC to survive the vicissitudes of time (and the North Country’s weather) for ninety years is an unpretentious typewritten list of donors hanging on the northern wall of the sanctuary.
History is usually a reading of the past with the eyes and spirit of the present. Tracing back the story of BHC on its Ninetieth Anniversary one becomes aware of the tremendous effort and dedication of relatively few individuals to sustain a viable Jewish center on behalf of Jews spending their summers in Bethlehem. In this sense, the past is just another version of the present.