A new Jewish center planned for Stony Brook, NY is just about halfway through the fundraising process and its administration hopes to break ground on the project this summer.
Rabbi Chaim Grossbaum said in an interview Sunday that the Chabad of Stony Brook community is eager for the new facility to be built because it has expanded to essentially grow out of its current facilities. Currently, the organization is based in Lake Grove but also utilizes places like the Setauket Neighborhood House, Nassakeag Elementary School, and the Bates House for events and services. For instance, Grossbaum said, the Lake Grove facility is too small to fit the more than 300 people who typically attend high holiday services.
“It will create a community right around the center,” Grossbaum said. “It will become the central location, and it will be a lot of fun. It will bring us all together.”
The $7 million plan calls for a two-story, 33,873-square-foot facility to be used as a place of worship, community gatherings, nursery school, and educational and recreational activities on close to nine acres of land on Nicolls Road in Stony Brook north of Sycamore Drive. The plans also include a swimming pool and small amphitheater.
It’s “all falling into place,” Grossbaum said.
He said the organization is just below halfway to its fundraising goal, and sponsorships and dedications are still available, he said. He described Chabad of Stony Brook as a membership-free organization open to the entire Jewish community, which he said includes 35,000 Jewish Long Islanders. The new facility is “a tool to service the community,” Grossbaum said.
“We focus on the people, not the building,” he said. “The community is the goal.”