The JCC of the Greater Five Towns and Temple Israel of Lawrence have signed a letter of intent for the Cedarhurst-based JCC to buy the temple’s property on Central Avenue in Lawrence.
The tentative agreement calls for Temple Israel to lease space from the JCC. Officials from both institutions declined to disclose the purchase price, and the JCC declined to say how much rent it would charge Temple Israel.
In 2010, Temple Israel signed a letter of intent to sell half an acre of its property, including two Fulton Street homes owned by the temple, to the Peninsula Public Library for between $2.5 million and $3 million. The library decided not to buy the land.
Temple Israel’s congregation must vote to approve the sale. As required by New York state law, the organization will submit the sale documents to the state attorney general’s office for its approval, and file the documents in state Civil Court for final approval. The attorney general will also review how the money from the sale will be used and how the temple will fulfill its religious mission after the sale is completed.
“Essentially what will happen is, what is there now will remain, and the JCC is taking over the management and finances of the property,” said Chumi Diamond, a member of the JCC’s board of directors.
The JCC was established more than 35 years ago. For several years, it has been leasing space from Temple Israel for its Early Childhood Center and after-school programs.
Diamond said that the center would maintain its Grove Avenue building, which houses its administration offices, as well as several programs and activities, including its Russian Division, which offers educational programs for children and adults, a group for Holocaust survivors and services for special-needs children. The center also runs several programs and activities that cater to adults, ranging from computer classes to Israeli dancing at Grove Avenue and other sites, such as Temple Hillel, in North Woodmere.
Founded 108 years ago, Temple Israel is the oldest Reform congregation on Long Island and the only one remaining in the Five Towns. It runs a religious school.