Port Washington

You don’t find many storefront houses of prayer in Port Washington, NY. Nevertheless, Chabad of Port Washington is experiencing nothing short of a boom. Its two-acre campus houses a 25,000 square foot preschool, school, mikvah and synagogue complex with water views. An expansion project is underway to add another 18,000 square feet that will house a prep school caliber library and gymnasium.

“Until Chabad came I never saw a Jewish presence in Port Washington,” said Dr. Martin Brownstein, whose medical lab served the area for three decades. “I never saw a mezuzah on a door. I never saw anyone wearing a yarmulke. The ethnic newspapers were Korean, nothing Jewish.”

Synagogues in the area had and continue to boast solid affiliation numbers, but being Jewish in Port Washington was a low profile affair. Now, 17 years into Chabad’s presence in the area, its Chabad Academy of Sciences and Humanities educates 200 children. Fifty-eight tots fill the Brownstein Preschool to capacity, and there’s a waiting list. 120 students are enrolled in Hebrew School. Another 150 attend post-bar and bat mitzvah teen clubs.

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