The Bayside Jewish Center, a fixture in the community for 77 years, is closing due to a lack of members and will be sold.
Natalie Winter, president of the congregation, said on Monday that members agonized over the decision, but that the expense of operating the building was just getting too high.
“The property is up for sale, but the building is not shut down. We will continue to be open until it’s sold,” Winter said. “This was not an easy decision.”
The rabbi, Moses Kirsh, has left and there will be no religious services at the facility, located at 203-05 32 Ave. Winter indicated that certain programs are remaining open but did not want to elaborate.
“Once the building is sold, we will merge with another viable synagogue,” she said. “No final decision has been made yet but it will be a Conservative synagogue.”
She said she and other members are heartbroken about the closing because “we take pride in the name, which we will take with us wherever we move. It’s sad.”
The congregation was organized in 1938 and moved to its present location more than 60 years ago.
Marilyn Bitterman, district manager of Community Board 7, said she will suggest the site as a possible public school to Borough President Melinda Katz, who is seeking locations for new ones.