The Forest Hills Jewish Center is on the market for $50 million in order to “pave the way” for the congregation’s future.
“Our intention is to redevelop the site to build a new Forest Hills Jewish Center,” Deborah Gregor, executive director of the Conservative synagogue on Queens Blvd., told The Jewish Week. Putting the 70-year-old building on the market now is “the next step in that process.”
“We were given this building as an asset, and now we want to use it to sustain the community for the next 70 years,” she said.
Gregor added that the Jewish Center is “committed to not missing one day of providing services to this community during the process.”
QNS.com first reported that the 36,000-square-foot lot, zoned for mixed-use development, had been listed by B6 Real Estate Advisors (B6), an investment sales and capital advisory brokerage. The four-story synagogue includes a swimming pool, meeting rooms, classrooms, two ballrooms and a senior center.
From 1933 until his death in 1984, its senior rabbi was Rabbi Ben Zion Bokser, an author, professor and a leading scholar and religious authority in the Conservative movement. He was succeeded by Rabbi Gerald Skolnik, its current rabbi and frequent contributor to The Jewish Week.
In 2018, the synagogue hoped to redevelop the site with a mixed-used building that would include a smaller synagogue better suited to a congregation that has fewer members than at its peak.
In a recent newsletter, synagogue leaders said they were facing “immense challenges,” including loss of income due to the pandemic.
“We will continue to operate as part of the new development or at a facility nearby,” Gregor said. “Our congregation is strong, the synagogue is healthy, and our membership is committed.”