The Sidney & Pauline Friedman Center for Jewish Life At 613 Third Avenue


We will be putting out newsletters periodically to update the community on the status of the new Center for Jewish Life.


February 2016 Newsletter


November 2015 Newsletter


September 2015 Newsletter


August 2015 Newsletter


May 2015 Newsletter


March 2015 Newsletter


February 2015 Newsletter


December 2014 Newsletter


November 2014 Newsletter


October 2014 Newsletter


An insightful overview of the Third Avenue Project


Committee Final Report - March 2013





The Center for Jewish Life Campaign Co-Chairs Larry Taren and Paula Chaiken announce that the campaign’s organizational team is being formed, along with the formalizing of timelines, policies and procedures, and other critical aspects of a multimillion dollar capital campaign to create the Jewish Community Campus.


Sparked by the gift of land by the Cohen, Friedman and Lantz families, plans are moving ahead to design a full-service and contemporary facility that will maximize the types of programs and services envisioned for the new campus.


According to JCA Building Committee co-chairs David Schwager and Chuck Cohen, a number of visitations are planned to see other comparable campuses and to develop a local effort that will transform the existing building on the Third Avenue site into a useful, efficient, and important resource for all types of educational, social and community services.”


Thanks to Representative Phyllis Mundy, Senator Lisa Baker, the Municipality of Kingston, and the members of the Luzerne County Legislative Delegation, a $1.25 million government grant for the project was received and serves as an impetus for moving ahead strategically, announced Paul Lantz, president of the Jewish Community Alliance (JCA).


“A tremendous community effort is essential to sustain a Jewish presence in the Wyoming Valley,” the campaign co-chairs explained. They highlighted five points that delineate the necessity to create a new central meeting place for the Jewish community:

  1. With a significant percentage of the Jewish community living on the West Side of the Wyoming Valley, the new Third Avenue site is a location that will provide significant accessibility and easy, plentiful parking.

  2. With the demand for more programming and more community involvement, our Center for Jewish Life will make things possible in a contemporary, efficient and attractive environment.

  3. The new campus will be more efficient in energy, maintenance and usage. Experts estimate that the new campus would reduce our basic overhead costs by $200,000 a year.

  4. The 13.1 acre site makes it possible to attract other organizations to provide rental, endowment, and other income to create funding for our on-going Jewish communal needs.

  5. The current JCC building on River Street is inadequate. The building requires many millions of dollars to bring the facility to acceptable standards and to handle current and projected programs and services.


With the campaign in its organizational and quiet phase, members of the community are being invited to join the fast growing campaign organization. The fundraising chairs hope that you will want to join them and be part of creating this historic event that will build a strong, viable Jewish presence.


The two chairs have emphatically stated that “we need more than your money. We need your help in reaching out to others to support the campaign. We need your advice. We need expertise that you can add to this project. If you have the time, we have a place for you in the planning and execution of this amazing project. Join us and be part of making this dream become a reality.”


Please call Rick Evans, Director of Camping, Community Outreach, and Development, at the JCA office at 570-824-4646 or at and offer your assistance.


Update April 23, 2014

At the recent JCA/Temple Israel Seder a number of people asked what is happening at Third Avenue.  Here are some highlights of the activity:


The Communications Committee is in the process of developing a brochure outlining the case for giving.  This literature will summarize the benefits and advantages our community gains from moving the JCC and creating a campus on Third Ave.  As part of their work this logo has been developed and future updates will be under The Center for Jewish Life.


The Capital Campaign Committee is assembling a cabinet so that when the case for giving is completed the work of raising the funds for this endeavor can begin.


The Building Committee has been working with the Program Committee to make sure that the construction provides all the necessary room for current programs as well as the many newer ones that have been highlighted in the JCC Digest and in our weekly email blasts.  The Design Committee has been soliciting bids from architects so they too will be ready to hit the ground running as the campaign unfolds.


Meetings have been held with the Congregations about their becoming part of this campus.  We are extremely happy to report that Temple Israel, at their April Board of Trustees meeting, voted overwhelmingly to relocate the school and office to the site.  They have agreed on an initial 3 year term as a pilot project.  We are confident that the financial savings that will benefit Temple Israel as well as their presence in our new hub of Jewish activity will quickly evolve into a permanent relationship.


Though there may not seem like progress is being made, since no work is being done on the actual site, putting all the committees together and creating a solid foundation for fundraising leading to the actual construction may be our most crucial steps.


For more updates, see the newsletter links above.

C4JL Groundbreaking

See Eyewitness New's story on the C4JL groundbreaking on October 4th, 2015