Greenwich congregation seeks new home
By Cindy Mindell ~
GREENWICH – After 20 years at 257 Stanwich Road, Greenwich Reform Synagogue (GRS) is moving to a temporary home while it seeks a new permanent location.
Founded in 1976, GRS spent its first year at Diamond Hill Methodist Church in Cos Cob and then moved to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Riverside. In 1992, the synagogue purchased its current 11.5-acre site from the Diocese of Bridgeport. Earlier this month, GRS sold its property to the adjacent Stanwich School.
The school had been renting space from the synagogue since 1998, and purchased 26 acres of adjacent land from the Diocese of Bridgeport in 2005. Since it moved to the property, the synagogue has been using a renovated gymnasium as its sanctuary. “It worked out very nicely,” says synagogue president Bill Grad. “The space has high ceilings and clear glass windows looking out onto the ‘forest primeval. But over time, the building itself became out-dated and the physical plant needed work. It was costing us quite a sum of money.”
For several years, as the school has grown and the synagogue has faced mounting costs, the two institutions have discussed various options for the properties. Last fall, it looked as though a cooperative campus would be created, which would include newly constructed school and synagogue buildings. Ultimately, Grad says, the synagogue decided to find a new location and sell its property.
The 150-family congregation serves Greenwich and the surrounding communities of Stamford and Westchester County, N.Y. The religious school serves some 100 students.
For the next three or four years, the GRS religious school will remain at its current location, while religious services will be held in a yet-to-be-named temporary home starting in November.