By Brandon B. QuinnThe Conservative Synagogue of the Hamptons has moved its place of worship from the Old Whalers’ Church in Sag Harbor, where it was housed for 15 years, to the Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse at 977 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike in Bridgehampton.
According to Rabbi Jan Uhrbach, the move was bittersweet—“We loved the Old Whalers’ Church, we miss them, and it’s a sad day for us,” she said—but the impetus was twofold.
Because of the congregation’s Conservative beliefs, which focus on preserving Jewish traditions such as walking to temple and performing services in Yiddish, Rabbi Uhrbach needed to find affordable housing in walking distance for herself. Such housing no longer existed in Sag Harbor, she said.
The second reason for the move, according to Rabbi Uhrbach, was global warming—in a sense. “There was no air-conditioning at the Old Whalers’ Church, and the summers just seem to be getting hotter each year. That, or we are all getting older,” she joked.
She pointed out a common misconception by those outside the congregation about the meaning of the word “Conservative” in the title of the synagogue. “We are Conservative with respect to preserving Jewish traditions, not in the context of social or political movements. As a Conservative Rabbi, I support gay marriage,” she said.
Services for the Conservative Synagogue of the Hamptons at the Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse will be held at the same times as they were in the old location.