It was a reverent and quietly momentous occasion. Sixty-three years after its incorporation by 10 Island families, the Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center installed its first full-time rabbi.

Saying, "We do this with the hope and expectation in our hearts that this blessing of having you as our spiritual leader will enable all of us to grow spiritually and in knowledge of Torah," Hebrew Center president Edward Schwartz officially installed Rabbi Caryn Beth Broitman.


The Brickmans, Cronigs and Levines are recognized as the earliest Jews to settle on Martha’s Vineyard, but if Ken Libo’s research findings turn out to be true, then some of the Island’s Portuguese-American ancestors may also have been part of the Jewish diaspora.


In a three-hour ceremony marked by community celebration, joyous music and traditional Jewish rituals, the new Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center was consecrated Saturday morning in Vineyard Haven.
The consecration of the new center, built in the past year, attracted an audience of more than 200 Vineyarders, mostly congregation members, but also people of other faiths who came to honor both the building and the growing Island Jewish community.