MONTVILLE, NJ – The Pine Brook Jewish Center hosted a “welcome back” brunch and opened a time capsule that had been encased at the Lake Hiawatha Jewish Center for 50 years.

Approximately 70 people who were members of the LHJC attended the event in addition to the 130 PBJC members who attended. The two groups merged in 1995 at which time the Torahs, or holy scrolls, from the Lake Hiawatha building were marched to the Pine Brook building.

“The breakfast brought together generations of friends and families from two synagogues to share in a momentous event,” said PBJC Vice President Nancy Lerner-Weiss.

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When opened, it was discovered the time capsule contained a membership guide, the 1945 articles of incorporation, and a bulletin from 1965, when the box was placed in the cornerstone of the building on Roosevelt Avenue.

The PBJC is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year, and PBJC President Jonathan Cohen says that Judaism is all about remembering the past.

“We were taught to pass the teachings of the Torah on to our children, and the sense of caring for our parents before us,” he said. “There was no nursery school until after the merger with the LHJC, and we added on to the PBJC because of that merger. The PBJC we have today is because of the merger, so we are obviously obligated to remember that piece of our history. I was a member of the LHJC, and now I am president of PBJC. Together we think about the next 120 years.”

“While PBJC continues to celebrate its 120th anniversary, we look forward to more fulfilling events for the entire community,” Lerner-Weiss said.