A BRIEF HISTORY of AITZ CHAIM of WEST PALM BEACH
When Century Village was built in 1968 many Jews flocked to it. A Conservative Synagogue was built adjacent to the Village but many of the condo owners wanted an Orthodox Shul and broke away from it. The first services for Shabbos morning were begun in the apartment of Norman & Fay Werner. After several months Shabbos services rotated among several homes which involved moving the Sefer Torah, chumashim, siddurim and chairs from place to place each week. The first High Holiday services were held in 1974 with 60 attendees. In 1975 services were held in homes in Chatham C & G, but the Century Village management declared that it’s illegal to hold religious services in homes. In 1977 the CV management was persuaded to offer use of the Hospitality Room in the Clubhouse. Eventually H. Irwin Levy, owner and developer of Century Village, promised use of the Art Room in the new Clubhouse. Membership grew but fire code limited the number of attendees to 80. Norman Werner obtained a charter for the Shul to be named Aitz Chaim. First president Norman Werner and second President Harry Turbiner had the opportunity to purchase a plot of land on Haverhill, opposite the entrance to Century Village, which was considered a good location and a good investment. Aitz Chaim on Haverhill was completed in the Fall of 1986. Services and classes were held twice daily with no difficulty getting a minyan. A Sisterhood was formed for fundraising led by president Lillian Yellowitz.
Fast forward to 2020. We now have 300+ member families and are bursting at the seams during the season. We have multiple minyanim for Shacharis and Mincha/Maariv, both Ashkenaz and Sfard nusach. The Shul is open from early morning until late at night for Daf Yomi, shiurim on various topics and private chavrusas. The Sisterhood is still going strong, running various events to raise money.