Jaffe - Bimah # 10 v 2 Final 5015


Jewish Center of the Hamptons

 Norman Jaffe, Architect


AAQ - Jaffe Schematic Profile 4130

Taking its basic architectural theme from the chuppa or portico, this synagogue is a replacement for an existing wood frame building.  The new space will be connected to an existing Memorial Grove of trees.  The entry way is low in scale and tight in width, designed to help worshippers to shed their daily concerns and prepare for prayer.  The stone floors are laid in an irregular pattern with minimal joints recalling limestone blocks of Jerusalem Walls.  The portico theme begins at the entry and repeats in a series of interlocking, ascending proticos that come to full height at center and then descend to a thrust bimah.  The ark is the last portical; a building in itself.  The angular columns, recalling the character of Hebrew script, bend upwards.  The repetition of forms suggests a tradition of Jewish worship, a steadfastness of dovening.

The number ten is significant in Hebrew tradition–ten commandments, ten men make a minion, ten tribes, etc. The sanctuary is enclosed by ten sections, each formed of two columns infill above and a niche for seating.  The sections become roofs at their intersection with the horizontal plane, each separated by light. The sections are named each after one of the ten branches of the sephirot, a tree-life form common to Hebrew iconography.  The sephirot motif reappears in the hand rails, column capitals, exterior window frames and inside the ark itself.  The building is genearlly lit by ambient or north light with the exception of the ark upon which east and west light is allowed to wash, highlighting this surface from others.

— Project Description

1988 Merit Award/Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art & Architecture

“Wonderful use of light; absolutely beautiful combination of light and wood.”

AAQ - Jaffe Schematic Adj 4128

AAQ - Jaffe Relief 4119


Jaffe - S. EL. B&W 4987





Jaffe - Sanctuary 4 Roofs 4963


Jaffe 1 pt Sanc adj # 1 5008


AAQ - Jaffe Adj Torah Shelter 4328


Jaffe - Sanctuary from West 4966


Jaffe Ark Final # 12 5009


Jaffe - Sanctuary Dusk 4964


Jaffe Ark x 3 5009




Norman’s sketch for a photograph.


Jaffe - EL x 4 5010


AAQ - Jaffe Adj Stars 4327


Jaffe W EL # 6 Final 5004


AAQ - Jaffe 3 Roof Sketch 4507

Norman’s sketch for a photograph.


Jaffe 4 Roofs Ext Final v 2 5019


AAQ - Jaffe N. EL Sketch 4504
Norman’s sketch for a photograph.


Jaffe - N. EL Larger 4308


 Jaffe Cover Best 4892

“A memorable cover,” Norman remarked when he saw a b&w photocopy of the forthcoming issue.




April 3, 1932 – August 19, 1993

Jaffe Portrait x 2 Final 5020

AIA Fellows Nomination Statement by the New York Chapter of the AIA, October 2, 1990:

The nominee has demonstrated an unusually high quality of completed work in a variety of building types. Village Green in Staten Island (1969) was the first Planned Unit Development in New York City and has served as a model for low rise planning since.  It was cited by the Urban Land Institute as a startling departure from the traditional suburban detached house and grid development.

Sam’s Creek Community (1982), Bridgehampton, was a pioneer example of unifying a typical residential subdivision, demonstrating that building forms could be generated by site considerations and integrated with landscape architecture, providing both community and privacy.

Designing in concert with the natural environment has been characteristic of the nominee’s custom work of over 100 houses, nationwide, recognized by over 30 significant awards.

7 Hanover Square, a 26-story speculative office building in the Wall Street district was cited by both the Landmarks and City Planning Commissions. Here, the nominee developed a low mass that permitted the patterns of light on the adjacent square to remain. The building’s design and use of materials and the treatment of the facade reflect his concern with relationships with landmarks and to the dense and close-knit physical characteristics of the existing 19th century neighborhood.

In the area of religious buildings, Gates of the Grove Synagogue (recipient of five design awards) demonstrates the nominee’s ability to design an exterior in concert with the natural environment and an interior space highly conducive to ritual.

The nominee has demonstrated that budget and size of project is not prerequisite to achievement of a high standard of architecture. Study and skill in the use of space, light, plan, materials and details has enabled this nominee’s work to achieve an enduring quality.

Norman Jaffe was elevated to Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects on May 19, 1991.

Norman Jaffe Gates W. Elev + 15169

West Elevation, 1988


Visit: AAQ/Content — Norman Jaffe: Thoughts on Architecture, November 28, 1983 

Visit: AAQ / Content — Norman Jaffe: 565 Fifth Avenue, NYC, 1993

Visit: AAQ / Architecture: Norman Jaffe’s Gates of the Grove / Re-framed Portfolio


Photographs copyright Jeff Heatley. Photographed for Norman Jaffe, 1988/89.


Architect, Associates, Contractors

Norman Jaffe, FAIA Architect

Design Team Associates

Keith Boyce, Project Manager

Miles Jaffe

Randall Rosenthal (pictured at Ark w/Torah scrolls). Also, fabricated the Eternal Light, designed by Jaffe.

Peter Johnston

John Kneski

Tom Moeller

Engineer: Thomas Reilly, PE

General Contractor: Dave Webb, Inc.

Millwork: David Flatt, including Bimah

Glazing: Otto Glass

Masonry: Robert Kessler, Inc.

Lighting: Herb Levine



 Interior wood: Alaskan Yellow Cedar

Stone flooring: Valder’s Limestone

Exterior shingles: 5/4″ Red Cedar Handsplits


Jewish Center of the Hamptons 

44 Woods Lane

East Hampton, NY 11937