The Sam Azeez Museum of Woodbine Heritage, 610 Washington Avenue, Woodbine, NJ 08270, Phone 609-861-5355

The Sam Azeez Museum of Woodbine Heritage News Article June 6, 2003

The Woodbine Synagogue Museum Creator Hosts June 6 Press Conference


Woodbine, New Jersey – Michael Azeez, creator and visionary of the Sam Azeez Museum of Woodbine Heritage at the Brotherhood Synagogue in Woodbine, NJ hosts a press conference on Friday, June 6, 11:30 a.m. to showcase the restored 1896 synagogue and new cultural museum in coordination with the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the borough of Woodbine. Michael will co-hose this Press Conference along with Mayor William Pikolycky who will be announcing the first annual Woodbine Festival Day to take place on Saturday, June 7th.

Michael Azeez, 46, now a resident of Strathmere and local entrepreneur, was raised in Woodbine and spent his childhood attending the same synagogue that his family helped found. His grandfather was a baker in Europe and then in South Jersey. The museum is dedicated to the memory of Sidney “Sam” Azeez, Michael’s Dad, whose childhood in woodbine inspired him to become an achiever, an inventor, and most successful businessman.

The purpose of the museum is to not only document and preserve the rich history of more than 600 Jewish immigrant families from Eastern Europe who settled in Woodbine in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, but to also provide a place where people can contribute to Woodbine’s heritage by adding their personal stories.

Michael Azeez is working with experts from the Philadelphia Jewish Archives to properly preserve all of the original donated items that will be featured in the museum. He is also working with Alice Dommert, from Dommert-Phillips in Philadelphia. Dommert/Phillips recently completed projects for the Morris Arboretum, the Mercer Museum, and the Foundation for Architecture (Discover Philadelphia Sign Program).

The centerpiece of the museum will be a map of the original town painted in the center of the museum floor. Both Sam and Michael worshipped at the synagogue, which was originally opened in 1896.

Following a special grand opening religious ceremony and blessing on Sunday, June 8 at 10 a.m. the newly renovated synagogue will be open for special services throughout the year. Rabbi Aaron Krauss from the Beth El Synagogue in Margate, NJ will officiate.

The museum will be open every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. for self-guided tours. Further details about the museum can be obtained through the web site at www.thesam.org.

Joining Michael Azeez at the press conference on June 6th will be New Jersey Second District Congressman Frank Lobiondo and the former New Jersey Congressman and former United States Ambassador to Panama, William Hughes, New Jersey Assemblymen Nicholas Asselta and Jeff Van Drew, and Woodbine Mayor William Pikolycky.

Special guest speaker will be Vineland, NJ resident Miles Lerman, Chairman Emeritus of the United States Holocaust Museum Council and Museum, who was a driving force behind the creation and development of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.

Also joining the speakers will be the entire eighth grade class of the Woodbine School. The school children will insert a time capsule behind a museum panel and the eighth grade students have created memory tubes. The tubes will reflect each student’s memory of Woodbine.

Following the press conference inaugural tours for the media and invited guests will be conducted. A light lunch will be served.

For après credentials contact Alyce Parker, Alyce Parker & Associates at alyceparkr@aol.com or 856-455-9090.


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