Every dream that becomes a reality must be based on a mission and this mission
must fill a need to become a success.
In 1935, a small group of Jewish men and women, led by I.C. Gellman, had a dream.
They dreamed of creating a Jewish Community Center wehre adults and youth could
congregate. The three fold mission of the Tri-City Jewish Center, as stated in
the early records, was a religious, cultural and social center for all who wished
At that time, the Jewish community consisted of small enclaves of strong and vibrant
groups on both sides of the Mississippi River. There was a Reform temple and three
Orthodox synagogues, but there was no common meeting ground for the entire community.
With this purpose in mind, committees were appointed to raise funds for a new Jewish Center.
The committees went to work and their efforts raised $30,000 from 159 families. With
this money, the Tri-City Jewish Center came into existence.