Annual Journal

Dear Friends: 

We are delighted to announce that this year The Fire Island Synagogue will be honoring Chief Ian Levine and the Ocean Beach Fire Department in our annual Ad Journal. 

Ian’s connection to Fire Island runs deep. Ian shuttled between Florida and New York as a child and spent his summers in Ocean Bay Park with his Dad, Harvey and sister, Jodi. Ian has also been a long-time supporter of the Fire Island Synagogue, and he and his father were responsible for hosting many a lavish Kiddush for our members. 

One of Ian’s first business ventures on Fire Island was Skycable, which brought first cable tv and later high speed internet to bars, restaurants, and homes on Fire Island.  Ian also installed Satellite dishes in just about every island in the Caribbean. As this business waned, ever the entrepreneur, Ian established the Community Garden Center and landscaping business, expanded this to include light construction and remodeling, and eventually opened a Gift Center in the center of the Ocean Beach town.  

Ian began living year-round on Fire Island about 30 years ago and joined the Ocean Beach Fire Department soon after, becoming Chief in 2012. The Ocean Beach Fire Department was founded in 1921, providing fire protection services by hand-drawn wagons. 

Since that time, OBFD has grown to its current volunteer force of over 60 men and women who provide fire protection and emergency medical services to Ocean Beach, Seaview, Corneille Estates, the Fire Island Summer Club, Robbins Rest, Atlantique, and the Islip Town Marina at Atlantique, as well as EMS Service for Ocean Bay Park and Point O’ Woods. 

The enormous contribution that Chief Ian Levine and the entire OBFD have made – and continue to make – to our Fire Island community was clearly demonstrated during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and throughout the Covid 19 pandemic. 

Under Ian’s leadership, the OBFD spearheaded the post-Sandy clean-up operation throughout the fire protection district and worked to establish a safe environment for us all. And in the face of the pandemic, the OBFD partnered with state, local, and county leaders to establish the unique issues that Covid presented for our island community.  

Ian met his wife, Maria, in Ocean Beach and they married 21 years ago. While their actual wedding was on the island of Jamaica, they followed that up with a very fitting weekend celebration on Fire Island. Maria is currently the President of the Ocean Beach Association and a member of the Board of the Fire Island Association. Maria’s father, Arthur Silsdorf, was not only  

Mayor of Ocean Beach for many years, and a proud member of the OBFD, but he was also a founding member of the Board of Trustees of the Fire Island Synagogue. Ian and Maria love Fire Island and this love is obvious in their ongoing commitment to our community.  

Please join us in supporting the Fire Island Synagogue and saluting Chief Ian Levine and the women and men of the Ocean Beach Fire Department, by placing a generous ad in this year’s Ad Journal. 

With warmest wishes, 

  Lisa Alter   Edward Schechter 

Lisa Alter, Co-President Ed Schechter, Co-President