In 1968, a bond issue authorized two new colleges in New Jersey. There were challenges, starting with: What would be a suitable site for a college in Bergen County? A master plan was needed for physical development for a college with an ultimate enrollment of 8,000.

Yet, within only 18 months, a campus and buildings were constructed to serve the first 500 students. The story of the birth of Ramapo College of New Jersey is unique and fascinating. On Wednesday, Dec. 19 at noon, The Jewish Center of Princeton, at 435 Nassau St., will host speaker Bert Ellentuck, who will talk about the challenges the state faced in 1968.

Ellentuck served two years in the Army Corps of Engineers during the Korean War. He spent time as principal planner for the Planning Board of Trenton and retired as vice president for engineering and facilities at Monmouth Medical Center. He is a longtime resident and former mayor of Roosevelt.

The goal of the Jewish Center lecture series is to host well-known writers, artists, scientists, educators and other scholars who share their insights and learning. The lecture will be preceded by lunch at noon in the social hall. The programs, including questions and answer periods, generally conclude by 1:20 p.m. The lectures are open to the public. Coffee, tea and cookies provided.

On the Web: thejewishcenter.org.