Hinei Mah Tov Umanayim, Shevet Achim Gam Yachad
How Beautiful it is When We Sit Together
Our congregation has spent more than a year focusing on what a sacred space means, and in the coming months we will complete the first phase of our sanctuary renovation. Some might be asking, “Why? Isn’t the synagogue already beautiful?”
Yes! It is beautiful. We are deeply appreciative of the vision and leadership of Past-President Philip Sassower and Rabbi Richard Thaler (z”l) as they transformed the sanctuary from what it was, into the sacred space we have loved and called home for over two decades. The reason we are renovating the sanctuary is not a rejection of the beauty they created but to give ourselves an opportunity, like they did, to further integrate space and vision and create the kind of worship experience we believe people are seeking in the 21st century.
This new renovation will continue to connect our space to Israel by maintaining our ark with its multiple symbols of Jerusalem and adding Jerusalem stone at the base of the ark as it lifts up Torah. We will also be creating a sanctuary in a sanctuary. During the High Holidays, we will use the high bima and maintain the grandeur we have grown accustomed to during those sacred services. The lower platform bima will be there on all other shabbatot except the High Holidays. It will help create a more intimate prayer experience where we can sit together and are closer to our clergy. This renovation also reflects our value of inclusion with improved lighting, audio visual technology, live-streaming, and a reader’s table accessible to those in wheelchairs.
So join us these holidays and in the year ahead to experience a space that feels familiar and simultaneously embraces new opportunity for growth. Our time together will be enhanced by our space, and we will truly feel how beautiful it is to sit together.