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          REJUVENATING OUR SYNAGOGUE INTERIOR --                 For Today and Tomorrow


Adat Reyim is our spiritual and community home. More than bricks and mortar, it is our Etz Chayim, our Tree of Life - our building that has sustained us so well for 30 years. With enthusiasm, commitment and dedication, we undertook a rejuvenation of our sanctuary and lobby.  We followed the guidance of our congregants who asked for a building that is inclusive and welcoming, fosters connections among community and family, and invites in nature.  We are so proud of all we have achieved together so far!

 

A Rejuvenated Bimah! 

With time, perseverance and the help of many talented individuals, we have revitalized our most sacred space, our bimah. We appreciate everyone who donated ideas, volunteer time, and funds to make this happen. 

 

Our new Aron Kodesh – our Holy Ark, is home for our Torahs – our ancient teachings and inspiration. We knew that its structure and place on the bimah had to be solid, strong, and meaningful, but also warm, inviting, and reflective of nature.  Working with our architects, Ritter-Norton Architects of Alexandria, we created a one-of-a-kind ark that reaches out to the congregation while reaching up to the heavens. Natural light flows from above, creating a true focal point in our sanctuary for the meditative, reflective, healing, celebratory, mournful and hopeful work that is accomplished here.

 

Our Torah covers are works of art, created for Adat Reyim by noted artist Jeanette Kuvin Oren. Jeannette hand-dyed each piece of fabric and then carefully placed them to create an inspiring design of a tree of life spreading through the Torah covers. The glass ark doors are etched with Jeannette's design that carries on the theme of the tree of life. The etched leaves, with their varying degrees of translucency, offer the congregation glimpses of what is inside, while not completely revealing the ark's contents. This unique ark makes the Torahs accessible to all and yet maintains the mystery of the holy scrolls until the ark is opened. The ark is surrounded by wood, metal, and stone tiles – tiles that were actually quarried in Israel.   

 

Our ner tamid (eternal light) is another striking work of art, handcrafted with care for Adat Reyim by artist Claude Riedel who has made creating ner tamids for congregations his life’s work. The grandson of a Jewish man who was taken to Buchenwald on Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass in Germany in November of 1938, Claude continues to find deep personal meaning in his work, which, in his words, is his way of putting the broken pieces of glass of Kristallnacht back together. When Claude came to Adat Reyim in October 2020 to direct the installation of our new ner tamid, he spoke about the influences of our specific eternal light. He spoke of the "burning bush," the intense splash of water, the energy in the origins of the universe – he sees all of these images in his creation. And he made sure to inform us that, if you look at his artwork from the bottom, where the base is black, you see the light coming from the darkness. In his words, you see hope.

 

The bimah furnishings, including a Torah table and two lecterns, are flexible to accommodate religious and non-religious activities. They are designed with storage space, and are portable and adaptable so they may be brought down to the sanctuary floor for more intimate gatherings. The wood and metal gracefully integrate with the ark design, ner tamid, and with our rejuvenated sanctuary interior.

 

 

A Warmer, More Accessible Sanctuary and Lobby

The sanctuary and lobby rejuvenation have both elevated and enhanced the Adat Reyim experience.  With a completely new sound system, you can sit in any seat in our sanctuary and hear with crystal clarity. New LED, dimmable lighting throughout brightens the space, conserves energy and lessens maintenance requirements. Pendant lighting takes advantage of our high ceilings and adds interest to the sanctuary space. Attractive acoustical panels hang from the ceiling to improve the sound quality throughout the sanctuary. The floor in the sanctuary and lobby has the appearance of quality hardwood, but is easier to maintain. The surrounding classrooms and library are carpeted in a coordinated pattern. Chosen for their extreme durability and acoustic properties, the flooring and carpeting are also specifically manufactured so there is no difference in height when transitioning from flooring to carpet, increasing comfort and accessibility for all.  

 

The new movable walls surround the sanctuary with warm wood paneling.  The walls are significantly easier to operate and provide better acoustic separation between rooms. Our classroom spaces are defined, providing an additional classroom along the western wall and making the double-size classroom adjoining the lobby a permanent larger room for onegs, meetings and other uses. The classroom side of the walls is covered in a self-healing material allowing teachers and committee leaders to pin items up without creating holes in the walls

 

Our lobby also benefits from new flooring and lighting, welcoming in members and visitors.  A beautiful feature wall, evoking nature and natural materials, greets our congregants and guests as they enter the lobby.

 

Our work continues in the lobby - the first view of our synagogue. We want to make it warm and inviting so members and guests can gather are connect. Our lobby should reflect our welcoming and inclusive values -- so people understand who we are the moment they open our doors. 


Can you help continue this inspiring rejuvenation?  Please donate below.

Honor someone special with a donation in their name. Become a...

Bridge Builder           $ 180

Faithful champion        540

Sacred Supporter       1800

Shining Light              5400

 

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Wed, December 1 2021 27 Kislev 5782