Friday, June 05, 2020

Rabbi Zach Sitkin (left) and Rabbi David Schuck (right) standing with the new bimah in the newly constructed sanctuary at Beth El Synagogue Center.

On June 22, after an 18-month process, the nearly 600 families of Beth El Synagogue Center in New Rochelle were greeted by a newly rededicated and renovated sanctuary.

Among the most notable changes made during the renovation was a movable bimah, which will stand in the center of the room rather than its traditional place in the front, which Rabbi David Schuck hopes will inspire a more communal and participatory service.

“The symbolism of this move is profound: we want prayer to emerge from within the congregation, and we want the Torah to be read from the center of the room,” he said, “as it will engage more people and invite everyone to take ownership over co-creating a moving prayer and study experience.”

The renovation was made possible by a $500,000 donation from the Lowentheil family, who will be honored during the June 22 service; the sanctuary has been dedicated to Florence and Albert Loewentheil, Beatrice and Herman Brevada, and Leonora and Howard Loewentheil.


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