Beth Jacob Congregation

Beth Jacob Congregation in Columbus

Beth Jacob Congregation in Columbus announced in a May 9 email a project to renovate its sanctuary “to update our aging facility while retaining the majesty, the grandeur, and the unique appeal of our historic sanctuary.”

The stained glass, stone walls and aron kodesh will remain as these features are integral to Beth Jacobs’ identity, the board of trustees said in the note to congregants. The congregation will update seating and furniture, flooring, lighting, the mechitzah and the HVAC system. The board also wants to “enhance the davening experience for both men and women” through a number of changes to:

• “Create a more intimate tefillah experience, thereby allowing for a more energetic and engaged davening atmosphere.

• Create an atrium/library that will serve several purposes including: improved security and to buffer the noise between the sanctuary and the entry hall/social hall.

• Create a more robust central bimah in order to bring the davening/Torah reading closer to the entire congregation.

• Enhance the women’s experience by bringing the women more to the center and closer to the central bimah, while making the mechitza more halachically compliant.”

Looking ahead, Rabbi Avi Goldstein and board chair Dr. Seth Hoffman will be meeting with members who want to learn more about the project. Chanita Weisz and Steven Schottenstein will co-chair the project and the congregation will soon be assembling committees to help with fundraising, design and construction.

“Baruch HaShem over the last 10 years Beth Jacob has seen tremendous growth,” the email said. “We are confident that these changes will help sustain and accelerate that growth, by creating an even more dynamic prayer experience. May HaShem continue to bless us with the immense privilege of serving the Columbus Jewish community.”

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