Temple Beth El of Boca Raton Welcoming People with Renovated Campus

Temple Beth El of Boca Raton has been looking for ways to welcome the community. With its newly renovated Schaefer Family Campus, the synagogue feels its doing that.

Due to the resurgence in east Boca Raton and the growth in west Boca Raton, the synagogue embarked on a major construction and renovation project in 2017 to provide larger, modernized and more meaningful spaces for Jewish learning, worship and community. With the newly renovated Schaefer Family Campus, guests enter the new Minkoff Family Welcome Center that features a contemporary design and Judaic artwork with messages of love, social justice and tzedakah and community that reflect the Jewish values that mean the most to the congregation. The new artwork at the campus has been commissioned specifically for the synagogue. The renovations also include a social justice center, a social hall and atrium and a new chapel that is expected to be completed in time for open houses taking place there later this month.

Rabbi Dan Levin, the synagogue's senior rabbi, said, "What we're seeing is the culmination of our congregation's dreams for more than 15 years."

“We knew that our facilities were keeping us from achieving our congregation’s mission. We didn’t have an appropriate space for adult learning. We needed a more inspiring space for alternative worship and lifecycle events. We wanted the building to allow the congregation to congregate. In our previous building, we had 1,500 families and we had one table and one couch were you could congregate and talk to people. We used this opportunity to create more functional space and at the same time make that space more inspiring from a spiritual standpoint.”

Steve Kaufman, the synagogue's executive director, said, "We've always felt what went inside the walls here was really special at a very high level of excellence, but the building didn't necessarily reflect that, and now we finally have a space where the visible space is as inspiring as what goes on inside the space.

 

Richard Bluestein, chair of design and construction task force for the renovations at the Schaefer Family Campus, noted that the there was an emphatic focus to have the new art work become part of the new architecture.

 

“It was very intentional for the art work to become as much a part of the building as the floor and the walls.”

 

Mark Sunshine, the synagogue’s president, said, “The architecture is important, but the message in how people feel when they walk in and when we say to them, ‘we love thy stranger,’ is what’s most important.”

 

Elinor Josephson, director of engagement and programing, feels the new renovations will help gain new members to the synagogue.

 

“When you walk into something that’s so beautiful and inspiring, it makes you feel good. The feeling begins when you walk through the doors and you’re greeted, and it continues when you meet new people.”

 

The synagogue will host open hoses for prospective members from 6:30-8 p.m. on Aug. 27 and from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 28 at the newly renovated campus, 333 SW 4th Ave. in Boca Raton. Guests are invited to meet clergy, explore the new building, enjoy light bites and receive a welcome gift for attending. Tours of the new building will begin every few minutes in the first half hour.

 

Visit tbeboca.org/special-events or call 561-391-8900 to register for open houses or more information on them and the synagogue.