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April 29, 2021

After securing the steel on the lower level and constructing a rear wall, the steel for the second level has arrived and is going up!

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 December 6, 2019

 🚨Building update🚨

Aaaannnnd we are digging!!!

A hole is being dug for our retention Basin which is G‑d willing going to go in next week!

The retention basin collects all the storm water (which is displaced by our expansion), absorbs it and slowly release it in to the ground. This prevents potential flooding.

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August 20, 2019

🎉🎉Mazal tov!!🎉🎉

We are ready for the next step! Please join us for a grand Groundbreaking Celebration on Sunday, October 6, 2019!

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January 9, 2019

🎉🎉Mazal tov!!🎉🎉

Our building expansion was approved!!
Thank you so much to our incredible team!! 
 

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 September 14, 2018

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BUILDINGUPDATE

Last year, during the High Holidays, we launched our Building Project. A lot has happened since, and we want to bring you up to date. Below is a synopsis of the building update from  Malkie Herson, as described on Rosh Hashanah. Enjoy!

Our existing building, designed for our school, is intimate, nature-focused, and peaceful. Following the premise that “the environment is the third teacher,” our school is a calm space, which creates a sense of calm within our children.

The design of the synagogue has a different goal - it is to create an awe-inspiring space, a space that evokes a sense of the largeness of the universe and our place within it...I think our new design achieves this.

The synagogue has soaring ceilings, with a roof plan that looks like mountain peaks. The beams find expression both in the interior and the exterior, lending visual interest and connectivity between the inside and outside of the building.

Both the Educational and the Synagogue wings use the same materials – green metal roof, recycled bricks, stone and glass – but each wing has its distinct feel. They don’t replicate each other, but dance together.

Being environmentally conscience, we have solar panels on the roof.
This wing includes a commercial kitchen, that doubles for friends coming together to cook, and a Women’s Mikveh (which deserves its own article). The Mikveh is designed to be physically beautiful, conducive to meditation.

We filed our Planning Board application with the Town last week, thanks to the efforts and talent of our lawyer, Mr.  Arnold H Chait; our architect,  Elena Kalman; our builder,  Scott Seltzer; and engineers. We expect to go before the planning board for approvals in December. 
We hope to have our funding secured over the next months and break ground in spring.

I don’t know if it’s physically possible to be ready for High Holidays services next year, but hopefully we’ll all be able to see our building coming out of the ground.

Our building is more than bricks and mortar. Our building is a container – a home – for Community togetherness. Togetherness we're experiencing right here, right now, in this wonderful tent. Togetherness which we look forward to building and strengthening as a community. 

 

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Holidays are meant to inspire.

And I found these High Holidays positively exciting. It was more than the great turnout, or the glorious weather which we enjoyed as we prayed in the huge tent.

There was an electricity. An energy. It felt like we all shared a confident focus on growing our region's Jewish soul.

On Rosh Hashana, I pointed out that many local Jews have no discernible connection with our local Jewish community. How many? If they’re not affiliated, we obviously can’t have a number. At the same time, we each know a few. Think about people on your block. On your kids’ sports teams. At the club. Maybe they’re in interfaith families.

These are our brothers and sisters. Maybe they’d appreciate finding comfortable points of contact with your family. Perhaps a Synagogue BBQ. Or a Federation event to strengthen Israel advocacy. Maybe something at the JCC. We should each help our friends stick a toe into the waters of Jewish communal connectedness. And we each CAN do it.

So, I asked every one of us in the tent to make a New Year’s commitment: We would each help two ‘unaffiliated’ Jews find comfortable contact with some entry point to the Jewish community.

Imagine if we do: There were 450 people at our services, so I think we can project that our group knew at least 900 Jews who weren’t anywhere for the Holiday. Imagine if next Rosh Hashana another 900 local Jews were celebrating the Holiday somewhere. What a boost to our community!

I believe that this calculus can pretty much be applied to every congregation in Somerset and Hunterdon counties, which makes the projected numbers much larger. I think it’s time for a Jewish community reality check: While Somerset and Hunterdon counties may have a relatively small Jewish community, there are many, many Jews living here. They’re just not part of the community. Yet.

By Yom Kippur, I was already hearing vignettes of people reaching out to local Jewish friends, helping them feel welcome. It was positively beautiful, and it needs to continue.

Here in Basking Ridge, our expansion project to build a proper Sanctuary, Social Hall and Mikvah is meant to provide a larger body for our growing soul.

This is our community. Our responsibility. Our opportunity. Our future.

I’m really looking forward to an exciting year, because we’re going to do this.

Together. 

-Rabbi Mendy 

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