Letter from Rabbi Cohen about the Shul's renewal project

Dear members and friends,

After deliberations and planning that have spanned the past few years, our Shul is prepared to embark on an ambitious renovation campaign project. This much anticipated stage comes with renewed dedication to Tifereth Israel’s legacy and heritage, and confidence in realizing the vision of our future.

Our Shul has served the community and Klal Yisrael with great distinction for 126 years, and I surmise that our remarkable arichus yamim is reflective of us finding favor in the eyes of Hashem as well. When our present building was constructed in 1966, it was built to address the needs of the membership and community of that era. A half-century later, the structure which has proudly facilitated and promoted Torah, Tefillah, Ahavas Yisrael, and Chesed must continue to advance those same goals – but the Kli, that which provides the form and framework, needs to meet the expectations of a community that has been transformed with the passage of time. A half-century later, we have no less of an obligation than our predecessors - to provide a Mikdash Me’at that will address the needs of today’s community. A little more than a decade ago, we transformed the aging and just functional lower level of the Shul into a thriving Makom Torah that acted as the catalyst for dramatically increased Minyanim and an ongoing Kol Torah that echoes in our Bais Medrash every day and night.  A similar paradigm shift can be achieved through the renovation of the Shul.

The main focus of this project is the Bais Haknesses itself, restructuring it and giving the mispallelim the space and comfort that enhances focus on one’s Tefillah. As well, a redesigning of the Aron Kodesh and the Mizrach will be done in a fashion that underscores our identification with Klal Yisrael, highlights our connection to Eretz Yisrael and Yerushalayim, and engenders an inspired and uplifting avodah she’bilev. As the project progresses, the needs of other parts of the Shul will also be addressed, bringing kavod ve’tiferes, honor and glory to the Shul as a whole and enabling us to maximize the ways in which we can continue to serve our community.

The costs of the project pale in comparison to the dividends that it will yield. The structure exists, and the renovation will build upon that framework. Similarly, we will build upon the values and principles that are the foundation of our Shul, and the rededication will allow us to promote those ideals for the greater honor of Hashem and His people.

Aaron Cohen