On the 7th of Cheshvan, Sunday October 29, Congregation Darchei Noam celebrated the groundbreaking on its new building in Toronto, Canada. Dignitaries including two members of parliament, the Minister of Community Safety, and JRF's Senior Consultant, Director of Outreach & External Affiliations Rabbi Shawn Zevit added to the large gathering of the community young and old.
The building will be 20,000 square feet, with stone and glass exterior and is expected to be completed by next fall.
Rabbi Grinberg said, "Our commitment to social justice will be felt in every stone.
Congregation president Michael Mitchell summed what makes Darchei Noam so succesful:
Our attraction has been that as Reconstructionist Jews, we have a deep respect and honour for tradition, and the desire tostudy that tradition, to study Torah. At the same time, we believe that Jewish religious culture and values are constantly evolving through the generations, and we have to be creative and thoughtful in adapting our tradition to ensure it is relevant and meaningful to us and to our children.
Michael Mitchell's complete speech as well as an article about the event in the Toronto Jewish Tribune are available in the attachments to this story.
Here is an update on JRC's exciting green synagogue building project. A few weeks ago we officially began demolition on our old building. Though this building had to come down, many of our members were distressed to see our spiritual home of 25 years in such a state.
Currently it is nothing more than a hole in the ground as we prepare to lay the foundation with recycled concrete from our old facade.
On July 1, JRC moved out of its building of almost 50 years and moved into temporary office, school, and prayer spaces in order to demolish its building and build anew. The new building won't just be any old construction. It will meet the highest level of established "green" building standards and has received a $105,000 grant to help from the Illinois Clean Energy and Community Foundation. JRC, the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation of Evanston, IL, has almost 500 families. Creating the new building will cost $15 million. The congregation has pledges of 80 per cent of that and will finance the remaining funds needed. Construction is expected to last one year. The congregation has done an exceptional job in keeping it's congreants apprised of the efforts and the changes that will occur over the next year. The lead article on the JRC web site about the new building is titled, "JRC Embraces Transition and Change." You can view the informative web pages offered congregants during this exciting time.