"An unfurling scroll" is one of the descriptions that members of Kehilat Yedidya used to describe the look of our new building, construction of which began at the start of September 2000 and finished in August 2003.
The new building, which architect Mendy Rosenfeld has managed perfectly to integrate with its parkside environment, will have approximately 700 sq. m. of floor space on two floors. The upper floor will serve as the main sanctuary, and the lower floor will include space for women's Torah readings, children's activities, and a large multi-purpose area. A basement level will also be built but will be left unfinished at this stage.
According to the architect, one of the special features of the building will be the quality of the light. Rosenfeld envisions a sanctuary that will be brightly but indirectly lit by natural light through the use of windows placed in such a way as to take full advantage of the direction of the sun's rays in the early evening and the morning. The intention, he said, is to create a space that is at once open and welcoming, but also "set apart" for prayer and devotion.
The sanctuary will, of course, also have special features in keeping with Kehilat Yedidya's practices and beliefs. The table from which prayers will be led and the Torah read, like the ark, will be in the center of the synagogue, equally part of the men's and the women's sections. Exits are planned in such a way that either the women or the men may exit the main sanctuary and descend to the lower level on those Shabbatot when there are separate men's and women's Torah readings.
One prominent feature of the new building will be the long ramp that leads from the building's entrance up to the sanctuary on the second floor. The ramp serves three purposes. First, it provides equal, convenient access to the sanctuary for all worshippers, including the handicapped. Second, it serves as a transition area in which people arriving for prayers move from the outside into the holy area of the sanctuary itself. Third, its stone and glass construction will serve as an intermediate esthetic element between the synagogue and the park, integrating Kehilat Yedidya into the green, wooded track next door.
In short, the new building will integrate all our community's important principles -- adherence to halacha, openness to the community, integration into the neighborhood environment, and full and varied community life.
South facade, including main entrance and ramp.
Southwest view, looking through the ramp into the building.
North (back) facade
Southeast, view from above.
Sanctuary, from the back. Chairs shown are demos; we haven't chosen specific chairs yet. The mechitza is also not shown because it has yet to be planned.
Sanctuary floor plan.
Ground floor plan. Part of this multi-purpose space, shown with chairs, will close off (divider not shown) and serve as the women's Torah reading room.
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