By Anita Almstedt
Congregation Beth Shalom
The redevelopment of the property at 151-153 Chapel Street – the site of Congregation Beth Shalom’s synagogue building and the former Jewish Community Centre (JCC) – began October 29 when Trinity Properties Investments Inc. and Forgestone Capital Management GP Inc., which bought the property last year, began to demolish the former JCC building at 153 Chapel.
Beth Shalom services and other communal activities will continue as usual at 151 Chapel Street over the next few months during the first phase of the demolition.
However, by the time the second phase of the demolition begins in May, Congregation Beth Shalom will have moved to our temporary new home on the Jewish Community Campus, where we will have office space in the Soloway JCC and hold weekly Shabbat services in the main social hall. The daily minyan will be held in the chapel at Hillel Lodge.
Beth Shalom has signed a one-year lease at the Soloway JCC, with options to extend the lease, should that be necessary.
A preservation task force has been assembled and is currently deciding which artifacts of religious or historical significance will move with the congregation to the Soloway JCC and which will be put into storage.
Both Barry Sohn, president and chief operating officer of the Soloway JCC, and Stephen Schneiderman, executive director of Hillel Lodge, have been extremely supportive and have made this emotionally challenging time in the shul’s history much easier.
Beth Shalom’s first service at the Soloway JCC will be held Friday, April 3, which, fittingly, is the evening of the first Passover seder. The holiday, which, among other things, marks the renewal of the people of Israel, this year, will also symbolically mark the renewal of Congregation Beth Shalom.