Schechter Institute dedicates new buildings in J'lem, TA

Sharansky: Schechter develops Jewish identity in Israel and abroad.

May 5, 2010 05:20
2 minute read.
Sharansky speaks during the dedication cermony for

Sharansky schechter 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies dedicated on Tuesday the first building of its new campus next to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and Wednesday will see the dedication of its Legacy Heritage Building in south Tel Aviv’s picturesque Neveh Zedek neighborhood.

The new Jerusalem Schechter Institute-Legacy Heritage Center for Jewish Studies campus, whose construction is to be completed by the beginning of September in time for the start of the academic year, was designed by Israel Prize laureate architect Ada Karmi-Melamed and will include the Liebhaber Center for Jewish Education as well as a library.

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The ground floor of the new five-story building includes a study hall for rabbinical students from Israel and abroad, an atrium and a central courtyard. The upper floors house 14 classrooms and lecture halls to serve Schechter’s 613 master’s students. The lower level will house the TALI Education Fund Pedagogic Center.

The dedication was attended by Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky, who noted Schechter’s role in developing and expanding Jewish identity in Israel and abroad. Also in attendance were Rabbi Prof. David Golinkin, who marks 10 years as president of the Schechter Institute, Prof. Arnie Eisen, chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, alumni, students and friends and donors from Israel and abroad.

During the ceremony the Schechter Medal was awarded to four leaders who contributed to the growth of the Schechter Institute, followed by study sessions on the future of the American Jewish life led by Prof. Jonathan Sarna, lecturer in American Jewish history at Brandeis University, and by Israeli raconteur and media figure Jacky Levy on traditions and story transmission in Judaism.

Wednesday’s Tel Aviv dedication will be of Beit Lorenz in Neveh Zedek, a historic Templar building that lay in a state of neglect for 40 years. The center will be called the Schechter Center for Jewish Culture-Legacy Heritage Building. The renovation was carried out by architect Michal Kimmel under the supervision of the Tel Aviv municipality, covering a 900-square-meter building and its 400-square-meter inner courtyard.

Activities in the Beit Lorenz building will be centered in the Kehillat Sinai Masorti Synagogue and the Simcha and Sara Lainer Beit Midrash. An art gallery and outdoor cafe will operate on the first floor and classrooms on the second floor. In the future, another wing will be added to the restored building, including offices and a TALI kindergarten for local residents. The restoration is in its final stage and the center is also due to open in September 2010.

The Schechter Institute is a non-profit organization of the Conservative Movement dedicated to the advancement of pluralistic Jewish education in Israel.

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