In order to realize this goal of renovation and renewal, five Guiding Principles have been established:
Driven by Our Mission: Beth Jacob’s facilities improvement should be driven by CBJ’s mission, and by the needs of our programs, members, and leadership.
Practicality of Design: The renovation will build on the best of what we already have, including our unique mid-century architecture and our “best in the U.S.” climate.
Financial Responsibility: We will be fiscally prudent, live within our means, and not put the congregation into long-term debt.
Quality: We will use skilled professionals when needed and ensure that whatever we do is done with quality.
- Community: The Solomon Project will be undertaken by our entire membership, who will be encouraged to learn about the project, contribute in a meaningful way, and share in the joy of this mitzvah.
Solomon Project Phase One Features:
Repair/replacement of critical infrastructure elements including the roof and expanded fire protection
Expanded spaces for gatherings and community events of various sizes
Flexibility for varied uses of space
Air-conditioning in renovated areas
Updated, more open, more welcoming atmosphere that integrates with our existing architecture
Improved flow and way-finding through the facility
The Site Plan below highlights the specific areas to be renovated in Phase One of the Solomon Project. These improvements will benefit every member of CBJ, whether attending services, meetings, programs, or school.
Below are the architect’s images of the new areas. Please note: Finishes such as colors and fabrics have not been finalized.
A welcoming and inviting entry - DELET HA'Z'MANAH
Our current main entrance -- which is small, unwelcoming, and hard to identify -- will be replaced by an expressive main entry that invites you in (a "Delet Ha'z'manah"). It will be clear that this is how your enter Congregation Beth Jacob -- not through the chapel or the social hall.
Once inside, you'll be able to see where you are, and where you are going.
From lobby to reception hall - ULAM KATAN
Our exisiting lobby, with its low ceilings, poor lighting, and unclear direction to the sanctuary, chapel, or social hall, will be replaced with a beautiful new Reception Hall, our "Ulam Katan". This enlarged space, with high ceilings, natural light, and air conditioning, is a place where we can gather for the many dinners, kiddushim, and events that aren't big enough for our social hall, as well as an inviting lobby with places to visit and chat. The office entry and reception area will be reconfigured as well to make sure it's functional and easy to find.
This renewed space will also provide welcoming and clearly identified entries to the social hall and sanctuary.
Looking back toward the main entry, the chapel entrance, with its own vestibule for prayerbooks and tallitot, will be accessed from inside the lobby.
Our new reception hall will be a beautiful and inviting center for our community - welcoming us, providing us with new places to gather and celebrate, and guiding us to the other areas of our synagogue.
A refurbished, flexible chapel - BEIT MIDRASH
Our current chapel is showing its age, with poor lighting and ventilation. It is too small for our High Holy Day alternate services, and for many weddings and lifecycle events for which our sanctuary is too big.
From its new interior entry off the reception hall, our renovated chapel (Beit Midrash) will provide an intimate space for smaller services and ceremonies, with new lighting, air conditioning, sound support for the hearing impaired, and new seating closer to the Torah table.
This renovated chapel will connect to new interior space that is now a little-used and unattractive outdoor patio. When closed off, this new space can be used for meetings and classes; when opened up, it will provide much needed expansion space for larger chapel services and ceremonies.
Phase One is expected to cost $3.7 million, including all costs such as construction, design, permitting, financing, and furnishings. We are hoping to fundraise more than this amount to add additional features that were removed from the scope in order to stay within our original budget.
On a per-square-foot basis, considering the scope of the project, this is very reasonable, and compares favorably to other recent synagogue renovations in the Bay Area.
Major gift fundraising began well over a year ago. Thanks to our generous members, we have reached almost $3.6 million in multi-year pledges, on our way to our goal of $3.7 million for Phase One.
The Solomon Project is a unique opportunity to perform the mitzvah of building places of Jewish worship and learning.
Please consider a stretch gift that you can contribute over three-to-five years. We ask you to consider an amount that is meaningful to you and signifies a commitment to the future of our vibrant and precious congregation.
If you are interested in meeting with a team member, please contact Eric Stone by email or at 650-366-8481.