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Solomon 4 - Master Plan

The initial phase of Solomon 4 has been the development of a Master Plan for the entire CBJ campus that envisions improvements to existing elements and the creation of new structures. The scope of these improvements was largely determined through interviews with CBJ staff and key stakeholders in each area of concern.

Goal
Create a thoughtful, visionary Master Plan for the development of the CBJ campus that supports our values as a Kehillah Kedosha, and maximizes the effective use of our entire site to meet our current and long term programmatic and spiritual needs.

Scope
Under consideration are the creation or improvements to the following functional areas:

  • New multifunction outdoor chapel
  • Improved school wing
  • Restored memorial wall
  • Upgraded South Patio
  • Remodeled kitchen pantry/kitchenette area
  • Replaced sanctuary lighting
  • Future mikveh

Time
The Master Plan project has been underway since early 2023. The draft master plan is scheduled to be prepared by the High Holidays. Following review and comment, a final plan will be completed shortly thereafter.

Cost
Order-of-magnitude cost estimates are being prepared for the various elements of the plan. Funds for implementation will come from a combination of existing reserves and a fundraising effort specific to this project.

 

Outdoor Chapel

One of the unanticipated consequence of the pandemic was recognizing just how wonderful it is to worship outdoors. While the existing Beit Aseifa provides a modest opportunity for that, the Master Plan envisions a larger gathering area, more highly integrated into the landscape. The outdoor sanctuary will be fully accessible, designed to accommodate small groups as well as larger gatherings up to 250 people for High Holiday services as well as life cycle events. As a multi-use space, it will be available for religious school use as well.

It is one area under consideration to locate memorials of our loved ones.

School Improvements

Our religious school and preschool are a great source of pride and the foundation of our holy obligation to pass our heritage from generation to generation. Our physical environment must reflect our values and create a place that inspires and nurtures our children and enhances their Jewish education.

Our architects listened carefully to the needs and values expressed by staff and congregants to meet the following criteria:

  • Support experiential learning and children with special needs
  • Blur boundaries between indoor and outdoor learning spaces
  • Enhance natural outdoor learning and play areas
  • Improve:
    • Daylight, natural ventilation, HVAC and lighting systems
    • Finishes—use natural and low-emitting materials
    • Administration and storage spaces
    • Accessibility and flexibility

In response, the most significant features of the reimagined classrooms and play spaces include operable window walls that
allow for indoor/outdoor learning experiences, and providing access to all classrooms from the exterior, allowing the existing
central corridor to be repurposed as support spaces for each classroom.

Memorial Wall

CBJ “old timers” will recall that approximately six hundred memorial plaques were once affixed to the wall behind the Beit haMidrash, where our past-presidents’ portraits are currently on display. The plaques were removed during the reconstruction of the old chapel. The new memorial wall will honor the memory of all those whose names were on the previous memorial wall as well as have the capacity to add names for many years to come.

Our goal is to create a memorial wall that is beautiful, inspiring, stands the test of time, and within which that all memorial plaques will be displayed in perpetuity. There will be a way to place family plaques near one another, and to individually mark the annual yahrzeits of our loved ones.

South Patio Gathering Space

The outdoor space adjacent to the kitchen and the social hall—the so-called South Patio—has great potential for more optimal use. Currently, the uneven concrete is one limiting factor that can be remedied.

With thoughtful planting, paving, furniture and possible water and/or fire features it may be a welcome place for small groups to meet socially, for study, or perhaps meditation. As an extension of the social hall it will be more attractive and inviting for Kiddush lunches.

Pantry

The pantry area is that portion of the kitchen that adjoins the social hall. It functions as a critical staging area during many events, and is the virtual face of the kitchen. It needs to be efficient and attractive. Upgrades to this area will be small but have a significant impact on functionality. The redesigned pantry will serve as a fitting backdrop to food served at all our future simchas.

Sanctuary Lighting

Lighting in the main sanctuary is deficient in several ways. We have an obligation not only to provide lighting that meets the basic functional standards for reading Torah and siddurim, but enhances the beauty of our prayer space, is easy to use and maintain, and meets modern demands of energy efficiency.

Our architects and lighting consultants are devising such a plan.

Future Mikveh

The creation of a Mikveh—a ritual bath—on the CBJ site may be a stretch goal of sorts, but that is often the function of a Master Plan—to allow an opportunity to provide long range visions and goals, and to expand the notion of what may seem practical or feasible in the short term.

For one thing, many of us have a fixed idea of the function of a Mikveh, and may not be comfortable with some of the rules surrounding its traditional use. However, there are modern trends toward inclusive and egalitarian uses for the ritual bath that make it an attractive extension of one’s spiritual life.

Men and women increasingly are attracted to the spiritually healing and cleansing properties of the Mikveh as they approach Shabbat, holidays, life cycle events, or other important transitions in their lives. CBJ will have many opportunities to consider the role of a Mikveh for ourselves, as well as for the broader Jewish community, long before it would become a reality.

Fri, April 19 2024 11 Nisan 5784