Revitalizing Tradition

by Josh Kerr | Dec 15, 2023


Congregation Shaarey Zedek, a cornerstone of our community since being built in 1949, is undergoing a significant transformation as part of its L'dor Va Dor campaign, which emphasizes the synagogue's commitment to future generations. This initiative, supported by major gifts, including a Jewish Community Grant from the JFM of $500,000 paid over five years, is a testament to the community's dedication to creating a lasting legacy.

Originally intending to refurbish the auditorium, the project has evolved into a comprehensive renovation that will honour the past and embrace the future.

"We found that the synagogue, relatively unchanged since the 1970s, was no longer meeting the needs of its modern community," explains Rena Secter Elbaze, Shaarey Zedek's Executive Director. "We decided we need an upgraded space that aligns with the dynamic programs we offer and makes our building a place where people want to celebrate their life milestones."

Aesthetically, one notable change involves the opening up of the side of the building facing the river, allowing natural light to fill the space. In addition to the added vibrancy, there will now be a breathtaking view of the previously hidden river.

In addition to aesthetic improvements, many practical ones are taking place, such as upgrading the audio-visual capabilities and conferencing facilities enhancing their ability to host events for people and organizations in the community.

"We also will be adding a new private daycare," explains Secter Elbaze. "The daycare will serve as an entry point for families in the community and increase our membership, getting new families engaged with the synagogue."

The renovations at Shaarey Zedek symbolize a harmonious blend of tradition and progress. As the shul prepares to open its doors to a new era, the community eagerly anticipates the day when they can once again gather in a space that is not only rich in history but also poised for a vibrant and dynamic future.