Construction began at The Jewish Center in Princeton as a new bimah is being built for the sanctuary.
The bimah sits in the front or center of the sanctuary where services are traditionally held at the synagogue on Nassau Street. This is the raised platform where readings from the Torah are read, usually in front of the Ark, where the scriptures are held.
The new bimah, unlike the current bimah, will now be accessible to all.
Randy Brett, the recently retired president of The Jewish Center, created the “One Bimah For All” campaign to raise funds for the new Bimah, sending emails and letters to the congregation at The Jewish Center.
In an account from Brett, he said, “The One Congregation – One Bimah for All project has been discussed for many years, but the events of the 18 months have demonstrated that if we are to thrive as a synagogue, everyone in our community matters. … We are blessed with a large and growing number of older and valued members, and we often have guests at b’nai mitzvah and other simchas that are mobility limited. We want to make sure that they can fully participate in every part of our services as time goes on.”
The Jewish Center was able to raise just under $300,000 in order to fund the reconstruction of their Bimah, which was celebrated on June 14 with various donors visiting the center.
The last remodel of the sanctuary took place in the 1980s and did not include any ramps for those who are handicapped.
“By raising funds to make our Bimah accessible to everyone, The Jewish Center community came together virtually to ensure that when we could once again gather, no one would be left out. We hope to be back in the sanctuary for Rosh Hashana, the start of the Jewish New Year: What a way to come out of this chrysalis period of loss and isolation – beginning a new year with our new rabbi on our newly accessible bimah,” said current President Alexandra Bar-Cohen.
- This information was provided by The Jewish Center of Princeton.