Home » Temple Beth David opens new community room

Temple Beth David opens new community room

AMENIA — Temple Beth David celebrated Yom Kippur on Saturday, Oct. 8. Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day in the Jewish religion. The holiday features a day-long fast, which the members of the Beth David congregation broke in their newly renovated community room.The temple celebrated the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, the last week of September.Gwen Greene, the chairperson of the fundraising committee, said that the group raised more than $43,000 to re-do the room, which was well over their goal of $40,000.“The response was unbelievable,” she said, noting that donations were received from the entire community, including people who are not members of the temple.Greene said the new room is the perfect place to celebrate the feeling of community.The room is used by several other local groups, including the Amenia library and a senior group.Located at the back of the temple, the room received new walls, windows, lighting and hardware.Jan Cohen, a member of the fundraising committee who was in charge of designing the room, said that the congregation decided to renovate the room to create a space that they could be proud of and that could serve the community.“It’s nice being able to celebrate occasions in a beautiful space,” said Cohen. “I think it’s going to get a lot of good use. Just by making it pretty and inviting, people will feel more comfortable holding events here.”Rabbi Jon Haddon agreed. He said that the room was designed and decorated to create a feeling of warmth, connection and welcome so all groups would feel comfortable using the space.During the Yom Kippur service, Toby Raymond, vice president of the temple board, spoke about the history of Judaism in Amenia. She said that in the early 1900s, the local non-Jewish wives learned how to cook kosher dishes so the Jewish members of the community could participate in the local potluck meals.Raymond concluded her talk by requesting that members of the congregation start a food collection to donate to the local food pantry “so we can feed the community the way they fed us.”

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