TARRYTOWN, N.Y. Congregants at Tarrytown's Temple Beth Abraham are getting a new sanctuary just in time for the Jewish new year.
It's very exciting, Rabbi David Holtz said Friday. It's opening tomorrow, but most of the congregation will really see it on Rosh Hashanah.
Crews have transformed the space, gutting walls, adding windows and giving the interior a face-lift. Those attending services will notice they're not sitting up and looking at a rabbi speaking, Holtz said. Seating has been arranged to promote intimacy.
But the most important thing, Holtz said, is that the sanctuary is now equipped for the disabled, hard-of-hearing and deaf. Among the many changes, Holtz said, there's now a wheelchair ramp. There's also a special system that allows people with hearing aids or cochlear implants to flip a switch and have the service piped directly into their ears.
It feels much more inclusive, Holtz said.
The renovation's timing wasn't planned to coincide with the upcoming high holidays, Holtz said. The temple chose to complete the work over the summer because there are no bar mitzvahs, which use the sanctuary.
The temple has been planning to renovate its sanctuary for a long time, but a recent donation from the family of the late Alan Cohen finally made it possible, Holtz said.
For them, it was a way of making sure his values live on, Holtz said.
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