Building Connection Expansion Update
Expansion and renovation plans to unite Temple Micah under one roof.
For 40 years Temple Micah has built a community vibrantly connected to Jewish life. The beautiful building reflects this link to fundamental Jewish values. Modest in scope, substantial in construction, rich with symbolic meaning—with references to first- and second-century synagogues, Jewish numerology, and 20th century modernism—it is a welcoming place of warmth and centeredness.
But the walls no longer accommodated needs of our thriving community. Since moving to Wisconsin Avenue in 1995, Temple Micah’s congregation has more than doubled from 220 to 450 households. Lack of space forced both children and adults in different directions for study in rented classrooms. Social facilities were inadequate for celebrating many life-cycle events. And the staff lacked offices to conduct the Temple’s functioning efficiently and confidentially.
Need to Reconnect
At its heart, Temple Micah’s building unites three houses under one roof: Beit Tefila, a house of prayer; Beit Sefer, a house of study; and Beit Knesset, a house of community.
The renovations responded to the strain on facilities, while thoughtfully expanding or reconfiguring all three houses, so that all generations can worship together, study together, and celebrate the spiritual moments of life’s passage together as one community.
Connecting the New and Existing Building
The quality and durability that characterize the original structure extended to new construction. With both plans created by the same architects, members Robert Weinstein and Judith Capen, the expansion continued the traditions of design integrity and use of honest materials established a decade ago.
(NEW) You can see pictorial representations of the new front and rear along with a short description of the changes.
Here’s how the connections work:
House of Study
- A new wing on the north side contains eight flexible new classrooms
grouped around a courtyard and doubling spaces for programs. Proposed ground floor plan.
- A permanent library next to the sanctuary provides more convenient access and greater comfort. Proposed first floor plan.
House of Prayer
- The sanctuary remains the same except a new door was added to the north west corner of the space. This door matches the door on the NE corner of the space and both connect to the north addition and serve as fire exists.
House of Community
- Classroom doors on the ground level fold back to double usable
space in the social hall, adaptable for small gatherings or larger member
events and adequate for the first time to host regional meetings of Jewish
youth and other groups. Proposed ground floor plan.
- A glass-enclosed, two-story courtyard next to the social hall directs natural light into the space, maintaining its sense of openness and connection to the outdoors.
- The first floor galleria opens up with a glass wall on the
adjacent board room, creating a more inviting place for members to welcome
Shabbat. Proposed first floor plan.
- Expanded office space on the south side above the parking lot has eased staff crowding and provides a place for the new assistant rabbi. Proposed first floor plan.
- Much-needed storage has increased four fold, allowing the Temple to buy supplies in bulk.
A new sprinkler system has been added to the existing building as well as the addition and the fire alarm system was updated.
Connections to the Future
To carry out Temple Micah’s mission of spiritual fulfillment, intellectual challenge, and participation in Jewish communal life for all members, we have again come together to meet these challenges.
The renovations have resolved pressing space problems while reconnecting the houses of prayer, study, and community so that the congregation can remain together as one inclusive community.