Seeking to bring new life to their congregation and strengthen ties to the community, Beth El Congregation sold their sixty-year-old building on Hawkins Avenue in Akron, OH and relocated to the Shaw Jewish Community Center (JCC). PRIME AE contributed to the architectural design of the project, which included the addition to and renovation of the existing JCC building to create a new, dedicated chapel space to be used for Sabbath and weekday services. Renovations were also made to the JCC’s auditorium so that it could serve as a sanctuary for High Holy Days and community events. A new entry was constructed to identify and differentiate the Beth El Chapel from the rest of the JCC.
In order to remain connected to their congregational legacy, existing Judaic artwork from the old building was carefully reinstalled in the new space, including the five-panel stained glass window, a sculpture by local artist Don Drumm, and the ark. Other new art pieces were incorporated into the design of the new facility, creating continuity as well as fostering the congregation’s new beginnings in their new space.