Blog

297http://www.beth-israel.org/blog/2017/01/RabbiLyonsBlog-01_13_2017
Rabbi Lyon's Blog - 01_13_2017
01/13/2017 12:01 PM Posted by:

From the Desk of Rabbi David Lyon
January 13, 2017

 

Every morning for the past month, I’ve made it my routine to visit the sanctuary. Every day during the week, skilled workmen have been fulfilling plans to renovate our sacred space after devastating floods. This week, I entered the sanctuary to see some very special improvements and changes that will be revealed next week on Shabbat, January 20th. Here’s a list of highlights:

 

  • The tall bimah will appear lower and closer to the congregation. The height of the Holy Ark hasn’t changed, but the first step to ascend the bimah is closer to the congregation because the lower bimah has been extended towards the congregation by permanently removing two rows of seats.
  • A permanent and integrated ramp has been added to the left side of the bimah. This addition will enable everyone to ascend the lower bimah with ease and dignity. A chair lift will still enable those who need it to ascend to the upper bimah.
  • Hearing devices have been upgraded. Those who depend on hearing enhancements can walk anywhere in or out of the sanctuary up to 500 feet and still hear everything in the service.
  • New carpeting throughout the sanctuary, Wolf Toomim Hall, the Karff, Barnston, Friedlander/Levy, Fleishman Family and Lasher Family hallways brightens and updates the spaces.
  • New coverings for the bimah chairs integrate with the color scheme of new carpeting, new wallpaper in the sanctuary, and other new furnishings.
  • Behind the bimah, the Gathering Room has been refurnished and the bathroom has been remodeled and enlarged. The choir practice room has been lined with shelves to hold our new High Holyday prayer books and both rooms are carpeted and suitable for welcoming bimah guests and families. 

 

One of my goals has always been to transform our sanctuary, which welcomes hundreds each week, into a warmly welcoming worship experience. Standing closer and speaking with, rather than preaching to, the congregation will continue to be our benchmark; and, now we can do it in a space that responds to our congregation’s spiritual needs.

                Nearly two years ago, I stood in the sanctuary and said to those with me, "I wish we could do something about the carpeting.” Some weeks later, the first flood overwhelmed the neighborhood and inundated our sanctuary. "Be careful what you wish for” might be the lesson, but the results left us with a challenge we overcame by assembling experts who love Beth Israel and participated in the transformation.

                Though she wouldn’t like the recognition, there are few words that adequately express my appreciation for Shirley Toomim’s role in the transformation. Her eye for texture, color, style and efficiency enabled us to trust her choices to enrich such a grand space. Her attention to detail and to the schedule has brought us to our completion on time and on budget. It’s not a miracle; it’s Shirley.  

                On Friday, January 20th, at 6:30pm, we’ll reveal the sanctuary, sing joyfully with Cantor Mutlu on Down Home Shabbat, honor Anna Rosenbaum and her family on her bat mitzvah weekend, express gratitude to Houston Jewish Federation for their support and generosity, recognize Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Cohen for the role of the City of Houston, and welcome New Members to the bimah for a blessing. It’s an inauguration that you won’t want to miss and an occasion at Congregation Beth Israel that will forever be recorded as part of its rich and enduring history.

                On behalf of Cantor Mutlu, Rabbi Scott, Rabbi Herman, David Scott, Michael Jenkins, Joan Gelfond, Patrick Colbert, and Bruce Levy, I thank you for being present to witness another sacred step on our sacred journey at Congregation Beth Israel. May God bless you and your family; may God bless Beth Israel. 


You may contact Rabbi David Lyon here.


Blog Search

Categories

Archives

201804April3
April 2018 (3)
201803March5
March 2018 (5)
201802February4
February 2018 (4)
201801January4
January 2018 (4)
201712December4
December 2017 (4)
201711November2
November 2017 (2)
201710October2
October 2017 (2)
201708August3
August 2017 (3)
201707July4
July 2017 (4)
201706June4
June 2017 (4)
201705May2
May 2017 (2)
201704April3
April 2017 (3)
201703March4
March 2017 (4)
201702February3
February 2017 (3)
201701January3
January 2017 (3)
201612December4
December 2016 (4)
201611November3
November 2016 (3)
201610October3
October 2016 (3)
201609September4
September 2016 (4)
201608August2
August 2016 (2)
201607July5
July 2016 (5)
201606June2
June 2016 (2)
201605May3
May 2016 (3)
201604April4
April 2016 (4)
201603March3
March 2016 (3)
201602February2
February 2016 (2)
201601January4
January 2016 (4)
201512December4
December 2015 (4)
201511November3
November 2015 (3)
201510October2
October 2015 (2)
201509September2
September 2015 (2)
201508August4
August 2015 (4)
201507July5
July 2015 (5)
201506June4
June 2015 (4)
201505May2
May 2015 (2)
201504April5
April 2015 (5)
201503March3
March 2015 (3)
201502February4
February 2015 (4)
201501January4
January 2015 (4)
201412December3
December 2014 (3)
201411November3
November 2014 (3)
201410October4
October 2014 (4)
201409September2
September 2014 (2)
201408August3
August 2014 (3)
201407July3
July 2014 (3)
201406June3
June 2014 (3)
201405May3
May 2014 (3)
201404April4
April 2014 (4)
201403March3
March 2014 (3)
201402February4
February 2014 (4)
201401January5
January 2014 (5)
201312December3
December 2013 (3)
201311November3
November 2013 (3)
201310October4
October 2013 (4)
201309September2
September 2013 (2)
201308August5
August 2013 (5)
201307July4
July 2013 (4)
201306June4
June 2013 (4)
201305May5
May 2013 (5)
201304April4
April 2013 (4)
201303March4
March 2013 (4)
201302February4
February 2013 (4)
201301January5
January 2013 (5)
201212December4
December 2012 (4)
201211November5
November 2012 (5)
201210October4
October 2012 (4)
201209September2
September 2012 (2)
201208August5
August 2012 (5)
201207July4
July 2012 (4)
201206June3
June 2012 (3)
201205May5
May 2012 (5)
201204April4
April 2012 (4)
201203March5
March 2012 (5)
201202February4
February 2012 (4)
201201January4
January 2012 (4)
201112December5
December 2011 (5)
201111November3
November 2011 (3)
201110October3
October 2011 (3)
201109September4
September 2011 (4)
201108August4
August 2011 (4)
201107July3
July 2011 (3)
201106June4
June 2011 (4)
201105May4
May 2011 (4)
201104April4
April 2011 (4)
201103March5
March 2011 (5)
201102February4
February 2011 (4)
201101January4
January 2011 (4)
201012December5
December 2010 (5)
201011November4
November 2010 (4)
201010October5
October 2010 (5)
201009September2
September 2010 (2)
201008August2
August 2010 (2)
201006June3
June 2010 (3)
201005May5
May 2010 (5)
201004April3
April 2010 (3)
Captavi QixSuite™ - Hosted Marketing Automation Software ©