Spirits were flying high Sunday, despite the wet weather, when the congregation of Temple Torat Yisrael of East Greenwich marked a significant milestone as the community gathered with friends and dignitaries to dedicate the cornerstone of the new synagogue building on Middle Road.
Sheltered from the rain in an open-sided tent at the edge of the construction site, close to a hundred people were greeted with a Hebrew song of welcome from the congregation’s children ranging from kindergarten through seventh grade.
Susan Smoller, president of the Conservative Jewish congregation, delivered greetings on behalf of the Torat Yisrael leadership and shared with the gathering the inspiring teamwork, collaborative spirit and determination within the Torat Yisrael community that made possible the morning’s momentous occasion.
“This cornerstone dedication means that we have entered a new and final phase of our move," she said. "It means that soon we will be in the new building and celebrating our life cycle events there, as well as our daily events. This will be our home.”
Andrew Sholes, chairman of the Torat Yisrael Building Committee, reviewed what's already taken place on the Middle Road site and outlined the schedule of the remaining months of work. The congregation anticipates celebrating the first bat mitzvah in their new building the second weekend in May 2013.
“We dedicate the cornerstone of our new synagogue building to serve as a perpetual symbol of our hopes and dreams for our community," said Rabbi Amy Levin. "[We are] a collective of Jews of all ages and stages of life; a community diverse in lifestyle, financial resources, educational levels, occupational pursuits . . . coming together to live the most exciting, engaging Judaism we can imagine together.”