Architecture and design firm Landau Zinder announced the construction of three major synagogue renovation projects, with the third nearing completion.
Two of the synagogue projects are: Sinai Temple, a synagogue located in Champaign, Illinois, and Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-el in Scarsdale, New York.
Architects and partners Joshua Zinder and Michael Landau also confirmed construction of the Yakov & Hava Telyas Chabad Jewish Center—a new synagogue and learning center for Chabad of Hunterdon County—is expected to be completed later this year.
“We believe that good design can strengthen and grow congregations while contributing to their long-term financial stability,” says Zinder, who is currently serving as 2021 president of American Institute of Architects (AIA)-New Jersey, the state’s professional organization for architects.
Landau Zinder’s design for Sinai Temple focuses on creating a more flexible sanctuary space, with a primary “pod” accommodating smaller gatherings for typical weekly services. Movable walls will allow the sanctuary to expand for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and High Holiday services, more than tripling capacity from 150 to 500 when needed.
The introduction of a suspended ceiling, designed to symbolize the two tablets of the Ten Commandments, will be combined with wood and stone finishes. The ceiling’s design aims to create a more welcoming feel, while the addition of new window openings will introduce additional natural daylight. Sinai Temple is expected for completion in the fall.
The Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-el aims to “complement the musical, liturgical, and pedagogical goal of our congregation’s Shabbat t’fillah (prayer) experience: namely, helping us to cultivate an inner relationship with the Divine,” said Rabbi Jeffrey Brown. The project will also increase accessibility for all congregants and introduce more natural daylight.
To complement an adjacent school building, the renovation calls for the demolition of the entire south-facing wall for transforming the sanctuary and recladding a portion of the exterior in metal paneling.
The interior will be redesigned to present a less dated look with Jerusalem stone accents. The project is expected to be finished in September.
The 1394-m2 (15,000-sf) plus synagogue and education center for Chabad of Hunterdon County, which is expected to open its doors this fall, will support the organization’s combined missions serving Central New Jersey’s Jewish community.
The new building will include classrooms for pre-kindergarten, Hebrew school, adult education, and a sanctuary. More features include meeting rooms, offices, a kosher kitchen, a youth lounge, and a combined library and media room.