Israel’s Conservative seminary will restore a historic Tel Aviv building as a new center for pluralistic Jewish learning.
The Schechter Center for Jewish Culture will be located in the neighborhood of Neve Tzedek in a building with a rich history. In its different incarnations, the building has been a well-known coffee house frequented by famed Israeli writer S. Y. Agnon, a club for British officers and Israel’s first movie theater.
The project, which had its groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, is sponsored by the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem in partnership with Israel’s conservative movement, the Tel Aviv-based Midreshet Iyun and Kehillat Sinai synagogue. Money also has been donated by Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles, Kehilat Sinai’s sister congregation. The retoration will cost $3.2 million.
Over the years, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, together with the Schechter Institute and the Masorti movement, as Israel’s Conservative movement is called, has spearheaded a number of educational projects designed to introduce secular residents of Tel Aviv to pluralistic Judaism.