NEW YORK (JTA) — The Jewish community of Gloucester, Mass. announced a $4.5-million plan to rebuild its local synagogue which burned down almost two years ago.
“We really feel like we’re part of the fabric of the city,’’ Miriam Weinstein, a former president of Temple Ahavat Achim, told the Boston Globe. “And we’ve gotten a lot of support from our neighbors.’’
Congregants reportedly managed to raise $2.5 million to build the new two-story synagogue, which is expected to be completed by 2011. Most of the money was donated by local congregants, although some donations were received from other U.S. cities and abroad. Comedian Adam Sandler, who was in the area filming a movie, donated $3,500. Insurance money will cover the rest of the project’s cost.
“The fire really made a lot of people realize how much they got out of this institution and how close they felt to it,’’ Weinstein said. “And lots of people who were only minimally involved drew a lot closer after this. It was a shock for all of us to realize how deeply we felt about it.’