Shuls And Changing Demographics


The May 10 article “Dying L.I. Synagogue Finds A, Well, Savior” certainly portrays a unique situation. As the demographics of the American Jewish community continue to change, you will see many more of these sort of “creative” endeavors.

Another unique situation is my own Conservative congregation in Akron, Ohio. Last year we sold our very large building of 61 years to a charter school and moved the congregation to our JCC. We are now renters along with the day school, Jewish Family Service and a physical-therapy wing run by one of the local hospitals. I believe that our congregation is unique in the country and an example of community cooperation and the pooling of resources. We have a suite of offices but share the kosher kitchen, classrooms and meeting rooms.

We even recreated our bima from our old building on the JCC’s stage. It is a sight to see. In addition, we are building a chapel and meeting space that will be dedicated this summer. It will become part of the JCC property.

We are securing the future of our congregation while building stronger relationships within the Jewish community, as well as the larger Akron area. It is truly a unique win-win situation and we could not be more happy and pleased.

Beth El Congregation, Akron,Ohio