|The newly expanded Cong. Beth Aaron in Teaneck is no longer “stuck in a box,” says Larry Kahn, co-chairman of the expansion committee. Courtesy Beth Aaron|
Teaneck’s Cong. Beth Aaron is set to unveil its newly expanded facilities with a weekend-long dedication program (chanukat habayit) running through Sunday.
The Orthodox synagogue was founded in 1972 by Rabbi Meir Gottesman in a modest house on Merrison Street, and had 25 members, 10 of whom were under the age of 21. It moved twice, until settling into its current location on a corner lot at 950 Queen Anne Road. The expansion and renovations included a new study hall, a dedicated library, an expanded kitchen, new office space, renovated bathrooms, a Shabbat elevator, four new classrooms, and a mother-baby room.
The Merrison Street dedication kiddush reportedly was served on an ironing board; the kiddush this Shabbat will be served on sturdy tables in a new 150-person social hall. Beth Aaron today has more than 350 member-families.
Kicking off the celebration will be Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, executive vice president emeritus of the Orthodox Union, who will be the guest speaker at 12:30 p.m. in the main sanctuary. That will be followed by a gala lunch and dessert reception. The afternoon service will begin at 6:20 p.m. and will be followed by the traditional “third meal” of Shabbat, a Se’udat Sh’lishit, that will include the study of the concluding section of a tractate from the Mishnah.
The celebration continues on Sunday morning at the front plaza at 9 a.m., with presentations, brunch, music, and appropriate dancing to follow.
“Our community feels extraordinarily blessed to have reached this wonderful milestone in our history,” Rabbi Larry Rothwachs, who has been the congregation’s spiritual leader for the last 10 years, told The Jewish Standard. “We are incredibly excited about the opportunities that our new building will afford us today and in the future.”
Larry Kahn, co-chairman of the expansion committee with Allen Friedman, said that five new families joined in the last month alone. “We were stuck in a box. Now, with a full-service facility, we can provide services and programs to families of all ages in ways we weren’t able to do before.”