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Update 4/16/2021

 

Hevrei:

We are thrilled to report that we have been issued, BH, the Landmarks and General Construction permits.  We have also concluded our design and preparation work for all principal elements of the new synagogue (Aron Kodesh, Bima, tiling, vitrage, seats, etc.).  

You will see pictures, renderings, plans and other documents updating you on our progress at the link below.

While our contractors are working on these components of the synagogue, we will work with the WSIS committee in charge of coordinating the construction project to finalize the transfer of the Yahrtseit plates to another space within the building.  We will start demolition in our space and move Tefila to the Ballroom upstairs after we complete this process. 

PDF of our progress:

https://images.shulcloud.com/804/uploads/PresentationofWSSSNewMakom2.pdf

Update 2/19/2021

West Side Sephardic Minyan
 
Hevrei,
 
This Shabbat, Parshat Teruma, recounts Hashem’s command to raise from all Children of Israel a “Terumah” to finance the construction of the holy space where Hashem will reside among us. 
 
Parshat Terumah appears immediately after Hashem’s revelation at Mount Sinai, which concluded Parshat Mishpatim last week.  Hashem stayed with us after Sinai, residing in the portable Mishkan during our Desert journey and, once we reached the Land of Israel, in the Holy of Holies at the heart of the Temple.  
 
After the destruction of the Temple and our dispersion into Exile, in the words of the Prophet Ezekiel, God’s Presence continued to rest among Israel, in what Ezekiel calls “miniature sanctuaries” –– מקדש מעט ––  these are the synagogues that for generations we have built for the sake of Hashem’s Name throughout the world.
 
In Terumah, Hashem gives us the Divine vision of how we should come together to finance and build these synagogues, God’s resting places.  The word “Terumah” means both “to set aside” and to “uplift” – רום.  Hashem asks us to give from the heart.  This is not a tax nor is it a mechanical act of charity. Rather, it is an act of Jewish unity, where we partner to allocate wholeheartedly our hard-earned money to build a place where we can look upwards as a community towards Hashem. 
 
This is why Hashem does not simply say "give me an offering," but rather "take unto me Terumah." The process of giving for the Mishkan had intrinsic importance in and of itself, and so does the process of building a synagogue like our own.  It reflects our continued commitment to place Hashem and Torah at the center of our lives, and to stay united as a community dependent upon Hashem’s bounty.
 
At WSSS, our spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood is our main asset.  We care about a beautiful synagogue only because we are building it for the sake of Hashem, and because we are committed to bringing there the spirit of solidarity that characterizes us 
 
For those reasons we want to make sure that we have 100% participation in the building of the synagogue, regardless of means.  We ask you to give what you can, from the heart.  There is no "small token" when it comes to helping wiht this project.  And,  donations can be paid in installments, so please sign up for what you can even if today does not allow you to disburse anything.  

Our commitment is to make sure that all those who enter this open door become partners in our mission. Besides the components of the synagogue to be sponsored individually, we will make sure to have a tasteful and artful display that includes the names of all of you who come and participate today in this venture.
 
Hashem blessed us with a unique opportunity to join WSIS, in a historical building with a Rabbi, a leadership, and a community who share our value and vision for the Dor Ah’aron – the Last Generation in the finish line towards the Redemption.  Please dig deep and ask yourself what it means to you to have a Sephardic community on the Upper West Side dedicated to carrying forward centuries of tradition while rejoining in partnership and conversation with all our Jewish brothers and sisters.
 
Special thanks to Yehuda Avital, Joseph Benyosef, and Anais Mizrahi, for their amazing work in accomplishing this project.  The link to donate is:  https://www.wsssynagogue.com/fundraisingnewmakom.html. 
 
You will find before Shabbat a new positing with this week’s progress report on our work to build our new Makom Tefilah at the dedicated part of our Web site:  https://www.wsssynagogue.com/heichalshlomo1.
 
Shabbat shalom.
Ari

We have concluded our structural engineering report and modified the ceiling plans to reflect internal beams  and other existing structures:

Pictures of the chandeliers will be posted.

We have completed the plans for the Aron Kodesh and received architectural and engineering confirmation that the installation conforms with A/C, piping and other requirements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 2021 - Update

Hevrei:

We have made a lot of progress on the construction front, and going forward I will circulate a weekly report to share all developments.

The West Side Institutional Synagogue building is a New York City landmark.  As such, we are required to submit our plans to the Landmark Department as well as the Department of Buildings of the City of New York.  Our architect has completed the plans for Landmark.  It will take two to four weeks to obtain approval, after which we will file with the Buildings Department.  That second filing is expedited and the permit should be obtained very quickly.

We are completing some necessary Buildings reports, including the customary asbestos report,  for the second filing.  Those will be done by the time we receive Landmarks approval.

Shortly after Purim, then, we expect to start demolition in our space and move Tefila to the Ballroom upstairs until completion of the project. We have hired a Project Manager to help us go as quickly as feasible, and he has assured me that the space will be ready by the end of May.  Of course, there are always unforeseen delays and surprises, but that is the target date and we will do everything within our power to meet the deadline.

Between now and Purim, we will work with the WSIS committee in charge of coordinating the construction project to finalize the transfer of the Yahrtseit plates to another space within the building.  We have retained an electrician/structural engineer who will manage this aspect of the project.  

On a parallel track, we are moving full-speed with ordering the various components of the space.  This will allow us to receive the final products and be ready for installation when demolition is completed.  We are working with a company in Israel specializing in Sephardic synagogues, and will order from them the Aron Kodesh, the Bima, the chairs, the vitrage, and the Kissei Elyahu.  I am forwarding to you below the final drawing of the Aron Kodesh.  We are working on wood and other finishings, and I expect to send you those with next week’s report.

I also am forwarding to you below our vision of the ceiling, including a chandelier.  Our electrician, who’s also a structural engineer, is working on making sure that this is feasible within the building structure as it stands.  We will adjust as needed and circulate.

If you would like to donate toward the renovation, please click here: https://www.wsssynagogue.com/fundraisingnewmakom.html

 

 

 

Heichal Shlomo Tentative Floor Plan

Fri, April 16 2021 4 Iyyar 5781