This Sunday, a story was published in the Boston Globe:


As it prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary in two years, Brookline’s oldest synagogue is unveiling a plan to transform its campus and its mission for the next century.

Within five years, Congregation Kehillath Israel envisions that its 1.3-acre Harvard Street site just blocks from Coolidge Corner will feature:

■ a renovated sanctuary building;

■ a new three-story addition housing a social hall, preschool programs, and the main synagogue office;

■ a college extension program through a partnership with an as-yet unnamed university;

■ offices for Jewish nonprofits serving youths and young adults;

■ a 3,500-square-foot office area where young adults can work on innovative start-ups serving the Jewish community;

■ an apartment building for seniors, to be constructed on the site of an existing social hall on one side of the synagogue.

The goal, said Rabbi William Hamilton, who has served the 400-family congregation for 20 years and been a driving force behind the project, is “to redefine what a center can be for Jewish life — for the spirit, mind, and heart.”

Kehillath Israel will host a public meeting July 8 to present details of the plan and answer questions. Just what sort of reception the project will receive from neighbors remains to be seen, but concern about traffic during construction is likely, especially since the town’s nearby Devotion School is also due for a major overhaul starting next summer.

The synagogue project calls for restoring the exterior of the iconic twin-towered main building to pretty much the way it appeared in the 1920s, when future president John F. Kennedy attended Devotion. Inside, the emphasis is to be on making spaces flexible for a wide variety of uses and accessible to people with disabilities. A similar approach is to be taken to renovating the Novakoff building, which is behind the sanctuary and houses offices and classrooms.

To read the entire article, click here.

For a pdf of the article, click here.