26 May 2017 Published in Shavei Zion

The Beth Midrasch – a new room for the religious community of Shavei Zion

Rabbiner Jehoshua Helman in the new „Beth Midrasch“
Rabbiner Jehoshua Helman in the new „Beth Midrasch“

Judy Temime wrotes: The community of worshipers in Shavei Tzion had wished for some time to enlarge the tiny kitchen space that had been serving the synagogue when Sabbath kiddush was readied or refreshments were prepared for a bar mitzvah kiddush or other celebration.

As well, the young men of the community – mostly newcomers to the moshav – had wanted a space that could serve as a modest study hall, a "Beit Midrash".  Both of those expressed needs were satisfied a few months ago when a large, underused space near the synagogue was completely renovated and furnished for the use of the community. 

The space had been built years ago as a rough, cement block garage to house a large, armored military vehicle that was kept in the moshav.  More recently, it had been used as a storage facility for the kindergarten.
Almost all of the craft work for the renovation was completed by Shavei Tzion residents:  the plumbing, electrical wiring, plastering and painting, flooring and so on.  The space today is bright and airy. It's also wheelchair accessible and the adjacent former synagogue kitchen will soon be converted to an accessible bathroom.   

Rabbi Yehoshua Helman, pictured in the renovated space in the attached photo, meets adult learners there for evening study, as well as bar mitzvah candidates and the young boys and girls he teaches through creative games and other fun activities that invite them to engage with "the Jewish experience".