By Ben Gilliland
It all started in the fall of 2003, when the leadership at Temple Har Shalom in Park City, Utah, decided to give the members of their community a new and permanent home. Now, almost five years later, Rabbi Josh Aaronson dedicate the new building on Friday evening, June 27.
The Jewish community of Park City has now established its own holy dwelling place in which to flourish and grow for many years to come, says Rabbi Aaronson.
One of our design goals was to create something that sat appropriately in the surroundings, yet did not look like a ski lodge.
Another design goal was to create a place that invited people to spend time in. Our design has achieved both of those goals.
Approaching the temple, it is clear how thoughtfully the designer, Alfred Jacoby, considered the environment, says Aaronson.
The roof of the sanctuary nicely parallels the arch of Quarry Mountain. The colors of the brick and the use of wood complement the colors of the seasons here in Park City. Through the seasons, youll notice that the building itself seems to change color, says Rabbi Aaronson.
Inside the new building there are administrative offices, eight classrooms, a board room-library on the second floor, a café, the sanctuary and a social hall.
Much of the activity on the main level takes place in the café. It features a double-sided fireplace, public Internet connection and also serves as the setting for Shabbat every week.
Without exception, everyone comments on the stunning interior. There are magnificent views from every public room, says Rabbi Aaronson.
The sanctuary, which holds 220 people, is the only space with no windows. Instead, the designers had artistic glass installed by artist Jun Kaneko.
This was a deliberate decision in order to allow worshippers to focus on the events going on inside the sanctuary without the distraction of the outside world, says Rabbi Aaronson.
Our own, permanent home brings a degree of comfort to our community. When you enter, I hope you feel an audible sigh 0of Im home. I think that lots of folks feel that way, says Rabbi Aaronson.