Beth Shalom congregation to celebrate new location

Friday, September 12, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 9:54 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

Columbia’s only Jewish synagogue, Congregation Beth Shalom, will hold an inaugural ceremony at 4 p.m. Sunday to celebrate the dedication of its new home. Beth Shalom recently moved from the MU Hillel Foundation to 500 Green Meadows Road, on the south side of the city.

The congregation had rented space from the Hillel center since it opened in 1975. Since then, the congregation has grown from 92 people to 160 families — making it the largest Jewish synagogue in mid-Missouri.

Because of limited space at Hillel, the congregation decided to relocate, said Ellen Horwitz, coordinator of Sunday’s event. Beth Shalom bought the property in December 2002 and held the first service on July 4 this year. She said the congregation is excited about the move.

“We’ve never been out on our own, but we’re going to make it work,” Horwitz said. “You have a different feeling about things when it’s yours.”

She hopes the move will give the congregation a chance to grow.

Currently the property includes a barn and a farmhouse that has been used for worship, but the congregation is working to raise money for a new building.

Rabbi Yossi Feintuch will lead the outdoor ceremony, which will be followed by refreshments, socializing, klezmer music and tours of the grounds and buildings.

The congregation has invited families with ties to the synagogue, members of the clergy, people of Hillel and a few city officials. Horwitz expects about 200 people to attend the dedication.

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