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Congregation Transforms Auto Shop into Beautiful Synagogue

Congregation Or Hadash has converted a rusty old auto shop into a breathtaking place of worship

By: Zak Edwards
Published: November 20th, 2013 in News » World
The newly transformed synagogue by Congregation Or Chadash

For a decade, Congregation Or Chadash was meeting where they could, from Methodist Churches and windowless classrooms, often not knowing where they hold the next week's services.

“We didn't know exactly where we were going to be," congregation president Fred Wachter said in an interview with CNN. "We probably walked every piece of available property... trying to find something, anything, that would look like it."

And then they found the solution.

Congregation Or Chadash has found a home at last, in a completely renovated former auto shop that no one would recognize as a place that used to house more oil and gasoline than Torahs.

The congregation managed to purchase the 2,500 square foot abandoned Chevrolet paint and body shop in 2010 and, with some serious renovations, has turned what was essentially a bunker into a place of love and learning.

Members wanted more than a retrofitted space, however, and were keen to keep the former industrial space environmentally friendly, wanting to take as little to the landfill as possible. Architects call this “adaptive reuse,” the making new of old spaces, and the results are spectacular, so much so that the synagogue has just won an honorary award from the Georgia chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

By staying environmentally friendly, keeping part of the building’s history and aesthetics while making a usable space for the community, the Congregation Or Chadash has created a unique forum for worship and preserving Jewish heritage for their members.

Related articles: Congregation Or Chadash, CNN, Jewish News, Synagogue, Auto Shop, Torah
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