About Our Buildings
The Main Sanctuary
The Main Sanctuary building was built in 1909. It is the third home of the congregation and seats approximately 1,200 people. When it was built, it housed all of CBE’s programs and included classrooms, a middle auditorium room and offices for the temple’s administration, as well as a room that served as both the rabbi’s study and board meeting room.
The building continued to be a focus for CBE’s major religious activities until September 2009 when the congregation was forced to close down the Main Sanctuary during the High Holidays due to unsafe conditions.
Between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur of 2009, the roof of CBE’s century-old sanctuary collapsed, spurring the launch of The Journey Home, a $3.25 million capital campaign to restore the historic structure. The Journey Home’s success continues. More than 85 percent of the goal has been raised from 121 families, and the public phase of the campaign has just begun. The roof, dome, and parapets have been completely repaired and restored and work on the facade and interior is set to begin.
Most importantly, CBE has resumed holding services and events in the sanctuary, just as it has done for the last hundred years.
The Temple House
The Temple House building was completed in September of 1929. It was a state-of-the-art six-story building. In the Temple House were a 125-seat chapel, social halls, a major ballroom, meeting rooms, administrative offices, a library, classrooms for the religious school, handball courts, a swimming pool and gymnasium.
The Temple House quickly became the focus for all of CBE’s social, cultural and educational life. Not only were children educated in the Temple House classrooms, but adults presented original theatrical productions in the ballroom, receptions of all kinds were held in the social halls, youth groups met for informal education, and a varied program to enrich Jewish and community life was offered.
In 1979 CBE’s Early Childhood Center began in some of the rooms of the Temple House. It was followed by the After-School Center, and Summer Day Camp. All of these activities used all of the Temple House facilities in new and innovative ways that fulfilled the potential of the building.
In addition to educational facilities, the Temple House also served as home to our athletic facilities. The lower levels contained a pool, basketball court, sauna and locker rooms and there were handball courts located on the roof level. The sauna and handball courts are sadly no longer available but the pool, gym and locker rooms, including the newly renovated women’s locker room, are open and available to congregants and gym members weeknights, Monday through Thursday, and most weekends from September to June.
Today, the Temple House continues to be used seven days a week for the multiple and varied activities of Congregation Beth Elohim. It is still the home to many of our educational programs, religious activities and services, life-cycle events, adult and Jewish learning, community groups, and administrative offices.