An Artful Sanctuary Layered with Light

An Artful Sanctuary Layered with Light

12.18.08

Recently awarded a 2008 Minnesota AIA Honor Award, the new B'nai Israel Synagogue and Dan Abraham Jewish Cultural Center in Rochester, Minnesota, designed by HGA Architects and Engineers (HGA), Minneapolis, provides the growing congregation with its first synagogue since its initial meeting as "The Hebrew Congregation of Rochester, Minnesota" in 1910. After decades of worshipping in former residences, then a Latter-Day Saints' (Mormon) Meetinghouse purchased in 1977, B'nai Israel was ready to commission a 15,000-square-foot, two-level structure in which its congregants-from Mayo Clinic visitors to families from the Jewish communities of Rochester and southeastern Minnesota-could socialize, celebrate, study and worship.

"Designing this synagogue has been an exciting challenge as we sought to combine Jewish tradition and spirituality to reflect the broad spectrum of religious views and practice of B'nai Israel congregants," says Joan Soranno, AIA, Design Principal, HGA. "We believe we've created a beautiful and functional building that will inspire and comfort all who enter."