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Festive ceremonies to welcome $2.5 million Temple expansion

By: Nathan Scherotter

May 5, 2008   

After construction began in May 2007, Temple Emanuel will finally be ready to dedicate the new additions to its facility on Friday and Sunday, May 2 and 4.

Temple Emanuel has undergone a $2.5 million expansion, including the additions of a multipurpose room, library and new classrooms, and is finally ready to be displayed to the public.

The temple has almost doubled in size, said Executive Director Nanci Wilharber.

"People are amazed at how beautiful it is," Wilharber said.

“People are excited about how much more space we have for programming and excited about our future."

The weekend of the dedication will encompass many different events for the congregation and for the public.

On Friday night the temple will conduct a service for Sabbath and will be hanging the mezuzah (traditional Jewish item affixed to the doorposts of rooms) on the new building.

On Sunday there will be an art show starting at 10 a.m., followed by games for children and a free lunch.

The ceremonial ribbon-cutting and dedication will follow at 1 p.m.

"I think it's going to be an amazing day to celebrate with our temple family and to learn more about our congregation," Wilharber said.

The temple's expansion, while adding square footage, also provided the temple with a more environmentally safe building.

Project Architect Rob Burgheimer and the Project Manager Peter Noble made it apart of their plan to provide Emanuel with products to help save the environment, Rabbi Andrew Straus said in a previous interview. Security has also improved in the temple.

All events dedication-weekend events are open to the public, according to Wilharber, who added that temple officials would love for people to come to see the new building.

Temple Emanuel is located at 5801 S. Rural Road, Tempe.

Information: (480) 838-1414 or



Photo by David Stone


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