Brith Sholom’s sanctuary, social hall, religious school and offices comprise two adjoined buildings nestled on a wooded lot at the intersection of Macada and Jacksonville Roads in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The wood and glass construction and the surrounding trees and shrubbery create a feeling of warmth and bring a sense of beauty and nature into the sanctuary. The main sanctuary, with its wooden structures and central pulpit, is reminiscent of the old synagogues of Europe, most of them destroyed by the Nazis during World War II.
The four large stained glass panels adorning the sanctuary were brought from the original Brith Sholom building on the south side of Bethlehem. The beautiful ark, which houses the Torah scrolls, is clothed in a custom-designed, woven tapestry that suggests the revelation on Mount Sinai. The antique eternal light suspended above the ark was originally a gas-powered eternal flame that hung in a Moroccan synagogue. These symbols of our history and traditions serve as an ongoing link between our past and our present.
Satellite view of Congregation Brith Sholom
(click image for enlargement)
© Google Earth
Addition to the buildings and grounds, resulting from the successful 2001 Capital and Endowment Campaign, “From Strength to Strength,” included an expanded social hall that can be partitioned for multiple uses, an expanded and renovated kitchen, and additional parking. Excavation created a large basement area, which can be used for youth and teen activities; a second floor loft provides much-needed storage space. Additional renovations enhanced the beauty and utility of the adjacent chapel, classrooms and administrative space.