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Shaarai Shomayim Synagogue church renovation, Lancaster County


As part of the congregation’s plans for celebrating the synagogue’s centennial, the sanctuary’s interior underwent extensive renovations and refurbishing. Our primary role was to rebuild the platform at the front of the sanctuary. Known as the “bema,” the rectangular raised platform originally had a set of narrow steps on either side making it unsafe for stepping on or off the bema. We removed the old steps, rebuilt the platform as a broad sweeping radius, and then built radiused steps around the entire platform. In addition, we constructed a removable platform for the rabbi’s lectern. The lectern can now be quickly removed for special events such as weddings, thus creating a more intimate setting.