Friday, 18 September 2009 00:00
Chief of Staff Dr. Jerry Scharfman of Congressman Gary Ackerman’s office, New York State Assemblyman Charles Lavine, New York State Senator Craig Johnson, and Mayor of the Village of East Hills Michael Koblenz were amongst the dignitaries who joined nearly 300 people gathered on the grounds of Temple Beth Sholom of Roslyn Heights to celebrate the ribbon cutting of the new Barnet and Annette Ostrow Early Childhood and Lifelong Learning Center on Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 6 pm.
The event, which took place after years of planning and about 13 months of building, marked both an end and a beginning: While it marked the end of the biggest construction project in Temple Beth Sholom’s 60-year history, it also marked the beginning of a new tomorrow for the synagogue and the Jewish community as a whole.
“A key chapter in our story occurred last year when we celebrated our groundbreaking in August, 2008,” said Louis Naviasky, president of Temple Beth Sholom. “What you see before you today is the culmination of a truly collaborative process,” he continued, praising not only the synagogue’s 370 plus generous donors, but also the clergy and lay leadership.
In particular, Mr. Naviasky acknowledged Senior Rabbi Alan B. Lucas for his unending support.
“Rabbi Lucas’ visions and dreams guided our committee to make this dream a reality.”
To celebrate the event, Rabbi Lucas sounded the shofar - an ancient instrument used to call people to war, prayer, and assembly - as a triumphant declaration of victory. “…we, the members of Temple Beth Sholom, have gathered to inaugurate this new chapter in our history by sounding the shofar to declare - we are here, we are alive and well, we are vibrant and successful, and we dedicate this new building to the service of God and the Jewish people…,” said Rabbi Lucas. “With this new building, we are reinvigorated, renewed, and revitalized.”
Temple Beth Sholom is proud of the fact that the new structure follows through on the synagogue’s goal of “going green.” As an institution that embraces Tikkun Olam – repairing the world – and the Jewish value of shomrei adamah – protecting the earth – building an environmentally-friendly building was crucial. Skylights that optimize the use of daylight and “Low-e” glass that minimize the use of artificial light were installed as well as energy-efficient lighting and special exterior sunscreens to further conserve energy. And the use of toxic-free carpeting, flooring, and paint has all helped to ensure that the new building is a safe environment to all who use it.
Beth and Ronald Ostrow are proud of the new educational facility, which is a lasting legacy of Ronald Ostrow’s parents, Barnet and the late Annette Ostrow.
“The Ostrow family is happy and proud to be fortunate enough to give something back to our community from what we have gained from it spiritually, emotionally, and economically,” said Ostrow. “We are very, very proud of this wonderful facility and its lasting tribute to my parents.”
The grand opening of the Barnet and Annette Ostrow Early Childhood and Lifelong Learning Center was held the next day on Wednesday, Sept. 9.