By Jane Keller Gordon, Contributing Writer
Westborough – After a careful search, members of Beth Tikvah Synagogue have found a perfect location for their classrooms and activities: 30 Oak St. in Westborough, across the street from their sanctuary at 45 Oak St. On Feb. 9, the congregation held a Chanukat Ha’Bayit, which means a “dedication of house.”
Members of the congregation and local officials joyously gathered to celebrate.
“I appreciate being invited to this event, to show my support,’ Westborough Police Chief Jeffrey Lourie said. “I think that this is a great addition to Westborough.”
Beth Tikvah is a non-affiliated synagogue, which according to E.J. Dotts, the vice president of membership and marketing, leans towards traditional. Founded in 1996, the congregation initially shared space with the Westborough Area JCC in what is now called the Downtown Crossing Shopping Center in Westborough. They moved together to 45 Oak St. in 2001.
When the WAJCC dissolved, Beth Tikvah thought they would need to move.
The answer came when the Boroughs JCC was formed, and leased the space at 45 Oak Street. According to Dotts, Beth Tikvah had about 40 families at the time. The synagogue leased space from the Boroughs JCC, but that meant sharing classrooms and activity spaces with the JCC.
When the Boroughs JCC closed its doors in July 2016, Beth Tikvah faced another dilemma. For the past one-and-a-half years, it has shared space with the Westborough Learning Center (WLC), the new tenant at 45 Oak St.
Things changed this past summer.
“The owner at 45 Oak St. rented out the space that used to be our entryway, storage area, lobby, and offices,” Dotts said. “The Westborough Learning Center (WLC) is growing and we were not able to use the same area there for classrooms. That is when the owner of the WLC offered us space in the building he owned across the street, while continuing to accommodate our sacred space. However, we could not move in right away, the new space needed some renovations to accommodate our needs.”
An interim solution came from an unexpected savior.
“Tanya Trainor of Miss Tanya’s Preschools allowed us to hold our religious school classes in one of her preschool locations, Miss Tanya’s Woodland School at 7 Washington St. in Westborough. We asked for help and she just handed over the ‘keys to the castle.’ We literally don’t know what we would have done without Tanya’s compassion and generosity,” said
Abbe Allexenberg and Sam Goodman, the congregation’s co-presidents.
Members of Beth Tikvah are thrilled to now have their own dedicated space.
“We are grateful to have our own classrooms and storage space, for the first time since opening in 1996. We plan to expand our early childhood and adult education, as well as family and youth programming. The possibilities are endless now that we have our own home,” said
Cindy Avergon, education coordinator.
Beth Tikvah’s membership currently includes 70 families. There are about 40 children in its religious school.
For more information about Beth Tikvah, visit www.bethtikvahsynagogue.org.