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Our Sacred Space

The Vision of Renewal and the re-imagined synagogue spaces at Adas Israel honor our important history at the forefront of Jewish life in Washington, DC and our commitment to meet the constantly changing spiritual, intellectual and social needs of our dynamic and diverse community.

The change is apparent as soon as you enter from Quebec Street, which over the years had become the main entrance for most members and visitors. The spacious lobby is a forecourt, a welcoming central gathering place for the many Adas communities. On


Our Sacred Space

one side, the inscription from Torah on the wall of Jerusalem stone quotes the words that gave our Congregation its name. Benches encourage you to linger; the space encourages you to mingle. The other side of the lobby is a gallery that will display Judaic art and artifacts. A front reception and security desk is conveniently and strategically placed.

Enter through the doors to the Charles E. Smith Sanctuary and you experience the same grand volume that has always been its hallmark. But now the space is embraced by the extended balconies (which also allow handicapped access through doors to the synagogue’s upper floor).

You are encouraged to look heavenward by the oculus that allows rays of natural light to illuminate the sanctuary. Below that opening is inscribed the Mah Tovu blessing of Jacob’s tents and Israel’s dwelling places. The low bimah of maple wood and the seating pattern bring the clergy closer to the congregation and congregants face to face with each other, encouraging spirited and participatory worship. The eastern wall is a backlit, dynamic surface of gently twisted strands of maple blocks. A subtle height demarcation midway back on the ground floor encourages those who attend when the sanctuary is not full to congregate toward the front. Ramps make the seating and the bimah accessible to everyone.

The ark, made of Jerusalem stone, is deliberately imposing. When the monumental doors and parochet (curtain) open, what is revealed is a jewel box—and the Torahs are the jewels.

Back in the lobby, the new Dr. Avraham Biran Beit Midrash, (House of Study) visible through walls of glass, is an oasis of learning and prayer and another place to gather and schmooze. Here the daily morning and evening minyanim take place in the front, in the Kogod Chapel space within the Beit Midrash. And all year long, programs of the new learning curriculum, MakomDC bring contemporary thought, learning and spirituality to the center of the synagogue.

Gewirz Hall has become the Gewirz Beit Am (House of the People). What was once a social hall occasionally used as a worship space is now a serene and elegant worship space that can also be used for social events.

Now that this phase of the Vision has been realized, it is up to all of us to live up to its promise, to maintain within our edifice the diverse, warm, welcoming and vital Jewish community for which it was designed.

Admiration for Adas Israel and the Vision of Renewal in Transforming to inspire at Adas Israel, by David Holzel, Washington Jewish Week.

Charles E. Smith Sanctuary

Kay Hall

Gewirz Beit Am

Biran Beit Midrash



With Eternal Gratitude

The Adas Israel community, the Vision of Renewal Lay Leadership, as well as the synagogue staff and clergy, extend their warmest and deepest appreciation to those who made this historic renewal possible. “Welcome Home. These spaces are for all of us!”

The Vision of Renewal Steering Committee
Steve Kleinrock, Herlene Nagler, Larry Nussdorf, Robert Peck, Russell Smith

The Vision of Renewal Design Committee
David Bickart, Jamie Butler, Leah Chanin, Jay Kirschenbaum, Steven Kleinrock, Michelle Leavy, Jerry Levine, Gary Malasky, Herlene Nagler, Lawrence Nussdorf, Robert Peck, Judith Heumann, Jennifer Gibson, Barton Rubenstein, Milton Shinberg, Russell Smith

Ex Officio to the Steering Committee
Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, Johanna Chanin, Arnold Podgorsky, Glenn Easton, Ariel Fausto, H3 Collaboration Architecture, James Wilson, Adam Lotinsky, JF Wilson & Company, Inc., Forrester Construction Company



Charles E. Smith Sanctuary dedicated by Robert H. & Clarice Smith and Robert & Arlene Kogod

Max N. Berry & Family in memory of Heidi Lehrman Berry, Beit Midrash in memory of Dr. Avraham Biran dedicated by Susie & Michael Gelman, Beit Am Ark in memory of Dr. Irving Brick, Sanctuary Bimah & Menorahs dedicated by Diane & Norman Bernstein, Sanctuary Ark Parochet Curtain dedicated by Norma Lee & Morton Funger, Beit Am dedicated by Bernard & Sarah Gewirz, Sanctuary Ark in memory of Estelle & Melvin Gelman dedicated by Elise & Marc Lefkowitz & Family, Kay Hall & Sanctuary Balcony dedicated by Barbara & Jack Kay, Quebec Street Foyer & Lobby dedicated by Robert & Marion Rosenthal, Beit Midrash Learning & Media Center in memory of Jordan Baruch dedicated by Rhoda Baruch & Family The Nussdorf Family


Sanctuary Ner Tamid dedicated by Richard & Judy Cohen, Deborah & Stephen Ellick, Philip & Ronit Cohen, Gary & Laurie Cohen, Sanctuary Reading Table dedicated in memory of Shirley & Ethyl Povich, In memory of Mozelle Saltz by Donald Saltz


Quebec Street Mezuzah in memory of Mildred & Israel Hofberg dedicated by Sandy & Stanley Bobb & Family, Rabbi's Chair & Sanctuary Torah Mantels in memory of Arnold Bortman dedicated by Nadine Levin, Eileen Lehrer, & Donni Rappaport, Sanctuary Foyer & Entrance dedicated by Harriet & David Bubes, Nancy & Alan Bubes, Emanuel Cohen Judaica Collection & Sanctuary Torah Mantels dedicated by Nina Cohen, Inscribed Stone Foyer Wall dedicated by Ambassador Joseph & Alma Gildenhorn, Michael & Catherine Gildenhorn, Sanctuary Torah Mantels & Kogod Chapel Ner Tamid dedicated by Sonia & Joseph Herson, Lobby Gallery in memory of Murry Mendelson dedicated by Lorita Mendelson, Herlene & Yaacov Nagler, Alfred & Ida Mendelson Foundation, Sanctuary Window & Torah Mantel dedicated by Judith & Russell Smith, Beit Midrash Community Refreshment Center dedicated by Marilyn & Stefan Tucker


Jamie & Joseph A. Baldinger & Family, Sanctuary Kiddush Table dedicated by the Bieber-Rosenzweig Family, Prayer Book & Bible Bookcase dedicated by Sarah & David Brooks and Johanna Chanin & Randall Levitt, President's Chair dedicated by Johanna Chanin & Randall Levitt, Memorial Board in memory of Melvin S. Cohen dedicated by Ryna Cohen, Neal & Marcella Cohen, Diane & Howard Zack, Mark & Theresa Cohen, Reception Desk dedicated in memory of Eva Goldberg, Estate of Herman Goldberg, Sylvia Kay Greenberg, Marvin & Beatrice Gray Jacobs, Kippah & Tallit Cabinet dedicated by Carol & Richard Margolis, Beit Am Torah Mantels dedicated by Charlotte & Abraham "Hersh" Muchnick (z"l), Beit Am Ner Tamid dedicated by Barton & Shereen Rubenstein, Sanctuary Mezuzah dedicated by Stanley R. Zupnik


Susan Liss, Beit Midrash Mezzuzah dedicated in memory of our parents by Linda & Sidney Moskowitz, Rabbi Stanley Rabinowitz Confirmation Hall in memory of Rabbi Stanley & Anita Rabinowitz dedicated by their children


Anonymous, Toni & David Bickart, Sanctuary Torah Mantel dedicated by Leonard & Frances Burka, Beit Am Torah Mantel dedicated by Gail Levine & Ian Gershengorn, Grace & Daniel Melrod, Beit Midrash Torah Mantel in memory of Janice Ruth Peck dedicated by Lynn Palmer & Robert Peck, Beit Midrash Torah Mantel in memory of Col. Henry L. & Helen T. Peck dedicated by Lynn Palmer & Robert Peck, Barbara & Bert Rein, Alan Roth & Michael Rodgers, Elinor Yudin Sachse & Harry R. Sachse, Stanley Scherr, Mickie Simon & Brian Schwalb, Gail & Robert Wilensky, Ellen & David Winter, Beit Midrash Learning & Study Area dedicated by Mark Yecies


Miriam & Sanford Ain, Leah Chanin, Dorothy & David (z"l) Linowes, Florence K. & Laurence H. Meyer, Cynthia & Joel Rosenberg, Lorain & Irving "Bud" Rothstein, Sandy & Ted Schulman, Dr. William & Vivienne R. Stark


Adas Israel Sisterhood, Adas Israel Sisterhood Gift Shop, Betty Adler & Mark Rosenberg, Dr. Clement & Sandra Alpert, In memory of Cecile & Seymour Alpert, Debra Benator & Randall Wagner, Sharon L. Burka, Morris J. Chalick, M.D., Cindy, Glenn, Lisa, & Amy Easton, Lois & Michael Fingerhut, Ricki Gerger, Michelle & Stephen Grayson, Ava, Neal, Elissa, & Jay Gross, Melvin L. Jacobson, Jennifer & Michael Kagan, Elyse Kaye, Marky & Martin "Bo" Kirsch, Ruth & Steven Kleinrock, Lynn & Morris Kletzkin, Stuart Kurlander & David Martin, Judie & Harry Linowes, Jennie Litvack & Robert Satloff ,Adina & Sander Mendelson, Jennifer & Daniel Mendelson, Joel Plotkin, Christina Larsen & Arnold Podgorsky, Anne & Henry Reich Family Foundation, Lee G.Rubenstein, Amy Schwartz & Eric Koenig, Rita & Bernard Segerman, Sherry & Cary Sherman, Nancy & Mark Silverman, Dale & Alan Sorcher, Trish & George Vradenburg, Diane Abelman Wattenberg, Susan Wedlan & Harold Rosen


Adas Israel Men's Club, Rabbis Gil & Batya Steinlauf, Laurie & Dan Aladjem, Ellen & Stanley Albert, Amanda & Michael Alter, Judith Bartnoff & Eugene Sofer, Catherine Bendor & Shelley Klein, Robin & Robert Berman, Lisa & Joshua Bernstein, Maya A. Bernstein, Leonard & Ruth Binn, Dorothy & Richard (z"l) Block, Block-Popick Foundation, Andrea Brown, Jamie & Stuart Butler, Carol Cardinale & Dan Himmelfarb, Michael & Laura Cutler, Meredith & Michael Cymerman, Rosalyn & Kenneth Doggett, Lisa & Alvin Dunn, Diana Engel, Sandra & Andrew Eskin, Jackie Eyl & Leonard Chanin, Renée & Roger Fendrich, Philip & Jody Fidler, Harry D. Friedman & Nathan Katz, Barbara & Mel Gelman, Debra Goldberg & Seth Waxman, Amy Golen & Cliff Goodman, Abby Greensfelder & Frank Foer, Forrester , Construction Company, Jonathan Hardis, Patricia Hartge & Alan Strasser, Amy & Andrew Herman, Judith Heumann & Jorge Pineda, Carol & Larry Horn, Alexandra & Michael Horowitz, Harriet & Arthur Isack, Nadine & Alan Jacobs, Deborah & Mark Joseph, Beth Kanter   & Jeffrey Goodell, Hazel & Bob Keimowitz, Sheldon Kimmel, Janet Kolodner, Nancy & Ed Kopf, Amy & Stephen Kroll, Sandra & Stephen , Lachter, Grace & Irwin Lebow, Jackie S. Levinson & Ira Berkower, Susan & Howard Liberman, Patti Lieberman & Jeffrey Knishkowy, Unice Lieberman & Stephan Diamond, Eva Sereghy & Andrew Lipps, Alan Lipsitz, Jane & Robert Loeffler, Jodi & Philip Lowit, Ruthanne & Robert Miller, Laurie Moskowitz & Steve Rabinowitz, Joan Nathan & Allan Gerson, Carolyn Goldman & Sidney Polakoff, Michael & Deborah Poliner, Edna & Larry Povich, Pamela Reeves & Jeffrey Goldberg, Judith Rabinowitz & Joel Fischman, Dan & Aviva Rosenthal, Debbie & Ron Sann, Rise & Ronald Schlesinger, Charlotte & Hubert "Hank" Schlosberg, Karen & Milton Schneiderman, Lisa & Steven Schwat, Lauren Rubenstein & Steven Shapiro, Margaret Siegel, Mindy & Jeff Sosland, Estate of Ruth St. John, Beth & Jeremy Steindecker,  Mimi & David Strouse, Susan & Richard Ugelow, Marion & Michael Usher, Jessika & David Wellisch, Robin K. Wiener & Roger A. Nehrer, Anne & Robert Yerman


Anonymous, Dirk Aardsma, Kimberly & Steven Aftergood, Amy & Stephen Altman, Patty Perkins Andringa, Irwin Ansher & Aurora Reyes, Laura & Perry Apelbaum, Flora Atkin, Bonnie Auerbach, Marilyn & David Austern, Jacob & Donna Bardin, Jesse Baumgold & Linda Golden, Jerome Berman & Bonnie Politz, Gloria & Alvin Bernstein, Jeffrey & Laura Blumenfeld, Kenneth Boley & Laura Epstein, Cantor Arianne & Rabbi Randy Brown, Sheri & Matthew Brown, David Buck, Michelle Bugzon & Jay Kirschenbaum, David & Ruth Kevess Cohen, Ellen Cohen, Jeffrey N. Cohen, Joy & S. Robert Cohen, Marshall & Arlene Sidell Cohen, Richard Cohen & Kathy Krieger, Shirley L. Cohen, Stanley Cohen & Sue Ducat, Stuart B. Cohen, Jennifer Daniels & Herrick Fox, Alan & Melissa Goldman Davidson, Pamela Ehrenberg, Ross Eisenman & Shelley Tomkin, Stephen & Deborah Ellick, Carol Federighi, Rabbi Charles & Krayna Feinberg, Sara Feldman, Mita & Joshua Felman, Nora Fischer, Perla & Jules Fox, Philip & Marianne Gabel, Rhoda & Joel Ganz, Margaret & Lev Gilboa, Kathryn Gingles & David Esquith, Karen & Lester Goldberg, Robert Goldberg, Kenneth Goldstein, Lorna Grenadier, Beth & Curtis Groves, Barry & Ilene Heller, Beth & Stephen Hess, Edith & Arthur Hessel, Rabbi Lauren & Ari Holtzblatt, Ken & Kathy Ingber, Jeffrey Isaacs, Elaine & Michael Jaffe, Roz and Gary Jonas, Stephen & Toby Kahn, Douglas Kamerow & Celia Shapiro, Max Kampelman (z"l), Daniel B. Karchem & Francine Raizes in honor of Johanna Chanin & Randy Levitt, Mark Katkov & Ellen Hamilton, Susan Kay & Samuel Frumkin, Edward Kean & Nancy Worth, Stephen Kelin & Joy Lerner, Morris & Susan Klein, David J. Kline, Alisa Kramer, Helen Kramer, Henry N. Krieger, Michael Leifman & Sharon Samber, Bill Levenson, Susan & Mark Levenstein, Bruce Lewis, Zev Lewis, M.B. Lewis Family, Foundation, Harriet Lipkin & Chris Sautter, Donald & Susan Lubick, Eli & Pauline Evans Roth Memorial Fund, Stephanie & David Lynn, Jodi & Rodd Macklin, Ellen & Gary Malasky, Nechama Masliansky, Naomi & Haim Malka, Thea & Gary Mason, Judith and Harry, Melamed, Stephanie Meyer & Eric Dunn, Adrian & Annette Morchower, Shirley Narcisenfeld (z"l), Jessica & David Nemeth, Lydia & , Sanford Parnes, Melanie & Ken Pell, Joshua & Stacey Perelman, Roberta Pieczenik, David Polonsky, Stephen Pomper & Betsy Anderson & Family, Martin Prosky & Ellen Snyder, Harry Rand & Jennifer Gibson, Lesley & Charles Rich, Richard Peterson-Grace in Motion, Gail & Don Roache, Naomi & Peter Rosenblatt, Patricia Rosenman, Rachel Rosenthal, Seth Rosenthal & Stephanie Robinson, Sandy & Bonnie Roskes, Bette Rothstein, Mary Elizabeth Sadun, Kathy & S. Gerald Sandler, Lisa Schnall, Michelle & Carl Schoenberger, David Schorr & Judith Krones , Linda F. Segal, Randy & Eileen Sherman, Rennie Sherman & William Willis, Milton Shinberg & Judith Ross, Norman Shore, Frederic & Felissa Siegel, Judith & Jay Silberman, Michael Sloan & Maria Lasa Sloan, Ruth Snyder, Joyce & Michael Stern, Susan  Stiles, Ari Strauss, Betsy Strauss, Suzanne Stutman, Elinor Tattar, Harry & Charlotte Teicher,  Stephen Trachtenberg in honor of Francine Trachtenberg, Donald & Debra Tracy, Steven J. Weiner, Brian Weinstein, Roslyn & Paul Weinstein, Nancy & Dan Weiss, Anita & Robert ellen, Beth Werlin & Michael Wiesenfelder, Allen & Annette Wolpe, Jacob Yeston & Sarah Leffler, Kinney Zalesne & Scott Siff, Carol Zawatsky


Fri, July 19 2024 13 Tammuz 5784