In 2003 the congregation of Temple Adath B’nai Israel moved into its beautiful new home on Newburgh Road. But this new house of worship, designed by architect Michael Landau, was not just a stunning new home for the Jewish community. It was designed and built to carry along the rich history of the area’s Jewish community. It has many beautiful features built-in from the area’s past Synagogues, as well as many symbolic features to remind us of our ancient traditions.
In the foyer stands a five sided glass kiosk, the stained glass windows are originally from the Washington Avenue Temple. This beautifully displays symbols such as the Convent of the Ark and a seven branch Menorah, to represent the seven days of the week. You can find congregants chatting near its warm embracing glow, celebrating on Erev Shabbat. Off the foyer is the entrance to the library. The arch around the entrance was also originally part of the Washington Avenue Temple as well. This massive arch has symbols from the twelve tribes of the House of Israel carved in wood. The library is home as well to wooden plaques, carved locally. The eight plaques honor Jewish Holy Days and festivals.
The foyer opens up to the Sanctuary – which is “crowned” on the exterior of the building by arched windows. This mirrors the crowns we proudly put atop of the Torah Scrolls. At night these windows are illuminated by the light from the sanctuary and suggest the arched windows of in the city of Jerusalem. High in the crown of the sanctuary, twelve support cables span overhead – connecting to twelve columns surrounding the sanctuary. These twelve columns represent Jacob’s sons, the twelve tribes of Israel.
You will find the building is a bright and peaceful place to worship and celebrate life with the Jewish community. It is a symbol of the passing of Judaism from one generation to another- from Evansville’s first congregation in 1857 until present day.