Sanctuary Renovation


DECEMBER 17, 2021 / 14 TEVET 5782

The congregation at Temple Emanu-El celebrated its first major sanctuary renovation in twenty-five years.

Over the course of roughly sixty days, the entire sanctuary was re-polished, re-floored, relighted, and in some cases, completely rebuilt.

The “before” picture is top-right. The “after” photo is middle-right.

The old, green carpet was completely removed and replaced with new, patterned carpet that better complimented the updated color scheme. Hardwood floors now cover the area immediately under the refinished pews. The Temple’s original hardwood, dating back to 1941, was cleaned and re-polished.

The original, single-scroll Torah stand was replaced with a specially-made stand designed to support two Torah scrolls.

The organ, which sat on the edge of the Bimah, was donated to a local charity. The Bimah steps were then rebuilt and carpeted to fill the emptied space. New handrails were installed on each end of the Bimah.

Upon completion of the much-anticipated renovation, congregants gathered for a “well-attended Potluck Dinner…and then a Torah Procession from our temporary Ark on the [Fellowship] Hall stage to the Bimah of our Sanctuary…

..After some opening prayers, we marched our Torah scrolls around the Sanctuary, and then placed them into our Ark on our Bimah.”
            – Cantor Neil Schwartz, January, 2022


For a unique perspective of the sanctuary renovation, please view this special time-laspe video.

The sanctuary renovation video was produced by Josh Flowers, C & R Contracting, LLC, Dothan, Alabama.


A special thank you and appreciation to those who led this important and timely project.

The result was a beautifully renovated sanctuary that will proudly serve our congregation, Jewish community, and southeast Alabama for years to come.


C & R Contracting, LCC, managing contractor, and a wonderful partner, for the sanctuary renovation.

John Eiland, construction consultant, and an invaluable resource and sounding board.


Bill Barnes
Susan Blumberg, Chair
Leon Minsky
Ira Sukoff
Stefan Zweig