SPECIAL FOR THE AJT //

A living room use to provide plenty of space for the members of Young Israel of Toco Hills. But that was when the synagogue was formed 22 years ago.

YITHToday, the congregation has over 220 member units – and it’s still growing. The little living room on Lavista Road, serving as the congregation’s Mikdash Me’at, just isn’t big enough anymore.

That’s why the community has been patiently working towards building a new home. For several years members have been drawing up plans, holding conferences and raising funds.

All their hard work is paying off, and on Sunday, Aug. 25, Young Israel of Toco Hills will be breaking ground – and holding a carnival – for its new synagogue. It will be located on Lavista Road, between Christmas Land and Merry Lane.

After the ceremony, members – and the entire community – will parade back to Young Israel’s current home for a festive carnival, including games, Israeli dancing and barbecue – kosher, of course!

“This is such an exciting day in the history of our congregation,” said Rabbi Adam Starr. “It’s hard to believe we have finally reached this moment after so many years of hard work. I am grateful for the visionary leaders who believed this could come to be almost ten years ago.”

The new building, which will expand the synagogue’s space from 3,200 square feet to approximately 13,200 square feet, will include a social hall, classrooms, and a parking lot.

“This will not just be a building; we are creating our spiritual home that will embody our values as a congregation,” Rabbi Starr explained. “Our new space will allow us to grow and to share with the broader Atlanta community our vision of an embracing, inclusive Orthodox Judaism – engaged with the broader world – that is deeply committed to Torah, Israel, and Jewish peoplehood.”

Young Israel member Kim Linsider had hoped that the building would be ready in time for her eldest son’s Bar Mitzvah, but ended up squeezing her many relatives and friends into the smaller shul when she celebrated last year.

“But I have another son who’s almost ready,” she said, “and his Bar Mitzvah will be held in a beautiful, spacious, brand-new building. It will be so worth the wait!”

At a glance

The Young Israel of Toco Hills Groundbreaking Ceremony and Carnival Celebration, Aug. 25, beginning at 5 p.m. For additional information, call (404) 315-1417 or visit www.yith.org