The sun has been a rare sight in Atlanta lately, but it shone brightly throughout the groundbreaking ceremony for the Atlanta Jewish Academy expansion Sunday morning, Feb. 28.

Rabbi Pinchos Hecht, who has served as the academy’s head of school through the merger of Yeshiva Atlanta High School and Greenfield Hebrew Academy, noted that the construction project to consolidate students from preschool through 12th grade on one campus is beginning at the same time the Torah is addressing the construction of the tabernacle.

The Torah explains “the building of a space for G-d and man to meet,” which is exactly what a school should be, Rabbi Hecht said.

AJA’s Foundation for Our Future Capital Campaign has raised more than $8.1 million toward a $12 million goal, said academy Director of Development Natasha Lebowitz, who emceed the ceremony. The project includes science labs, common areas, a beit midrash, a gym and a soccer field, among other enhancements.

What Rabbi Hecht said was the fourth groundbreaking in the school’s history brought together religious and secular leaders, from Congregation Beth Jacob Rabbis Ilan Feldman and Yechezkel Freundlich, Young Israel of Toco Hills Rabbi Adam Starr, and Congregation Ariel Rabbi Binyomin Friedman to Sandy Springs City Council members Andy Bauman and John Paulson.