Fr. John Domin
1923 - 2017
Tue 6/13 10:30 am
A member of the Conservative Movement or “strand” of Judaism, Congregation Neveh Shalom (CNS) is located at 2900 SW Peaceful Lane in Portland, Oregon. CNS was formed in 1961 by the merger of two existing Conservative congregations, Congregation Ahavai Shalom , founded in 1869, and Congregation Neveh Zedek, founded in 1895.
This photograph features the synagogue’s main entrance. The synagogue was built in 1963 and underwent a major renovation/expansion in 2008. The main sanctuary topped by the Star of David dates from the original construction. The new entry gate, built of Jerusalem sandstone and wrought iron, is new, anchored by the new Stampfer Chapel.
Based on its antecedent congregations, Congregation Neveh Shalom is the second oldest Jewish congregation in the Northwest and the oldest Conservative congregation on the West Coast.
The synagogue is built in a U-shaped around the central courtyard, which is the main outside gathering area for religious services, cultural and social events and an occasional wedding. The Stampfer Chapel and Main Sanctuary are located to the left, the upper-floor religious school and lower-floor preschool wings occupy the center and administrative office/library wing lie to the right.
The Bimah, translated as “table”, in the Main Sanctuary is dominated by the two-story Holy Ark that holds the Congregation’s six Safer Torahs, the hand-written scrolls of the first five books of the Old Testament. The Ner Tamid (Eternal Light) is at the top of the Ark. The Holy Ark faces east towards Jerusalem, as required of all Jewish synagogues.
As part of the new expansion, CNS built the 200-seat Stampfer Chapel, the intermediate religious, cultural and social space in the synagogue. The chapel is named in honor of Rabbi Joshua Stampfer and his wife, Goldie. Rabbi Stampfer is celebrating his 60th anniversary at CNS this year (2013) and remains a vital member of the synagogue’s clergy team.
The Holy Ark in the Stampfer Chapel with its unusually lovely Ner Tamid is pictured here. Decorator screens are moved into place in front of the Holy Ark when the chapel is used for other than religious services.
The Ark in the Stampfer Chapel open to reveal the three additional Safer Torahs. One of these is brought out and read on the bimah (table) on Saturday mornings and on holidays.
The mosaics represent the 12 tribes of Israel – Judah, Isschar, Zebulun, Dan, Asher, Naftali, Rueben, Simeon, Gad, Ephraim, Manassah, and Benjamin.
The star of David and a parade of historic figures from a permanent art exhibit in the synagogue.
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© 2016 Sanctuary for Sacred Arts