Thursday, July 02, 2020

Inside Our Walls


A major renovation of our sanctuary was completed in 2005. The sanctuary beautification project was named Ait Livnot – A Time To Build. Our most sacred space was enhanced by the addition of exquisite etched glass art in its windows, carved and gilded ark doors, and glass paneled entry doors, all designed and created by leading American architectural artists. New pews and upholstered seats were constructed by a kibbutz in Israel. The bimah, which retained its beautiful stained-glass windows representing the 12 Tribes of Israel, is now multi-tier and accessible for people with disabilities.

The use of glass illuminates the sanctuary with abundant natural light, creating an atmosphere of serenity, clarity, and harmony. The etched glass panels within the towering windows on each side of the sanctuary contain the quote “In Your Light, We See Light” (Psalm 36:9). The quote on the ark doors proclaims “Torah is Illumination” (Proverbs 6:23). The theme of light and illumination in our sanctuary captures the open and welcoming perspective that Temple Emeth has always embraced.



The Chapel was dedicated in 1952 through the generosity of Herman A. Katz in tribute to his father Mike Katz. It provides an intimate space for study, reflection, celebrations, worship and prayer. It is used during the week and on Shabbat for daily minyan, adult education classes, and by Binah B'emet students.

A beautiful exterior wall features individual stained-glass windows that expressively interpret each of the Ten Commandments. Additional exterior window panels are etched with these verses from Pirkei Avot:

Who is rich? One who is happy with his portion.
Who is honored? One who respects his fellowmen.
Who is mighty? One who subdues his passions.
Who is wise? He who learns from everyone.

See website calendar for minyan schedule.

The Bible Windows of Temple Emeth

Temple Emeth’s L-shaped lot presented a design challenge that required a creative solution. Two buildings – the Synagogue building and the school wing - sitting at right-angles to each other, were seamlessly integrated by an open air rotunda. Rabbi Zev K. Nelson z”l had the artistic inspiration to use the 39 windows on the curved inside wall of the rotunda to incorporate Jewish heritage – each portrays in stained glass one of the 39 books of the Bible.

The first three windows depict:

  • Genesis - commemorating the six million Jews annihilated during the Holocaust
  • Exodus - dedicated to the memory of the soldiers who gave their lives for the liberation of the Jewish homeland
  • Leviticus - a memorial for the Jewish soldiers who died in defense of the United States.

The remaining 36 windows were dedicated by Temple Emeth congregants in memory of a cherished family member. A book by Rabbi Nelson, The Bible Windows, illustrates and describes each window, and is available in the Temple’s library.

Holocaust Memorial

In 1997, a unique memorial to the Martyred Six Million was erected on the Temple grounds. This monument, engraved with a map of Europe, lists the hometowns of family members of the Temple Emeth community who perished in the Holocaust.

Holocaust Memorial Torah

The Temple is fortunate to have a Torah that was part of a collection of ritual objects from the Jewish Museum in Prague. Quite incongruously, assembling these objects after the German occupation was the collective effort of both Czechoslovakian Jews, whose purpose was preservation, and the Nazis, who wanted a showcase museum of the liquidated race. Our scroll, number 1136 from Kromeriz, Czechoslovakia, was purchased in 1980 with a donation from Carl Schlesinger and his late wife Eva, both Holocaust survivors, in memory of their families and the Martyred Six Million. It is suspended from on high in a timeless and mysterious manner at the entrance to our sanctuary.


Temple Emeth’s Lakin Library, a valuable resource for the entire Congregation, features:

  • General works of fiction
  • Books from a variety of academic disciplines – philosophy, religion, social sciences, language, science, art, literature, and history
  • Jewish magazines, including Moment and Commentary
  • Jewish-oriented DVDs and CDs.

The library is open Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 5 pm, Friday from 9 am to 1 pm, and on Sunday during the school year from 9 am to 12 noon.

In 1998 the Ethel and Harry Lakin Library was renewed and refurbished in loving memory of Simon and Ida Zilen, Sura Feinberg and Clara W. Goose, and Rose Libby and Albert Diamond through the generosity of the Zilen, Feinberg, and Diamond families.

Judaica and Gift Shop

The Judaica and Gift Shop offers Temple Emeth members an array of goods for all Jewish occasions. Shop for Bar/Bat Mitzvah and wedding invitations, imprinted kippot, a diverse selection of tallisim, as well as ritual items needed for the celebration of Shabbat and the holidays. “Entertainment” coupon books are available. Proceeds benefit Sisterhood programs. The Benjamin F. Bornstein Judaica and Gift Shop was established in 1977 by Dr. Bornstein’s family in his memory.

The shop is open by appointment only. For additional information, to make an appointment, or if you are interested in volunteering to “wo(man)” the store - please contact Penny Grossman, Judaica Shop Manager, by leaving a message at the Temple office 617-469-9400, or email her at

Temple Emeth is housed in a classic, beautiful and accessible facility, winner of a major architectural award. Luminous and serene, our sanctuary captures the timeless and universal perspective that Temple Emeth has always cherished.

Rabbi Alan Turetz

TEMPLE EMETH, 194 Grove Street, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
P 617-469-9400 | F 617-469-9646 |