Cleveland temple will become performing arts center

Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland is planning to convert a landmark synagogue into a performing arts center.

Spurred by a $12 million donation from the Maltz Family Foundation of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, the university and The Temple - Tifereth Israel have formed a partnership that will transform the congregation's 100,000-square-foot facility in the University Circle area of the city into a performing arts venue for Case Western's music, dance and theater programs.

The temple was built in 1924 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The primary home for the congregation has moved to a temple in Beachwood, Ohio, but the University Circle facility still has been used for High Holy Days and special services and events. The agreement with the university allows the congregation to continue using the facility for those events.

The university estimates that renovating the synagogue will require $25.6 million. Plans call for modernizing the heating and air conditioning, installing new lighting and sound systems, and replacing the original 2,000 seats in the sanctuary.

Another $7 million is needed to build a pedestrian bridge/walkway to connect the building to the Case Western campus.

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