Adas Israel (“the community of Israel”) was founded in 1869 and has grown to be the largest conservative synagogue in Washington DC. The current synagogue building, built in 1950 in the Cleveland Park neighborhood, is a multi-level, multi-purpose facility.
The worship services, school, and community outreach have evolved over the years, requiring a new approach. Adas Israel has embarked on an expansive building renewal project to reconsider how the activities, spaces, and circulation can best help the congregation achieve its goals for the future.
The master plan is a result of numerous meetings with both the leadership of the congregation as well as specific user groups. Surveys, questionnaires, and interviews were conducted to best understand the deficiencies of the current state of the building as well as future goals and priorities. All improvements focus on improving the building’s function, aesthetics, and representation of the Jewish faith.
In addition to new elevators and stairs to improve circulation patterns, improvements to each level modernize the building for contemporary use. On the exterior of the building, a new façade enhances the face that Adas Israel’s building presents to the city. The main sanctuary’s interior design and finishes were redone and seating and balconies were reconfigured to accommodate 1500 seats. The new Beit Midrash is the center of the building’s activity. All upgrades were phased to minimize disruption to building operations.