Fundraising campaign underway to breathe new life into former synagogue

Posted at 7:44 PM, Apr 04, 2017

It's a big vision - to breathe new life into a former Jewish synagogue in Detroit while retaining a link to the building's past.

Temple Beth El dates back to 1922.  Albert Kahn designed the 55,000 square foot house of worship that is located on Woodward Avenue just north of the New Center.

Today, the building is being utilized as the Bethel Community Transformation Center, under the direction of Aramis Hinds, senior pastor of Breakers Covenant Church International.

Home to Detroit's first Jewish congregation, Hinds hopes it helps to foster reconciliation.

"It's not so much, do I believe that I can," Hinds said.  "It's beyond that. I believe I must do this."

Hinds purchased the building three years ago and has just launched a fundraising campaign to renovate and remake the space.

The beautiful sanctuary, which dates back to 1922, has suffered some damage from roof leaks and other issues due to neglect - but repairs can be made.

The renovation and reutilization of the space is all part of the big vision of Hinds, who is senior pastor of Breakers Covenant Church International. He purchased the 55,000 square foot building three years ago.

There is already activity in the building. A computer center serves the community and other organizations also work out of the building.

A Kickstarter campaign has just been launched to raise $100,000 to begin the renovation work, that would be completed in phases.