It all began at the beginning of the summer. Members of the Aliya youth center in Crown Heights decided to build a 1200 square foot deck above the one-story section of the center’s E New York Avenue building.
Whilst embarking on the plan, the engineer informed the dedicated young men that Aliya’s present roof is caving in and must be taken down before it collapses.
Upon hearing the news, the new deck project quickly became a new roof project. The humble project that was expected to take about a month and under $10,000 quickly became a mega demolition gut job of the downstairs shul. The guys helped a lot in the process but it was quite clear that this was no small feat.
The initial deck job that was expected to be complete by Yud-Bais Tammuz but ultimately was rushed to be barely usable for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. With 5-8 workers working 6 days a week under contractor Raffi Halevi we just made it!
Literally hours before yomtov the construction cleanup began and the boys bought the furniture back into the shul during the 18 minutes.
But when Aliya filled up for Maariv on Rosh Hashanah, everyone was astounded by the stunning new partially exposed roof which is now 5 feet higher than the old roof. The new lights which were installed hours before Yomtov were gorgeous and the shul’s new beauty shined from all corners. The place now feels twice as big as the old Aliya with almost an extra foot of width after removing several layers of walls and the higher ceilings.
Special thanks to True Value/Hardware Express, Lavie Popack, Yanki Sufrin, Mani Weingarten, designer Sara Wigle, Shmaya Glick, Dr. and Mrs. Eli Rosen in memory of their mother/mother in law, L”N Michla bas Moshe, Mr. and Mrs. Warren Forman Esq., The Tzfasman family, The Finck family, Sholom Ber Okunov and the Aliya crew especially Alex Hecht, Josh Katz, Michael “Dude” Klein, Dovid Steinhauser and Yehua Lipkind.
Construction resumed during Aseres Yemei Teshuva, between Yom Kippur and Sukkos and during chol hamoed and still has a long way to go to be complete. This unplanned and unforeseen complete makeover has brought so much pride and joy to Aliya’s young community and has attracted many more young people to Aliya’s yomim tovim services and other programs.
To learn about dedication opportunities please call 347.347.9777 or email [email protected] To contribute and be part of this exciting project please visit www.aliyainstitute.com/donate. Naming rights for the deck and newly renovated shul are available.