New Synagogue Latest in Religious Building Boom in Rochester

February 19, 2007

Source: Pioneer Press

Wire Service: AP

ROCHESTER, Minn. - The first building in southern Minnesota built specifically as a synagogue will rise from the site of B'nai Israel's current building in the next 14 months.

The $5.5 million synagogue near downtown will mark another milestone in the nearly 100-year history of the Jewish congregation in Rochester.

"If you look at the history of the Jewish people, (they) have wandered through the desert in all kinds of temporary homes for thousands of years," said Dr. Brooks Edwards, a leader in the project and a B'nai Israel member for nearly 30 years.

"To have a permanent home in Rochester, and one that's designed as a synagogue, sends a message that this is a priority for us."

The synagogue project comes as a handful of Rochester's minority religious groups establish deeper roots.

The Cambodian Buddhist community built a temple just outside the city in 2003, and Holy Anargyroi Greek Orthodox Church built a Byzantine-style church near downtown in 2005.