This year marks the 24th anniversary of Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center’s (ATJC) Synagogue and Soffer Sanctuary. Many congregants can still recall the feelings of excitement and expectation they experienced that special day in September, 1990, when they marched together from the storefront near Publix to the newly-built, state-of-the-art facility. The synagogue has greatly expanded over the years to include the Tauber Academy, newly-renovated youth lounge, Holocaust memorial, museum, gallery, and Heritage Wall that boast beautiful works of art by internationally-acclaimed Jewish artists. Under the spiritual leadership of Rabbi Jonathan Berkun with Cantor David Muchnick and Ritual & Youth Director Cantor Marcos Askenazi, the congregation has enjoyed many meaningful and inspiring Shabbat and holiday services, weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, dinner dances, and other simchas. ATJC has also hosted the visits of major dignitaries from the United States, Europe and Israel, heads of state, members of government, world-famous journalists, scholars, cultural icons, celebrities and other honored guests who were impressed with ATJC and the congregation, and helped to establish its sterling reputation as one of the leading synagogues in America.
Over the years, thousands of worshippers and guests both young and old, have enjoyed ATJC’s facilities. Although the Soffer Sanctuary continues to be aesthetically pleasing, the years of use have forced ATJC to embark upon the “Building for the Future” Campaign to renovate, revitalize and upgrade the Soffer Sanctuary. This renovation includes new dome, seating, carpeting, additional stained glass windows, wood molding, painting, repairs and several enhancements. Chairing this major renovation is one of ATJC’s Vice Presidents, Eugene Kessler, selected for this major project because of his many years of experience and incomparable knowledge and taste as a renowned developer, guaranteeing the highest standards of excellence.
Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center also recognized Chairman of the Board, William Landa, for having the vision, determination and perseverance to see this project through to completion. Additional credit for this major renovation was extended to the synagogue’s President, Marcy Resnik, for her leadership and direction in all aspects of the project. She saw this project as the culmination of her term as president and committed herself to supporting the effort and ensuring its completion in time for the Jewish holidays.
Executive Vice President Dr. Amir Baron noted, “The Soffer Sanctuary is the jewel in the crown of Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, the heart and soul of the Aventura Jewish community. We would like to express our gratitude to our major benefactor, Don Soffer, a great humanitarian and philanthropist, who had the vision and the understanding of the need to build the synagogue in our city of excellence and for dedicating the Soffer Sanctuary in memory of his beloved parents, Ida and Harry Soffer.”
“This year, the season of repentance and renewal will be expressed not only through the prayers of our ancient tradition, but also in the context of our inspiring new Judaic-themed works of art that adorn the walls of our sacred worship space,” said Rabbi Berkun. “Hearing Cantor Muchnick and our professional choir sing the songs that represent our rich history in the acousticallyimproved Soffer Sanctuary will be nothing short of transcendent. Together, we will begin the year 5774 with hopes of living more meaningful lives and blessings of health, prosperity and peace.”