By Joe Earle
joeearle@reporternewspapers.net

Congregration Or Hadash plans to purchase a portion of a former car dealership in order to renovate it as a synagogue.

“We’re all very excited about it,” said Sherry Frank, president of the Sandy Springs congregation.

Or Hadash, she said, has agreed to purchase 3.3 acres and a 25,000-square-foot building that is one of two buildings that had been part of the Tom Jumper Chevrolet service center at the intersection of Trowbridge and Roswell roads. Classic Collision, a car repair company, will purchase and occupy the 65,000-square-foot building and a car wash on the property, she said.

The congregation will inaugurate a $5 million capital campaign to cover the costs of the purchase of the building and property, renovation of the building and future maintenance, she said. Or Hadash also will need to have the property rezoned for use as a place of worship, she said.

When the renovation is completed, the building will be the congregation’s first permanent home. The 7-year-old Or Hadash has been meeting in temporary quarters, most recently at the Weber School on Roswell Road.

“We’ve had a wonderful stay at Weber,” she said. “We demonstrated how two institutions can share property.”

Plans for the building were presented to the congregation April 18. At the same meeting, Or Hadash rabbis Dr. Analia Bortz and Mario Karpuj, who are married, agreed to stay with the congregation for another decade, Frank said.

“We have a growing congregation,” Frank said. “We started seven years ago with 50 families and we’re now at 350.”

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