Temple Beth El With nearly 700 family members, Temple Beth El has a vibrant program of religious, spiritual, educational, social, social action and support activities. Temple Beth El’s two main auxiliaries, the Sisterhood and the Men’s Club, each have an active agenda of programs, services and activities. Temple Beth El is affiliated... Read More
Campaign for Our Future


As part of your honoring and celebrating our first 75 years, we prepare and look forward to our next 75 years. The Board of Trustees invites you to join them by participating in TBE’s Campaign for Our Future. This fundraising effort will ensure continued excellence in our education program as well as the development of new and vibrant spaces for us to grow as a community. Your gift of any amount is greatly appreciated and brings us closer to our goal.

Together we can:

  • Continue our high quality education programs for all ages
  • Keep our teens engaged and prepare them on living Jewish lives
  • Create space that allows us to meet and learn from each other
  • Honor our congregation by enhancing our beloved facility
  • Provide Life Long Jewish Learning in a beautiful space for the next 75 years!

We have a number of naming opportunities with the building project. Please contact Dan Esser, President to
discuss this or discuss any nature of your gift.

We’re almost there! Help us reach our goal!

Contribute to the Campaign for Our Future (PDF)


Building 1 Temple Beth El Building Progress

Week of May 4, 2015

We did it! Mazel tov to Temple Beth El!

At the beginning of May, the electricians and landscapers completed the final major elements of our Temple Beth El remodeling. Limestone walls, pathways, lighting, trees, shrubs, and herbs now combine to define the Temple’s new exterior and highlight the remodeled interior.

The Community Court now connects visually and physically to a beautiful exterior Terrace. An intricate Star of David accents the pergola and seating wall on the southern end of the Terrace. The carpet pattern inside projects onto the paver flooring of the Terrace and invites congregants to expand their activities to the outdoors. Both spaces look out onto the Arboretum which is framed by the “iron twig” fence and herbs at the Terrace wall.Building 2

Already many groups have moved their events to the refreshed and brightened Community Court with its improved acoustics and lighting. If too bright, electrically operated blinds can be lowered to control the sun’s glare without eliminating the view.

The remodeling created additional gathering spaces, now completed, in the Temple front yard. A raised patio lies just outside a new door from the Lounge. Pathways connect to a level space sized to accommodate the Sukkah and an accessible ramp and well lit stairs connect to an expanded building entry platform. All these spaces encourage congregants and their guests to gather and enjoy each other’s company.

The new design encourages greater use of the main doors into Temple. Once inside the bright and inviting Foyer, congregants will find up-to-date news about upcoming events on the Temple Information Center, an open connection to the Community Court, and easy access to the two front doors to the Sanctuary.

We look forward to the countless ways in which these new spaces will enhance our sense of connection at Temple Beth El. It is not too late to join those who have supported this work financially, and we are only $40,000 from our goal. Please contact our Temple President, Dan Esser, if you would like to make a contribution.


Temple Beth El Building Progress

Week of September 15, 2014

Dramatic changes are visible outside and inside Temple Beth El. Masons applied Lannon Stone to the new walls and planters. This stone, which is named for the Village of Lannon west of Milwaukee, matches the original stone of the Temple entry and tower. Secure metal handrails have been installed on the stairs and ramp leading from the sidewalk to the entry platform. The main entrance will soon be available using our old doors. New doors will replace the old in a few weeks and glass with refurbished grillwork will be installed above them.

Inside you will find the walls of the welcoming Foyer lined with a finer cut stone veneer that relates well to the Lannon Stone outside. Wood panel accents echo the finishes inside the Sanctuary. On one wall you will find a hand crafted display center containing information about our Temple Beth El community and its events. Looking up, an expanded ceiling and a surrounding light cornice add a feeling of spaciousness.

The Foyer now flows naturally into the Community Court. A wall no longer separates the spaces. As a result the forward Sanctuary doors, within their newly wood finished alcove, invite your use.

If the weather cooperates, look forward to landscape construction and the planting of shrubs and perennials.

Though the walls have come down we still need to use the tempory door located to the left of the tower. Follow the ramp from the sidewalk, just off the driveway entrance. The door off the parking lot also remains available. Our goal is to use the new front entry way in time for the High Holy Days.

To get to the Social Hall, Judaica Shop, first floor classrooms, kitchen and lounge you will now need to go into the sanctuary from the community court and out through the Social Hall. Please be aware that rehearsals may be underway in the sanctuary. Please proceed quietly if you find the sanctuary in use.

Renovation fundraising stands currently at $909,000. This represents 86% of our construction budget of $1,050,000. We invite everyone to join the congregation’s Campaign for Our Future and make a pledge to this project, or to the Larry Kohn Chair of Jewish Learning. Please see the flyer in the June Bulletin or contact Heidi Lauhon at executivedirector@templebethelmadison.org. You may also contact Dan Esser to discuss any aspects of the project.

Click thumbnails to view larger:

Temple Beth El Building ProgressWeek of August 24, 2014This past week our contractor poured concrete to form the stairs and gathering platform that lead to the main entry of Temple. A dark colored concrete and a light colored concrete help define the area. The colors were also chosen to complement the tiles you will see installed this fall on the terrace outside the Community Court. Because temporary entry doors will be in place for the High Holidays, you will be able to take advantage of this new and expanded approach into the building. Quality entry doors require a significant lead time to build. The permanent doors will be available to install only after the High Holidays.Construction also continues to move forward in the foyer. Workers boxed in an alcove to house energy efficient LED lighting that will surround an expanded raised ceiling. They also framed the walls in preparation for the future application of a beautiful stone veneer and the installation of a congregational information center.During design, the Temple Project Committee asked the architects to provide light levels that best meet the way we use our building. At the same time we asked them to choose energy efficient fixtures. As a result, we expect electrical use for lighting in the building to decline. In addition the contractor takes all waste removed from the building, including concrete, doors, lights and carpeting to a center where more than 90 percent of the material is being recycled.Please enter the building through the temporary door located to the left of the tower. Follow the ramp from the sidewalk, just off the driveway entrance. The door off the parking lot also remains available.To get to the Social Hall, Judaica Shop, first floor classrooms, kitchen and lounge you will now need to go into the sanctuary from the community court and out through the Social Hall. Please be aware that rehearsals may be underway in the sanctuary. Please proceed quietly if you find the sanctuary in use.Renovation fundraising stands currently at $900,000. This represents 86% of our construction budget of $1,050,000. We invite everyone to join the congregation’s Campaign for Our Future and make a pledge to this project, or to the Larry Kohn Chair of Jewish Learning. Please see the flyer in the upcoming September Bulletin, or contact Heidi Lauhon at executivedirector@templebethelmadison.org. You may also contact Dan Esser to discuss any aspects of the project.Click thumbnails to view larger:Temple Beth El Building ProgressWeek of August 10, 2014If you’ve come to Temple in the past week you have seen major changes around the front entry. The foundations and concrete walls for the new planters that will border the entry steps, entry platform and accessible ramp were poured. Although they look massive now, these structures when finished with stone and filled with beautiful plantings will frame the building and welcome you.The front steps, entry platform and ramp will be completed next. The poor hydric soils on Arbor Drive present a special challenge for construction of stable walkways. As a result, our contractor will use a light-weight material called geofoam as fill and support for the final pavement. Geofoam is very stable and can be cut and shaped on-site, but is one-percent of the weight of soil.Inside, the entry foyer has begun to take shape. The low double archway that separated the foyer from the community court has been removed. A single steel beam has been raised and placed to allow the two spaces to meld together. The sunken foyer floor has been leveled to eliminate the trip hazard at the entry to the sanctuary. Additionally, the foyer ceiling has been opened so a high ceiling may be extended toward the front doors.Please enter the building through the temporary door located to the left of the tower. Follow the ramp from the sidewalk, just off the driveway entrance. The door off the parking lot also remains available.To get to the Social Hall, Judaica Shop, first floor classrooms, kitchen and lounge you will now need to go into the sanctuary from the community court and out through the Social Hall. Please be aware that rehearsals may be underway in the sanctuary. Please proceed quietly if you find the sanctuary in use.Renovation fundraising stands currently at $900,000. This represents 86% of our construction budget of $1,050,000. We invite everyone to join the congregation’s Campaign for Our Future and make a pledge to this project, or to the Larry Kohn Chair of Jewish Learning. Please see the flyer in the June Bulletin or contact Heidi Lauhon at executivedirector@templebethelmadison.org. You may also contact Dan Esser to discuss any aspects of the project.Click thumbnails to view larger:         Renovation Project Update — Demolition ContinuesWe continue to see dramatic changes to the front of Temple. Demolition continues in the front of the building preparing the site for construction of the walkway, planters and ramp. A protective fence has been placed around the entire perimeter of the work area.You will soon see the foundation set for a new set of stairs and an expanded platform leading to the entry. A much improved ramp will directly access this expanded area for gathering and schmoozing. The ramp and walkway will lead to beautiful new entry doors. The inclusion of a camera and keypad system will provide the security necessary to permit greater use of the main entrance throughout the year.Please enter the building through the temporary door located to the left of the tower. Follow the ramp from the sidewalk, just off the driveway entrance. The door off the parking lot also remains available.To get to the Social Hall, Judaica Shop, first floor classrooms, kitchen and lounge you will now need to go into the sanctuary from the community court and out through the Social Hall. Please be aware that rehearsals may be underway in the sanctuary. Please proceed quietly if you find the sanctuary in use.Renovation fundraising stands currently at about $820,000. This represents 77% of our construction budget of $1,077,000. We invite everyone to join the congregation’s Campaign for Our Future and make a pledge to this project, or to the Larry Kohn Chair of Jewish Learning. Please see the flyer in the June Bulletin or contact Heidi Lauhon at executivedirector@templebethelmadison.org. You may also contact Dan Esser to discuss any aspects of the project.Renovation Project Update — Construction Has StartedWith our building permit now displayed in a front window, construction is getting underway on the Temple remodeling project.
The first phase of the project will replace the deteriorating front entry and steps, relocate and up-grade the access ramp, and raise the wall beam that separates the entry foyer from the community court.
For the next week you will still be able to enter the front doors for services.  The right-hand doors will be operable.
Once the contractor begins removing the outside stairs the existing front entrance will be unavailable for a period of time.  Instead, a temporary front entrance will be opened in the outside wall of the community court.  You will find this entry to the left of the tower.  Watch for signs that will direct you.
Inside, a temporary wall will be constructed to separate the community court from construction work in the foyer.  You will be able to enter the sanctuary directly from the community court.  If you wish to go to the social hall, the Sisterhood Lounge, the kitchen or the older classrooms you will need to go by way of the sanctuary.
Throughout construction access to the new school wing and the Temple office will remain available via the parking lot entrance.  Members of Beth Israel will primarily use the Knickerbocker Street entrance to access the lounge for services.
Renovation fundraising is currently at about $817,000, which is approximately 76% of our construction estimated amount of  $1,077,000. We invite everyone to be a part of our Campaign for Our Future and make a pledge for this project, or the Larry Kohn Chair of Jewish Learning. Please see the flyer in the June Bulletin or contact Heidi Lauhon at executivedirector@templebethelmadison.org.  You can also contact Dan Esser to discuss any aspects of the project.
Thank you for your patience during construction.Click images to view larger.

Ground View
Arbor Entry Lobby with Display Wall
Building Exterior
Community Court Interior
Patio View