Maimonides Medical Center held a dedication ceremony on Tuesday, June 2 to unveil its new synagogue, the Herman Family Synagogue.
Maimonides Trustee Peter Rebenwurzel and his wife Debby were recognized for their contribution made in honor of her parents, Alexander and Charlotte Herman.
“Nine years pass and we were looking at the plans for this beautiful lobby and we knew we had to move the synagogue which was too small,” said President and CEO of Maimonides Pamela Brier. “Peter came to me and said he thinks he can talk Debby into a contribution and once again they have helped us to build this synagogue.”
Chair of the Board of Trustees Kenneth Gibbs also expressed his gratitude for the new Shul. “We are celebrating the dedication of the Herman Synagogue,” he said, noting that Rebenwurzel, “has been a pillar of this board and the community and on behalf of the board, I am here to offer them my most sincere gratitude.”
The new synagogue, located in the hospital’s main lobby, is expected to provide comfort for patients. “Having a place of worship in a time of sickness and healing is important for our patients and their families,” he said. “This has transformed this new synagogue into a beautiful place for reflection and prayer and we as an institution serve many communities. This community is at the center and heart of who we are.”
“People will use the room to study, read books and pray,” said Rabbi Benzion Leser, director of pastoral care at the hospital. “It’s a place for them to get away from reality and to be uplifted spiritually and find refuge. It’s very comforting.”
Rebenwurzel also spoke during the opening, reminiscing about his in-laws. “I am now more appreciative of the many nuances of their lives,” he said of Alexander and Charlotte. “The core of their lives was their family devotion to each other and the community. My father-in-law had a clear goal, which was hoping for a better world. My mother-in-law had a compassionate ear and soul to so many that sought her advice.”
He added how impressed he was with the new facility. “I’m so proud to have been a part of this project, bringing together their memory to a place so lined with values and service to community and God,” he said. “I hope we will be successful in continuing the legacy that both my parents and hers have left behind.”