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updated: 2/12/2013 2:21 PM

Synagogue plans move to Wheeling, will occupy former library building

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Shir Hadash, a Reconstructionist Jewish synagogue, will move to Wheeling this summer, Rabbi Eitan Weiner-Kaplow said this week following approval by the village board.

The congregation, which has offices in Northbrook and holds services and events at various sites on the North Shore, will purchase the building at 200 W. Dundee Road, across the street from village hall. The building formerly was home to the North Suburban Library system. RAILS, the successor library system, will sell the building but continue to rent part of it, congregation officials said.

The congregation has a contract to purchase the building and will be doing some internal construction before moving in, Weiner-Kaplow said.

The congregation is 18 years old and "this is our first permanent home," the rabbi said. "We are very excited. We have been looking for a long time."

The building has great automobile access and the types of rooms the congregation needs, including an auditorium, offices, kitchen and classrooms, he said. The 4.17 acres also gives room for the congregation to plan activities such as a community garden.

Shir Hadash has 160 families and expects to add 40 more in the next three years, according to documents filed with the village.

The village board unanimously approved the needed special use for religious assembly. The main concern among village authorities is a potential traffic conflict with the nearby St. Joseph the Worker parish that could occur early Sunday afternoons when both congregations have activities ending.

Weiner-Kaplow said his congregation does not think there will be a problem but will work with authorities to remedy it if necessary.

While most activities, including Sabbath services, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and religious school, will move to the Wheeling building, the congregation plans to continue using Our Lady of the Brook Catholic Church in Northbrook for the larger crowds generated for annual High Holiday services.

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