Sedona CALLAHAN, Writer

 

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Temple Har Shalom
TEXT: SEDONA CALLAHAN
PHOTOGRAPHY: DOUGLAS BURKE

har shalomTemple Har Shalom (the name translates into English as “Mountain of Peace”) is the newest link in the chain of Park City’s houses of worship, contributing to the diversity of the area’s religious communities.

After meeting and worshiping for several years in a small rented venue in the Prospector neighborhood, the members realized a new facility was needed. “We gathered together some key people in the community to make it happen,” says Josh Aaronson, the rabbi at Temple Har Shalom. “The project was led by Scott Adelman, Neil Breton and Adam Bronfman, but many people had the vision to make it possible.”

The prominent European architect Alfred Jacoby accepted his first assignment to design a synagogue in the United States. An article published by The International Survey of Jewish Monuments [ISJM] describes the resultant structure: “At Park City he [Jacoby] opens up the building to the landscape with large floor-to-ceiling windows which reveal big vistas from two floors. The sanctuary, however, remains a more sheltered space, its large east wall windows filled with stained glass designed by Jun Kaneko of Omaha, Nebraska. Overhead a wood ceiling, something like a stretched out sine wave, undulates upward to its high point above the Ark.” Aspects of the temple include a large social area with an outside deck, seven classrooms, a welcoming foyer banked by administrative offices, and a café.

A small group of synagogue members led by local Sean Railton selected the 15-acre property where Temple Har Shalom is located on Highway 224, fronting Quarry Mountain and bordering the McLeod Creek trail. Another group shepherded the completion of the fine details of the development.

“All told, it really was a very complicated, time-consuming project, but it went very well,” says Rabbi Aaronson. “Support from every single community, including the county commission, the county planning department, Park City — everybody said ‘Yes!’ to make this project happen. It’s really a testimony to the area in which we live.”

This article appears in the Winter/Spring 2009 issue of Park City Magazine