The Shul
Serving the West Bloomfield Jewish Community.
Click here for a map 

The Shul stands in a forest, nestled in woodland, and rising above it. It is built on the highest point on the hill, the highest point of the Campus. According to Jewish Law, a Shul must be the highest building in a town, to show its stature and the honor it deserves. Our mission is represented in that. Wherever you look out you are surrounded by the forest, by trees.

The Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Chassidus, used to pray and study in the forest, surrounded by nature, communing with G‑d there in the beauty of nature, far from the noise of the city. We are surrounded by nature, by the forest outside, and by the natural wood beams and trusses inside that define the building. You are in a peaceful space, in the quiet of nature, in a place in which one can focus on prayer, on study, and on communal experience. The Shul is almost entirely transparent and open to the outside and to others.

 The building is physically defined by the rising Menorah that defines its shape and inner form. It is not a motif but the form of the building itself, the definition of its inner space. (This Menorah was copied from a 12-century manuscript, from Maimonides’ hand drawing of his tradition of the form of the Jerusalem Temple’s Menorah, in his magnum opus.)

 The Lubavitcher Rebbe taught us to light up our environment and bring light to every Jew, no matter what his background. This is why we are here. The rising menorah which forms the space is uniquely the shape of The Shul; the metaphor of spreading light is the reality of our space, not as an ornament but as a definition.

 The contemporary but strongly simple building, built on the highest point on the hill, quiet and focused but open and transparent, in the forest and rising above it to illuminate the environment and the surrounding area, is the physical home and embodiment of an idea. This is why we are here.

  . . . The Shul rises out of its surroundings, filled with trees and natural growth.

Its sharply pitched roof and support beams invite you in. Once you’re inside The Shul, a sense of peace and calm surrounds you. The huge beams above, the sky peering through the clear glass peaks, the view past the Bimah to the large glass windows and onto the natural forest surroundings, let you know that you are in a place of peace, of oneness with nature, a holy place, a house of G‑d.

Mr. Marty Abel