Home > Blog > September 17 – Groundbreaking Ceremony Recap

Over 500 people attended the Temple Beth Sholom groundbreaking ceremony and celebration on Sunday, September 7, 2014.  “It was truly a joyous and historical day,” said Rabbi Heidi Cohen.   “The energy, as we broke ground, after years of dreaming, planning, and hoping was beautifully intense. There was almost a collective holding of our breaths as the first shovel was placed in the earth and then the earth was moved into the wheelbarrow. That sound allowed everyone to exhale and rejoice in knowing that this is REAL! We are building.”

Groundbreaking ceremony participants heard from Lynn Matassarin, TBS President; Jeff Winston, Project Chair Living Legacy; Susie Amster, Living Legacy Director; and Carlos Rojas, Chief of the Santa Ana Police Department.

Rabbi Cohen, Cantor David Reinwald and Cantor Shannon McGrady Bane provided prayers, songs and tremendous ruach (spirit) to the groundbreaking festivities.

The ceremony was followed by a BBQ lunch, provided by Parties by Panache, as well as a host of activities, including, construction projects for the kids sponsored by Home Depot and Legoland, picture taking on a huge fire truck provided by the fire fighters that saved our Temple, writing messages on the walls of the social hall and for the TBS time capsule, and putting a shovel in the ground to celebrate the day.

The ceremony and celebration were kick-offs to a year of on-going fundraising and construction. We still need to fill in the gap between the funds we’ve raised, the insurance settlement, which is still to be determined, and our $12 million project goal.

Our sanctuary has been generously endowed by Sandy and Allan Fainbarg.  The new chapel has been the dream of and graciously endowed by Bernie and Brad Horwitz.  We are looking for angels to endow the Community Pavilion, the Religious School Building, and the Administrative Offices.  There are many other endowment opportunities available, as well.

We can. We will. Rebuild TBS, but only with the support of our congregation and the community.  You’re all invited to join us in this vital project to assure our future.


Photos courtesy of Josh Friedman and Chuck Weinberg

Living Legacy Committee


Jeff Winston, Chair

Susie Amster                           Lynn Matassarin

Rabbi Heidi Cohen                 Jeff Merkow

Harvey Grossberg                   Elaine Schwartz

Warren Hennagin                    Dan Weissberg

Bernie Horwitz                       Linda Weissberg


Capital Campaign Committee


Bernie Horwitz & Linda Weissberg, Co-Chairs

Susie Amster

Rabbi Heidi Cohen


CORE Architectural Committee


Dan and Linda Weissberg, Co-Chairs

Susie Amster               Lynn Matassarin

Rabbi Heidi Cohen     Elaine Schwartz

Harvey Grossberg       Jeff Winston

Warren Hennagin



Ground Breaking Committee



Jeff Merkow, Joyce Mogabgab & Hollis O’Brien


Susie Amster

Rabbi Heidi Cohen

Sherry Herstone

Jan Koren, Absolute Exhibits

Todd Koren

Judy Korin, Seesaw Studios

Gene Lesman

Karen Merkow

Norm Rosen

Soni Sanberg

Bill Shane

Susan Sherman

Bill Vaughter

Elias Villegas

Karen Warren

Linda Weissberg

Bonnie and Brad Wenneberg

Caron Winston

Pam and Barron Zitney