Fremont synagogue finishes renovations

Temple Beth Torah in Fremont, which puts on an elaborate Purimspiel every year, is going to have a new space in which to stage its March production, “The Lion King Spiel: A Purim Prequel.”

The 180-family synagogue has completed a renovation of the 35-year-old sanctuary and social hall, and a weekend celebration is scheduled for Jan. 11-12.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, the new ner tamid will be lit as part of a Havdallah service and cocktail party. The event is mainly for adults, but at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 12, a formal dedication celebration open to all ages will include the return of three Torahs to the ark, music and food. Both events are free.

Temple Beth Torah had its 50th anniversary in 2012 and launched a capital campaign, raising more than $100,000 for the renovation. The remodel uses Jerusalem stone around the ark and includes new paint, carpet, colored glass windows, ceiling tiles and 18 hanging LED lights. The sanctuary has room for 150 seats, and the social hall can handle 200 to 250 more.

“This is truly a time for rejoicing in our congregation,” Rabbi Avi Schulman said.

Since 1998, the Reform synagogue has staged highly produced, themed Purimspiels — “professional level,” according to its website. Recent productions have been based on the TV shows “Glee” and “The Wonderful World of Disney,” the musicals “Grease” and “Cats,” the movies “2001” and “Saturday Night Fever,” and music from the Beatles and Motown. “The Lion King Spiel” will be performed March 8 and 9 in the sanctuary.

Temple Beth Torah is at 42000 Paseo Padre Parkway. For information, call (510) 656-7141.