The Madison Art Cinemas will host the June 14 world premiere of We Built This House, a one-hour film telling the story of Chester synagogue Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek – the only public building that the world renowned artist Sol LeWitt ever designed. The film begins at 11 a.m. and will be followed by a discussion led by film producer-director Jon Joslow, a lifetime member of the Congregation, as well as a reception.
Opened in 2001, Lewitt’s design is inspired by the traditional wooden temples of Eastern Europe combined with elements of colonial New England barns. We Built This House traces how architect Stephen Lloyd translated LeWitt’s vision into post and beam, and how the Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek community collaborated and improvised – even adapting a design discovered in a medieval English watermill – to give structure to the sanctuary’s wooden dome. LeWitt’s iconic installation on the ark drew national attention when the building opened. A Chester resident, Lewitt died in 2007 at the age of 78.
Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek – Hebrew for “House of Peace Pursuing Justice” – is marking the 100th year since the founding of one of its two predecessor temples in Moodus. We Built This House is part of yearlong centennial celebrations culminating in an Oct. 3 gala and the inaugural presentation of the synagogue’s new annual Pursuer of Peace and Justice Award.
Producer/director Joslow is a crisis/transition leader for private equity who spent a year mining the history of the congregation and its building. Given time limitations in the documentary, the synagogue is developing a parallel video archive to capture stories of all congregants who were part of the building’s creation. DVDs of We Built This House are expected to be released later this year.
The Madison Art Cinemas is located at 761 Boston Post Road in Madison. Tickets to the world premiere are $18. For more information visit cbsrz.org or ancientandcool.com. For tickets email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (860) 526-8920.