Synagogue Library Opening in Riverdale


We were very happy to celebrate recently with the Riverdale Jewish community at the
opening of the Phil and Bette Baum Library at the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale [CSAIR]. The new library was one element in our renovation of this historically significant midcentury modern building. The work included an overhaul of the building to improve access to the building for people with disabilities. A new elevator and ramp were created, with a renovated chapel and other interior improvements.

The new Baum Library wing also includes a daycare classroom. The new structure reinterprets the materials of the original building, with ironspot brick, board-formed concrete and cement stucco. The library nestles into a space adjacent to the original building, and integrates elements from it into the interior experience of the new space. Ample windows open to the north, with a dramatic clerestory scooping light into the interior from the south.

Our work at CSAIR continues, with a new holocaust memorial garden and a renovated entry lobby.

The library ribbon cutting featured principal donor Bette Baum, who spoke about the importance of the library to her husband’s legacy. Phil Baum was a highly accomplished community leader and attorney, and his personal library forms the core of the collection. Rabbi Barry Dov Katz spoke eloquently about Mr. Baum’s life and accomplishments, and about Mrs. Baum’s dedication to this project.

We are very proud of this project, and our contribution to this vibrant, warm congregation’s growth. We are also very pleased with the seamless way our work has fitted into this architecturally significant building, enhancing and complementing it respectfully.

CSAIR entry

Synagogue Library Opening in Riverdale