PLEASANT PRAIRIE — The Village Board approved the master conceptual plan for a proposed new synagogue for a Jewish congregation whose history spans more than a century in Kenosha.
Th board voted unanimously in favor of approval of the plan for construction of the Chabad of Kenosha Synagogue and Learning Center, which will be located on a four-acre parcel at 6939 88th Ave. According to the site and building information approved by the Plan Commission last week, the synagogue and learning center is planned to be 5,800 square feet. The center will have a social hall, small library, classroom, offices, a kosher kitchen and Mikva for ritual immersion. It will also have two guest rooms.
According to the plans, it will also include a 3,000-square-foot hospitality home which will serve as a place for members who need a place to stay in order to observe religious practices and who need access to a kosher facility.
The entire facility will be completed in four phases, with the first phase involving completing purchase of the land and a home already located on the property that will be renovated. The second phase will involve the installation of municipal water. Synagogue construction will occur during the third phase and include parking lots and a stormwater retention facility. The third phase is expected to be completed in the next five years. A final phase would involve the construction of the hospitality house, according to village officials.
Members of the B’nei Tzedek Chabad congregation currently worship at 6522 87th Ave. However, the congregation has needed more space to observe religious practices and to worship.
More than a year ago, the Chabad’s Rabbi Tzali Wilschanski requested a change in the comprehensive plan for the Prairie Lake Neighborhood to accommodate the new worship center. A public hearing held to consider it drew several neighbors, who were concerned that the building would draw more traffic to an already congested area, affecting the safety of the neighborhood and potentially driving down property values.
The board approved the change to the comprehensive plan after considering that the site would not contribute to the majority of the traffic already there and was expected to generate an average of just 10 trips a day.
The synagogue will have one full-time and four part-time employees, with worship being held on Saturdays. The prayer hall is proposed to accommodate seating up to 50 people; however, Wilschanski has said that number is normally fewer. Special events and holidays may generate about 100 people.