- Social Innovation Fellowship
The Broad Street Synagogue Project is multi-tiered - one part real estate, one part historical preservation, and one part community organizing. The project revolves around Temple Beth El, an abandoned synagogue on the South Side of downtown Providence. First built in 1911, Beth El experienced a growing Jewish community, but as the Jewish population tripled over the next 30 years the community migrated to the East Side of Providence. In the 1950s the temple was sold to another congregation. Six years ago, that congregation abandoned it and the temple has sat empty since: a shadow and a shell of what was once a vital landmark of the local community.
In the past year, the temple has become subject to weather damage and vandalism. Tim Natividad, along with working partners Adam Bush and Sam Seidel, have negotiated a deal to purchase the synagogue from the current owners. A wide variety of partnerships are being negotiatied as well as the necessary support to repair the building and found a 501(c)(3) organization to steward its use. Through their efforts the Broad Street Synagogue will take on a new life as a cultural, spiritual, and community space.