A Home of Our Own
For the first few years after Temple Micah was born in 1963, services, religious school and other activities took place at various venues in the southwest neighborhood of Washington, DC. Although it began to hold worship services exclusively at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church at 6th and M St., SW, in 1966, the temple’s address remained a post office box until 1971. That’s the year the congregation entered into a landmark agreement to share space with St. Augustine’s, an arrangement that lasted 24 years. By the late 1980s, the temple needed a home of its own. So, land was purchased near the National Cathedral on Wisconsin Ave., NW, in 1992. Architects and Micah members, Robert Weinstein and Judith Capen, designed the structure. With great ceremony, the congregation moved to its new home in 1995.
Our own building may have been the right size for the congregation that moved into it, but in its new location it expanded dramatically. Within 10 years, Micah had outgrown the facility. So a capital campaign was launched in 2005 and, in 2008, construction was started on an expansion that added new classrooms, a new kitchen, additional office space and more room for the social hall. Recognizing the burden the mortgage placed on temple finances another campaign raised sufficient funds to pay off the mortgage in 2015. Temple Micah was really a home of our own.
Mort Goren talks about decision to move from SW
Jessica Silver on acquiring the land for our new home
Most people were in favor (of purchasing land), but the meeting was somewhat rancorous. And, for many years after, there were people who weren’t talking to me. The capital campaign raised over a million dollars - amazing since we had only 190 families and did it without any plaques or other acknowledgements!
Nancy Elisburg on Building Our New Home Without Donor Recognition
The professional fund-raising consultant we hired said it couldn’t be done. We disagreed and so we fired him and did it ourselves.