Beth Yeshurun Sophia and Jack Bender Memorial Chapel
Award of Merit
OWNER: Beth Yeshurun Cemetery Association
LEAD DESIGN FIRM: Gensler
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Butler Cohen Design + Build
CIVIL ENGINEER: Ward + Getz Associates
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Dally + Associates
MEP ENGINEER: Telios Engineers
ACOUSTICAL CONSULTANT: SLR Consulting
LANDSCAPE CONSULTANT: The Office of James Burnett
With the Beth Yeshurun Sophia and Jack Bender Memorial Chapel funded by a single donation, the project team worked to balance costs with thoughtful design elements that would honor Jewish ceremonial traditions and the Bender family’s legacy.
The construction and design team researched these traditions and studied the Torah to better understand the community’s mourning process.
At one point, the team realized the building’s central location could quickly become cost prohibitive because of how far they would need to run utilities. Butler-Cohen and Gensler reconfigured the building closer to the edge of the property to stay within budget without affecting the design.
Photos by Aziz Alshayeb
Each material used in the project holds symbolic significance and was carefully chosen to support the congregation’s identity. Strategic gabion walls filled with river stones support the building and shield the garden, and each stone represents the memory and life of the faithful.