KENOSHA – Beth Hillel Temple here has new, spacious bathrooms – a major improvement over what the 1928 building originally had to offer.
They’re part of the synagogue’s costly renovations that started soon after the High Holy Days.
“If you can be excited about a bathroom, we are,” said Rabbi Dena Feingold, during a tour in May that had the building abuzz with workers and equipment.
An old men’s restroom was so small, you had turn sideways to get into it, said John Plous, a former synagogue president. As for the women’s restroom, his daughter Robin Plous explained, “The doors literally would wedge shut. You had to kind of hope you didn’t get stuck on the other side.”
She added with a laugh, “I’ve never been to a ribbon cutting for a bathroom before. I have to admit that even with the mandatory presence of the Sunday school kids, the attendance of the optional people was impressive.”
Throughout renovations, the congregation has not stopped actively using the building. One room at the lower level, the former locker room for the former gym, has been used in recent years as a playroom. During construction, it’s been jammed up with storage and will return to playroom status down the road.
But at least the bathrooms are now done, congregants said, including handicap accessibility and gender-neutral options.