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From auto shop to sacred space
Congregation Or Hadash, a conservative Jewish synagogue built from a former auto body repair shop.
November 20th, 2013
12:11 PM ET

From auto shop to sacred space

Editor's note: This story is part of CNN's American Journey series to show how old buildings around the United States have found new purposes and helped to build communities. Are there repurposed buildings in your community? Share the stories with CNN iReport and they could be featured in a CNN story.

Sandy Springs, Georgia (CNN) - The old Chevrolet paint and body shop was vacant - 24,000 square feet of metal and concrete surrounded by a sea of asphalt.

But when some members of Congregation Or Hadash saw it, they saw a home.

Since it was founded in 2003, the conservative Jewish congregation had bounced from location to location outside Atlanta - a Methodist church, a windowless space in a school, any place they could rent or borrow as they grew.

"Sometimes, from week to week, we didn't know exactly where we were going to be," said Fred Wachter, president of the congregation and a member since its early years.

"All the while ... we probably walked every piece of available property and real estate in Sandy Springs, trying to find something, anything, that would look like it."

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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