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."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (1,945 Responses)
  1. palintwit

    An NBC News source confirms that vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is nixing a planned sitdown with Matt Lauer, which was to air on an upcoming episode of Today. The source adds that NBC is hoping to reschedule the interview.

    According to the former governor’s Fox News colleague Howard Kurtz, Palin is still incensed about recent comments made by MSNBC’s Martin Bashir — who said Friday that Palin deserves to be defecated on for comparing the national debt to human slavery.

    November 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Things that are hard to photograph

      Perhaps Sarah Palin would rather spend some time alone with Martin Bashir.

      November 21, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • lol??

      Odd how the professional slaves, AKA Public Servants, spend the Masters' moolah. If the Masters don't watch out the $3,000 car is gonna cost $30,000.

      November 21, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
  2. Apple Bush

    God fathered himself after he already existed. This would be a clue that there are flaws in the Bible.

    November 21, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      God gave himself up to die on the cross even though he can't die. This would be another clue.

      November 21, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Was Christ resurrected as the incarnate God? Is Jesus eternally incarnate?

        November 21, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Lee

      Even grosser...Mary's virginity was taken by her son. Since she was allegedly a virgin, her hymen would have still been intact after she was impregnated. When she gave birth to Jesus, he broke her hymen coming out. Jesus essentially popped his mother's cherry.

      But yeah, the whole idea of God sending himself down to commit suicide by allowing humans to murder him so in the future all humans who blindly believe this story without any prove will live eternally upon their death because a talking snake tricked one of Adam's ribs into eating an enchanted apple that increases knowledge from a magical tree...I'm so sure!

      November 21, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  3. Dyslexic doG

    cognitive dissonance

    Mental conflict that occurs when beliefs or assumptions are contradicted by new information. The concept was introduced by the psychologist Leon Festinger (1919–89) in the late 1950s. He and later researchers showed that, when confronted with challenging new information, most people seek to preserve their current understanding of the world by rejecting, explaining away, or avoiding the new information or by convincing themselves that no conflict really exists.

    November 21, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Science Works

      New Geology cool stuff, might be tough on L4H below and that flood story.

      Oldest Large Body of Ancient Seawater Identified Under Chesapeake Bay

      Nov. 21, 2013 — USGS scientists have determined that high-salinity groundwater found more than 1,000 meters (0.6 mi.) deep under the Chesapeake Bay is actually remnant water from the Early Cretaceous North Atlantic Sea and is probably 100-145 million years old. This is the oldest sizeable body of seawater to be identified worldwide.


      November 21, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  4. Dyslexic doG

    just got here and read through the page of posts. wow! nice to see even Lawrence trying to talk sense into the crazy troll @Where was atheism?.

    November 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  5. bostontola

    There are many scientific studies showing that atheists have IQ's about 6 point higher than everyone else. I don't think that means anything at all. It may be atheists come from wealthier families or there may be some other factor at play. 6 points means nothing to me.

    My personal experience is consistent with this view that believers are just as intelligent as atheists. I work with scores of engineers, mathematicians, and scientists every day. Most are believers and most are extremely intelligent, logical, and creative. The distribution of intelligence and logic across the population is present in believers and atheists.

    The amazing thing to me is how people can be so good at compartmentalizing. Highly logical, scientific minded people are effortlessly able to fence off their religious beliefs and suspend that logic. Many have told me they are aware of that and comfortable with it.

    I need to constantly remind myself that encountering believers at the low end of the logical distribution shouldn't color my view of believers in general. I do have a concern that a minority of extreme believers with poor logical skills can stir up a lot of trouble. They can be politically active, working on school boards to distort science and history curricula, etc. The folks at the higher end of the logical distribution, believers and atheists, should work together to resist that. We will need clear eyed people to keep the US compet itive in the next century.

    November 21, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      The question this Sunday night is of course the winner of the Denver @ New England game @ Gillette Stadium. Although the Broncos are a 2 1/2 point favorite, I believe the cold weather (35 degrees with a stiff breeze) and the home field advantage will see the Patriots prevail in a close game. Your opinion is requested, thank you.

      November 21, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
      • bostontola

        I am a huge Patriots fan as you guessed. My heart is with the Pats, but my mind says Manning will carve our defense up like a Thanksgiving Day turkey. There is hope as you said that weather or maybe Belichick's genius will win the day. Brady will have to lead that offense to a lot of points, maybe he can. I'll be watching with a Sam Adams.

        November 21, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          A very decent choice of brew. I am sticking with the Pats cold hands and Manning's bad ankle may produce a fairly low scoring game the number being 56, I will bet on the under, enjoy the game.

          November 21, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
        • bostontola

          This is one of those times I hope I'm wrong. You enjoy as well.

          November 21, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
      • Joey

        I would have to take the Broncons as 2.5 point favorites.

        November 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • ME II

      Well said.

      November 21, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
  6. Lionly Lamb

    Singularities' conjugational attributes coalesce their wanton desires toward a constrained communicable impudence which centralizes into socialized fractals of generalized wholesomeness... We are the thoughts portrayed in kindness though sometimes bitterness sprouts its' ugliness ways and we markedly fall short of social graces... Theist or not, Life is

    November 21, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  7. Where were the trolls?

    Your a troll and you witness your wife's murder. Where was your trolling and how come it didn't save your wife's life? trolling does not care about you. trolling let your wife die and did NOTHING to stop it.

    November 21, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  8. Topher

    Good afternoon, everyone!

    November 21, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • midwest rail


      November 21, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Hmmmm

      Why did God originally have incredibly cruel rules for humans to follow? Why did he demand things that were always evil, as so many Old Testament laws were?

      Or more precisely, why can't Christians see the obvious, that those weird sick old laws are just the product of backwards ignorant rural peasants who claimed they were God's to legitimize them?

      November 21, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
      • Charm Quark

        Poor Topher. If god asks him to slaughter his new baby aka the Abraham/Isaac story, Topher would go through with it and may not get the stop signal. Poor Topher, the sinner.

        November 21, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
        • sam stone

          Since gopher does not know if the child will accept jeebus as a savior, and babies are under the age of accountability, the only rational thing for gopher to do is.......

          On the other hand, gopher believes that pre-destination and free will are compatible, so we already know that his mental processes are somewhat compromised

          gopher, you remain a coward

          November 21, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  9. Charm Quark

    Your card count stands at -22 and you are dealt A10 but the dealer has an A showing, do you take insurance or not?

    November 21, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      I'm a very good driver ...

      November 21, 2013 at 11:50 am |
  10. Where is your God now?

    You are a teenager taking swimming lessons with your aunt. You don’t know where the changing rooms are and your aunt points you in the wrong direction. You end up in the birthday party room. It is empty so you change there. You come out for your lesson and discover that the glass you were surrounded by is one way. Everyone on the outside could see everything you were doing on the inside. Where is your God now?

    November 21, 2013 at 11:35 am |
  11. bostontola

    Costco labels bibles as fiction, apologizes.


    November 21, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Yep

      Costco said it was a mistake, an error, to call the Bible fiction. Thanks for sharing that fact.

      November 21, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
      • bostontola

        Try to lighten up, Costco is not an authority on the subject, they are just selling product.

        November 21, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
      • doobzz

        LOL, and you don't think that's a financial decision, based on nothing more than the bottom line?

        November 21, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      just like politicians they need to pander to the crazed cultist masses.

      November 21, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
      • ugh

        You are not the voice of reason for this world. Go away and troll somewhere else.

        November 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Akira

      I figured Costco would suffer from the blowback.

      November 21, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      As scholars continue the arduous task of re-assembling and translating pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls, they have uncovered a long lost introductory passage the Bible.
      Loosely translated from ancient Hebrew, it reads:
      "All the characters in this book are fict/itious and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental."

      November 21, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin


        November 21, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Fiction? More properly it should be labeled FICTION/FANTASY

      November 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
  12. Where is your God now?

    You wake up feeling amazing with Marie next to you. She finally spent the night. You can make out the curve of her buttocks beneath the thin sheet. Your groin reacts and you press against her, fitting neatly in the begging crevice. She smells like flowers and honey. You throb with anticipation and she moans in anticipation. You reach for a condom, but realize to your dismay that your dog is busy chewing and has something stuck in his teeth…

    November 21, 2013 at 11:08 am |
  13. Where is your God now?

    Your husband takes you to the company Christmas party. You have long been jealous of his very attractive co-worker Genevieve, and your jealous imagination suspects there is a spark between them. You dress to the nines and look great. The moment comes to say hello to her. She is beautiful, charming and smells intoxicating. You break a heal just as you reach to shake her hand. You spill your drink on both Genevieve and your husband. They look at each other and giggle, holding the gaze a bit too long.

    November 21, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • guest

      What is this? A story with an ambiguous ending?

      November 21, 2013 at 10:52 am |
  14. Doc Vestibule

    Hark! Here is the chronicle of a comely she-mother, who was rearing three very comely, and therefore sinful, girls. They had hair of finest gold, the ilk of their mother's, the youngest dr.aped in curls.
    And here is the chronicle of a Godly man whose name was called Brady. He was occupied with three male spawn, the fruit of his own loins. They were four men in all, dwelling together, and yet their loneliness did persist.
    And it did happen that, upon a day, this she-mother met this Godly man. And they were inspired by God, to know that this fateful meeting was beyond a hunch. That this small flock would join and create a God-fearing family: It was in this manner that the small flock became the Brady Bunch.
    Lo! That was the manner in which they became the Brady Bunch!"

    -Televangelists 6:1-3

    November 21, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Charm Quark

      Do Breaking Bad next but do not give away the ending, seemed like someone taking a crap to me.

      November 21, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      but Brady ended up being g.a.y. so that was why they scrubbed this part out of the bible.

      November 21, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "At the closing of the Last Supper, the disciples did beseech Jesus, lamenting: 'Oh Lord! Who shall lead us in thine stead, when thou leavest this mortal life?'
      And Jesus did smile and was moved to comfort his apostles.
      He spake: 'I shall leaveth the charge in the hands of Charles. Charles, the new apostle in our midst, who liveth down the stairs, and it is known: his only task is to taketh care and watch over thee, as though he is of thine own family.
      Yea, Charles! In charge of thine days and thine nights!
      Lo, Charles! In charge of thine wrongs and thine rights.'
      And the apostles did rejoice as one, crying: 'Verily! I sing, I desire – I desire Charles in charge of me!'"

      -Televangelists 22:6-10.

      November 21, 2013 at 10:53 am |
      • Charm Quark

        And verily Charles said onto them I will be your leader salvation but I must have some trendy gowns heavily embroidered with gold and silver threads to show my elevated position, Vicar of Christ on Earth, once the accession comes to pass, so go forth and hustle up some donations.
        Memoirs of Pope Charles the Greedy.

        November 21, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • Charm Quark

          ascension although accession sort of works, also missed and salvation, forgive me Dippy.

          November 21, 2013 at 11:42 am |
  15. Apple Bush

    The Bible

    Is it bullshit? Or not?

    Using undiscovered evidence, scholars have determined the fiction in the Bible to be true!

    November 21, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • Charm Quark

      The "Brazilian Paradise" will bring the ultimate TRUTH to mankind with the possible exception of Topher; you can't win them all.

      November 21, 2013 at 10:40 am |
      • Apple Bush

        Good morning CQ, how are you today?

        November 21, 2013 at 10:45 am |
        • Charm Quark

          Just fine and yourself. I have to confess that I could not control myself yesterday and came down quite hard on our Topher. It seemed appropriate at the time but looking back I fear it is like bullying a handicapped person. I will ask for his forgiveness when he shows up and he will give it, the Christian thing to do. I feel better already.

          November 21, 2013 at 10:52 am |
        • Apple Bush

          He'll live. I am sure he prayed for you.

          November 21, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Ben

      That's very close to CS Lewis's weird apologetic that, not only was the Bible full of myth, but that it was the only myth that happened to also be true and that this was to be expected for the claims of the Bible to be taken seriously.

      Why Christians put any stock in this guy is simply beyond me.

      November 21, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
  16. Doc Vestibule

    "And spotteth twice they the ca.mels before the third hour. And so the Midianites went forth to Ram Gilead in Kadesh Bilgemath by Shor Ethra Regalion, to the house of Gash-Bil-Betheul-Bazda, he who brought the butter dish to Balshazar and the tent peg to the house of Rasho.mon, and there slew they the goats, yea, and placed they the bits in little pots."
    – 1 Cleese 4:20

    November 21, 2013 at 10:30 am |
  17. Surf & Turf

    This blog has many nasty and gullible believers. They Live in a fantasy world.

    November 21, 2013 at 9:21 am |
  18. Science Works

    All you church goers, are you all this far out there too ?

    Republican Governor Denies Benefits to All Soldiers to Discriminate Against Gay Ones


    November 21, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • Sara

      Oklahoma is one scary backwards place.

      November 21, 2013 at 11:12 am |
      • Science Works

        Yea glad all I have had to do is drive thru the state.

        But I am sure there will plenty of push back from the VA and the feds.

        November 21, 2013 at 11:20 am |
        • Sara

          Most importantly from the OK department of commerce who knows that every time they pull this dum-a$$ crap it means 3 fewer businesses are going to put branches and factories in the state.What half educated employee would agree to move to such a wasteland?

          November 21, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  19. Atheist Hunter

    I'm getting tired of these blogs... U should've listened to mommy and continued to play hide and seek with my boy friends... 🙁

    November 21, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      * I should've

      November 21, 2013 at 8:31 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Talking to yourself cunt face?

      November 21, 2013 at 8:32 am |
      • Ocean

        How "logical" of you! Not.

        November 21, 2013 at 8:59 am |
      • Dyslexic doG


        best ever!!!

        November 21, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Tom

      Sounds like you shouldn't have dropped out of grade school.

      November 21, 2013 at 10:04 am |
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About this blog

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.