The Ark Builders

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In 1985, five congregants of Temple Israel of Natick, Massachusetts, built an ark, Torah stand, and reader’s desks for the synagogue’s high holiday “tent service.” Later dubbed the “Ark Builders,” the now larger group has continued creating ritual objects and furnishings for the congregation’s chapel, sanctuary, religious school, lobby, and beyond, including a new ark and bimah for the sanctuary and a beautiful chuppah for weddings. The Ark Builders, who describe what they do as “worship through woodworking,” are currently helping build homes for the homeless by renovating vacant Natick Housing Authority family units. This fall, two members of the group will release a book about their work. Order it in mid-September at