Customer Spotlight: Temple Beth Elohim

Dear Readers,

Finally, the sunshine is here! Some important news - we have finally joined the social media world! Yes, that means we are on Facebook and LinkedIn now and yes, we would love for you to become fans of our pages!  

This month I am pleased and excited to spotlight one of our long-term clients, Temple Beth Elohim of Wellesley, Mass.  Below you'll hear from Ed Wagner as he discusses our partnership, their spectacular multimedia facility and everyone's excitement with their highly accessible worship services and new ability for global participation.  This project is a personal favorite of mine.  It is a fantastic article I know you'll enjoy!  


As always, I welcome your comments, thoughts and suggestions.



Temple Beth Elohim, Partnership for the Future

In April 2009, Newsweek named Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, MA one of America's 25 most vibrant Jewish congregations. By then, the Temple's vitality and sense of community had been attracting congregants from across a broad area. The need for more space had become acute.

Original Temple Sanctuary.  Peg Shanahan Photography.

In December 2010, Temple Beth Elohim opened the doors of a new, state-of-the-art, 44,000-square-foot facility. The new temple was built on the parking lot of its former home in a serene wooded hollow. The goal - incorporate numerous green initiatives and sophisticated technology into the building to ensure that the temple can serve its congregation successfully for decades to come.

"Everyone was committed to building for the future," explains Ed Wagner, Vice President of Administration and a member of the Temple Beth Elohim Board of Directors. "We were building for 15 to 30 years from now and had to anticipate IT and AV uses while accepting that we would not know everything.  If you look at IT and AV as basic infrastructure like electricity and plumbing, it is easier to make a case for investing in it even when you don't know all the uses.

"We decided to build a totally digital building knowing the analog technology is becoming antiquated, but not all digital technology is mature enough at the moment," continues Ed. "We set ourselves up for the future. We put multi-media capability in the new sanctuary, which includes two high-lumen projectors and screens. Today there is limited use for these technologies, but we can foresee that in the future people can look up at a screen rather than down at a prayer book. The screens can be used to show colors or landscapes that prepare you for prayer."

Shanahan Team During Temple Construction.  Peg Shanahan Photography.

Ed explains that the Temple selected Shanahan for installation and support of the AV systems because "we needed a partner that would work with us to achieve our goals even though we were not definitive in our needs in the first year." Shanahan had provided AV infrastructure support to Temple Beth Elohim at its former facility. According to Ed, the relationship with Shanahan had become so strong that he opted to retain the company for the new building project.

"Our equipment is used by clergy, music directors, educators and others. When you have so many people with so many varied needs, there will be failures. It was clear to us we needed a partner who was not just technically strong, but who could also create a personal relationship with the professional staff that we have," Ed explains.

The Results: Building Community and Strengthening Spiritual Ties

The new AV technology at Temple Beth Elohim has made it possible for a grandmother and grandfather to stream a Temple event to their laptop and dance along with the party from the comfort of their Florida home. A mother can participate in a service from the privacy of a quiet community room as she nurses her baby. The rabbi can now touch a button to augment his service with video clips that support his message. The Temple can host a program of award-winning Jewish films and offer the same AV quality as movie theaters.

New Sanctuary w/ Projection Screens.  Peg Shanahan Photography.

"We have sister congregations around the world that would love to be included in our service. Now they can join us. Today, people can log onto our website and get real time visual and audio access to our services. This is a great way to expand the community and involve people," Ed says. He continues: "We can now support programs which help us build community - events like movies, dance, shows, yoga, music lessons ... by having this equipment, we can help produce events, record them, and stream them to folks beyond the four walls of the new building."

Temple Sanctuary Today.  Photo by Carolyn Ross.

Ed looks forward to a long relationship between Temple Beth Elohim and Shanahan. "When the systems are completed and all the consultants go away, we are left with the professional staff and Shanahan. We went with them because of their technical competence, support and leadership. As lay people, we really needed to have someone we could lean on to help us make good decisions. The Shanahan team's ability to go beyond our expectations spoke volumes about the trust we could put in them. Because of this trust, we can project ourselves out in time and know we picked the right vendor now and for the future."

Temple Beth Elohim System Features 

  • 32 Channel Digital Media Matrix Router is the management hub for all video and audio sources in the sanctuary, as well as overflow rooms and web streaming gathering rooms
  • Wall control panels in each room provide simple control for easy use by staff members
  • Two high-lumen projectors and screens in the sanctuary
  • True high-definition video cameras are located in the sanctuary and large community gathering room
  • Complete movie projection system in the main community room.
  • Video streaming capabilities via the Temple's website, enables access to a personalized experience for each person to watch and participate in events from a myriad of locations, ranging from a separate room within the Temple to areas across the country and even the world.


Let us help you turn your audio and visual requirements into reality. Give us a call at 800-786-1556 or contact us today. One of our professionals will be happy to work with you.   

Catherine Shanahan, President