This 83,000 square foot community center is sited in Stoughton on 16.5 wooded acres, owned by the South Area Jewish Community Center. The new center consists of a two-winged building focused around a courtyard. One wing, designated as the "athletic" wing, holds a full gymnasium and indoor running track, as well as a 25-meter pool, health clubs, "dancersize" rooms, and rooms for nautilus equipment. The other wing, a multi-functional area designated as the "community" wing, houses an auditorium, library/gallery, nursery/daycare for 160 children, teen and adult lounges, crafts areas, meeting rooms, a café, and offices.

Two stylistic vocabularies define the two-story building. The facade is clad in shingles and lined with dormers to reflect the New England architecture of surrounding buildings. In contrast, the courtyard is faced with Jerusalem limestone and wrought-iron trellises to suggest the Western wall of Israel's holiest city.

As the center is meant to be a dramatic expression of the concept of building a Jewish community, Boston's South Area Jewish population was asked to help design its new home. A cross-section of the entire community was encouraged to meet with Centerbrook to express their views and preferences for the facility. The synagogue community was consulted. Centerbrook organized a week-long series of intensive workshops in which 50 people from the South Area, which includes 10 townships, collaborated with the architects to design the community center. Groups accompanied the architects on site walks and were asked to envision their ideal natural environment, even tying yellow ribbons around favorite trees.

The Striar Jewish Community Center is open to the entire Stoughton community.

Photography © Steve Rosenthal, Nick Wheeler