- Associated Press - Sunday, March 13, 2016

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - A Panhandle temple belonging to what is believed to be the oldest Jewish congregation in the state has just finished a two-year, $3 million renovation.

The Pensacola News Journal (https://tinyurl.com/jzsowlv) reports Temple Beth El is the oldest Jewish congregation in Florida and was established in 1876.

The ambitious renovation includes new sanctuary seating, sound systems and additional lighting, a remodeled auditorium and the addition of a library, office and recreational spaces. A memorial garden and a new playground for children were also added.

Gulf Breeze Mayor Matt Dannheisser and local businessman Rodney Rich helped spearhead the project for their temple. They are descended from among the original ten families who founded the first Temple Beth El congregation.

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Information from: Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, https://www.pensacolanewsjournal.com

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