A Winding Stroll Through Five Highlights Of The Bible
1. Beth Ahm minyan member Dr. Paul Darmon of Farmington Hils meditates with
his siddur on a sunny Sunday morning on a bench near the Garden of Eden display.
2. Abraham and Sarah's tent, open on all sides, welcomes small groups to
commune on stools made of logs.
3. Beth Ahm President Dr. Margo Woll and Rabbi Steven Rubenstein pause
near a mural and display depicting the parting of the Red Sea.
4. The carved tablets of the Ten Commandments are planted atop Mount Sinai.
5. Beth Ahm Ritual Assistant Nancy Kaplan of West Bloomfield gets a sense
of the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
of Doug's at Detroit's Henry Ford High
School and both Gary and Gail attended
Congregation Beth Moses in Detroit,
which later merged into Beth Ahm.
Ground was broken this past spring and
the labor of love was completed just in
time for Beth Ahm congregants to marvel
at it during Rosh Hashanah. Already, a bris
has been performed in the open space
in front of the Western Wall; and Doug
anticipates the venue could be used for
small weddings, educational classes and
He anticipates that groups of religious
schoolchildren, both Jewish and non-
Jewish, will take advantage of the learning
opportunities the garden has to offer.
A Unique Experience
Bible gardens usually have one of two
characteristics, Doug said. One type only
displays plants mentioned in the Bible.
The other type re-creates scenes from the
Bible. "I wanted to do both," he said.
Doug wouldn't say how much he and
Margo spent on the garden, but he admit-
ted he got "caught up" in the whirlwind
of the project and added more and more
features, exceeding their budget. "But we
are very happy that it came out so beauti-
ful," he said.
"Gary Roberts did a phenomenal job:'
Doug added, noting Gary's company
also landscaped the Holocaust Memorial
Center in Farmington Hills and the
main gardens at Temple Israel in West
"For the Western Wall',' said Gary, "we
brought in large chunks of stone — and
chiseled, sandblasted and carved them.
"A garden like this hasn't been done
elsewhere, according to the books I've
seen. It will have people walking through
it and telling stories."
Rabbi Rubenstein said the aspect he
liked most was Abraham and Sarah's open
tent. "Welcoming strangers is a Jewish
value that our congregation takes seri-
ously," he said.
"It's a tremendous gift to the congre-
gation that the Wolls have offered us,"
the rabbi added. "Doug's work has been
tireless. It's a dedication both to the syna-
gogue and to his parents' memory?' ❑
Garden Of Inspiration on page 16
September 30. 2010