First new synagogue to open in Tacoma since 1968

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TACOMA, Wash. (AP) -- Tacoma is getting its first new synagogue since 1968.

The News Tribune reports (http://is.gd/xof4cs ) that an Orthodox Jewish group will open its $2.4 million Chabad Jewish Center of Pierce County on June 10. The center is part of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, and it provides a traditional-style synagogue for practicing Orthodox Judaism, including a kosher kitchen in the basement social hall and separate seating for men and women in the sanctuary.

The building faced a two-year legal battle and nearly a year of construction. It's 30 feet tall and situated between houses. Dozens of neighbors opposed it because they thought it was too big, and the city contended the group could have redesigned the synagogue or found a larger site.

In 2010, a hearings examiner cleared the way for the controversial project, after ruling the city's denial of land-use variances imposed a "substantial burden" on Chabad's religious rights.

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Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com