In 2004, reform Jewish congregation B'nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim (BJBE) adopted the following vision statement: "We will create a sacred place, a Jewish town square that will become the center of our being as Jewish People."
At the time, BJBE was based in Glenview, Ill. During 2002-03, BJBE's demographic task force had conducted an analysis of the congregation's demographics and trends in the Jewish population of Chicago's north and northwest suburbs. The analysis showed rapid growth occurring in areas north of BJBE's location, including in Deerfield, Ill.
In 2005, BJBE's board of trustees identified a prospective site in Deerfield that was ideally suited for BJBE to construct a new synagogue. In August 2006, the board unanimously voted to acquire the property, and in January 2007, BJBE took official ownership of the site.
BJBE began work on the project—which included redeveloping an existing office complex into a more than 600-seat main sanctuary, preschool, social hall, kitchen, administrative support areas and village center—in September 2007.