The Warner Brothers film “This Is Where I Leave You” starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Jane Fonda will be filming at Congregation KTI on King Street on Sunday, May 12. About 40 members of KTI will get to play themselves as extras in the movie.
The Warner Brothers film “This Is Where I Leave You” starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Jane Fonda will be filming at Congregation KTI on King Street on Sunday, May 12. About 40 members of KTI will get to play themselves as extras in the movie.
Some members of Congregation KTI are planning to attend morning services twice this weekend. The first time on Saturday as is tradition and then again on Sunday to play the part of extras in a Warner Brothers movie starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Jane Fonda.

After surveying several synagogues in Westchester and Long Island, scouts from the film company chose the King Street synagogue as the temple in the movie adaptation of "This Is Where I Leave You" by Westchester author Jonathan Tropper.

"They really liked the space and the light and the area KTI is in," said Rabbi Jaymee Alpert.

Last month there was an initial exterior observation at 575 King St. and then the site scouts contacted the synagogue to view the inside of the building. After several visits, they settled on KTI and plan to film in the sanctuary and outside the building on Sunday, May 12.

"It all moved very quickly," said Bill Alper, the president of KTI's board of trustees. One reason KTI was chosen was because it was designed by modernist architect Philip Johnson. "They had told us numerous times during our meetings, conversations that it was a big part of it because they're a fan of the architecture."

The scene that director Shawn Levy will be filming at KTI takes place in chapter 30 when the narrator, played by Jason Bateman, attends Shabbat services with his mother, Jane Fonda, sister Tina Fey, and brothers Adam Driver and Corey Stoll. To make it look authentic, members of KTI will be playing themselves and filling the pews. About 40 KTI members, ages 20 and older, will get to play extras.

"It's just cool," said Alpert, who will be playing one of the congregants. "When in your life do you have the opportunity to be an extra in a movie?" Especially one filmed in your own synagogue and with a star-studded cast, she added. (In the movie, the Rabbi will be played by Ben Schwartz.)

While services are ongoing, the fire alarm is set off and everyone has to exit the building. For this reason, Warner Brothers has also requested that a fire truck manned with actual firefighters be on site.

"We will be filming a sequence in the parking lot... which will portray a fire alarm induced evacuation of a service in the temple...and would very much like to have one of your FD trucks there portraying the rapid response of the fire department in our fictional town of 'Elmbrook' to the alarm," the property master wrote in a letter to the Port Chester Mayor and Board of Trustees.

The board approved the use of a pumper truck at their meeting on Monday, May 6. The Village of Port Chester charges $500 for a filming permit on private property in the village and an additional $100 for each day that filming will occur. In addition to the $600, Warner Brothers will pay another $1,500 for use of the fire truck.

While KTI did not release how much they are charging for use of the synagogue, Alper did say it is consistent with industry prices. "We did check with various sources available to us and what we're getting is right along with what they told us is standard," he said.

Extras will be needed at the temple from 7 a. m. until 2 p. m., and the fire truck was requested from noon until 7 p. m. Warner Brothers will have police and security on site to handle crowds and any fans that show up. "I think the idea is that they're going to control access to the property," Alper said.

For all the fans who will not be able to participate as extras, they can always wait until the movie hits the big screen and catch a glimpse of the stars, their neighbors and Port Chester's synagogue.