Dear Beth El,
At the February Beth El board meeting, the board unanimously approved a $4.1 million capital campaign to support a synagogue renovation plan outlined by Weinstein Friedlein Architects (W/F).
This campaign is the fruit of Beth El’s strategic planning process, which began in 2013. Three principles have guided these efforts: to be a welcoming and inclusive community, to provide a strong Jewish foundation for our youth, and to ensure the congregation remains fiscally responsible and sustainable. We are proposing a building renovation that aims to meet all those goals– house our growing congregation in one building; provide flexible, welcoming, and inclusive spaces for all of our members, including our youth; and do it in a sustainable, affordable way.
Our process has included community surveys, an assessment of our campus, a community input meeting in Jan 2014, and multiple focus groups. In addition, W/F presented at our annual meeting in 2015, we solicited additional community feedback last summer, and with professional support we surveyed potential major donors to assess our fundraising capacity. After sharing initial ideas for our campus at the High Holidays, W/F created a revised plan that incorporates our feedback, meets our financial realities and embodies Beth El’s core goals. To view all of the Buildings and Grounds documents click on the Buildings and Grounds link on the right side of this page.
The $4.1 million budget allows us to move all programming into one building. In addition to renovating and modernizing the current spaces, it includes new & expanded seating, improved acoustics, a re-oriented sanctuary, a reconfigured administrative space, updates to the kitchen, new classrooms and meeting spaces, new bathrooms on both levels, an enlarged social hall and much, much more. Built into this budget are contingency costs, and an endowment for ongoing maintenance after construction.
Nathan Bearman & Gary Zarkin are chairing the newly formed Capital Campaign Committee, with continued leadership support from Noah Pickus, Debbie Goldstein and Drew Langsam. They, along with other committee members, will be laying out a plan for the campaign over the coming months. As the campaign progresses and more detailed architectural plans unfold, we will share details with the congregation.
I am proud of all the work that has gone into crafting a comprehensive plan that draws its inspiration from all of your thoughtful input over the past two years. Many thanks to the Building and Grounds Task Force which has guided our community through this complex process. And thank you to the Board for their engagement and leadership.
Looking forward to building our future Beth El home together,
Past President, Beth El Synagogue