Posted on January 15, 2021 by Leigh Miller
For many of us, the last nine months have been some of the most challenging of our lives. Throughout these unprecedented times, our Temple Beth-El leaders and staff have worked hard to support our family of congregants and adapt to changing needs. Examples include the Helping Hands and Ladles of Love initiatives; regular phone outreach to all congregants; holding worship services, education and life cycle events virtually; in-person events like the chibbukim; etc. In many ways, our connections to each other and our community have grown stronger than ever, as evidenced by a sustained increase in the number of participants in our virtual events. We hope to retain some of these methods of connection even as the pandemic comes to an end.
Despite our best efforts to operate efficiently, Temple Beth-El is encountering significant financial challenges. Due to the pandemic, some in our community are unable to maintain their level of financial commitment to TBE. We’ve also been unable to fundraise with annual events such as the gala, 4-H Fair, etc. Additionally, nearly all the groups that normally rent our space have suspended their programs. As a result, we are expecting deficits of around $300,000 from the last two fiscal years. We are reaching out to you now because we need your help
During the High Holidays, we announced our Chazon Restoration Campaign for the purpose of restoring and protecting Temple Beth-El from the financial injury resulting from these challenges. In addition to making up for cumulative losses, the Restoration Campaign was also designed to establish a financial cushion to provide for any pandemic overhang in 2021, for long-overdue capital improvements (such as repaving the parking lot), and to bank enough reserves to ensure our continued financial stability going forward.
We have been blessed by the generosity of a small number of families who have agreed to be foundational sponsors of a double match for contributions made by the rest of the congregation. For every $1 you contribute, we will receive an additional match of $2 – for a total of $3. We are now reaching out to the rest of our TBE family to ensure we make the most of this unique opportunity. Our goal is to raise $250,000 which, with the full double match, means we will generate a total of $750,000 of much-needed financial support.
We hope that Temple Beth-El is a place of deep meaning for you and that you will help sustain our synagogue, for ourselves and for future generations. With your support, we can continue fulfilling our sacred work for our TBE community.
Letters will be going out in the coming days to ask for your participation in this extremely important fundraising campaign. Please remember that this is the primary fundraising we are doing this fiscal year (which ends on June 30, 2021), as we cannot hold our gala, cantorial concert, or our High Holy Day appeal. When considering your contribution, we ask you to include what you might have otherwise contributed had we been able to hold these other events. And most importantly, please keep in mind that every $1 you give will be matched by $2 of additional funding from our double match sponsors.
We thank you for your support of Temple Beth-El. We’re stronger together.
Originally published in the January-February 2021 issue of the Shofar. For more issues of the Shofar, visit the Shofar archives.