Fundraising for Renewal has continued to match the excellent progress of construction as our congregation has responded magnificently to an inspiring High Holy Day season. Phones calls and emails have been coming in at a much increased rate and it’s pretty clear why: collectively, we heard Rabbi Splansky’s charge of “Aleinu – It is upon us”, and we’re embracing the moment, the responsibility and the beautiful future of Holy Blossom we see taking shape right before our eyes.
At the time of this writing, we’ve raised just under $26.7 million for Phase 1 of Renewal – more than any congregation in Canadian history has ever raised for a synagogue construction project.
About $4.5 million has been raised in 2017 alone, with $2.5 million of that coming in the last 45 days. Further exploring these figures for 2017, we’ve had 28 new donors and 29 upgrades to existing gifts.
Think about all of this for a moment. The enormity of what we’ve already achieved, together. How far we’ve come. And, just as importantly, what we still need to do to see Phase 1 through to completion. Our canvassers are devoting so much of their time to the project: upcoming meetings with 45 more donors; ongoing active discussions with another 150 of our fellow congregants; and beyond all of this … more than 700 families who we know are still looking forward to engaging in conversation over the coming months about joining our ever-growing list of generous contributors.
We thank all of our current donors from the bottom of our hearts, for their passion and commitment to the project. We’ve said it from the beginning: HBT Renewal, so necessary for the future of our synagogue, is our Project to build together. It will only succeed if every one of us believes that we must do our part. And that we feel wonderful about how truly meaningful our role is.
We are asking our entire congregation to consider, each within our means, what a meaningful, even aspirational, contribution can be. If you wish to begin a conversation now about the part you can play, payment over time and tax advantages, please reach out to Jonathan Ain, our Director of Development at [email protected]
The Budget. The Timeline. The Reality.
As you might expect if you’ve taken on any major home renovation project, we’ve run into a few unforeseen complications and delays along the path to Renewal, which have resulted in higher costs than initially projected. Basically, these have to do with unforeseen site conditions, weather delays (remember our summer of rain?), greater than anticipated FF&E (furniture, fixtures and equipment) costs and a few other factors, including delays in the fabrication of the structural steel that is a key milestone on the critical path for the Project. Click here to read our recent article about our structural steel installation.
And so our Board of Directors, in a unanimous resolution on September 17th, approved an updated budget of $31.5 million, representing a 7% increase from our previous budget of $29.5 million.
Related to these same complications and delays, our general contractor Pomerleau has recently revised the completion date of Renewal Phase 1 to August 1st, 2018. We had been looking toward a late spring completion, but will now use the slower early summer period to fine tune, get our systems, processes and programs in order, and move in staff and clergy. All of this, in advance of the 2018 High Holy Days.
As a reminder, Phase 1 of Renewal includes our transformational, sunlit atrium (the living room of our new campus), brand new Family Chapel, Café, Youth Lounge, Judaica Shop, Library, and much more … all in a LEED Silver Certified, environmentally-friendly building.
As always, we thank you for your continued readership, viewership and support (financial and otherwise) of our Renewal Project.