85% Fundraising Threshold Reached.
It is news that is nothing less than historic for our synagogue. After nearly ten years of careful planning and preparation, tens of thousands of hours of volunteer work by hundreds of our committed congregants, and the incredible generosity of our many donors thus far, our Holy Blossom Temple Renewal Project is officially starting.
We have hit our 85% fundraising threshold required for Phase 1 construction – with over a half a million new dollars pledged in the last two weeks alone! And we have received confirmation from the Financial Oversight Committee that the $22.5 million estimated cost of Phase 1 is “based on reasonable assumptions and embodies sound and prudent financial practices.” With this news, the Board convened a special meeting just this morning and gave its unanimous approval to proceed with Phase 1 construction. It may be just a pen-stroke today, but it is one that will imprint boldly on our present, and on future generations of our Temple.
Here’s what’s going to happen next: You’ll soon see hoarding go up, as we start the preliminary work needed to ready the school wing to temporarily house the Temple’s activities during construction. This work will include installing our new elevator (near the current boardroom entrance), constructing a temporary rabbinic suite on the third floor and new washrooms on the lower level, as well as undertaking initial electrical and mechanical work.
After this preliminary work is complete, sometime in the spring, we’ll begin construction of Phase 1 proper, including our beautiful new central Atrium, new Family Chapel, new Administrative Wing and brand new HVAC and mechanical systems. Remember, our phasing plan allows us to keep our campus open and our community thriving throughout all of Phase 1 construction, with a fully accessible school wing and main sanctuary. It may be tighter quarters than usual, but so much of what you love about Temple life and programming will remain fully available to you!
And of course, we’ll be broadening our fundraising activities concurrent with all of this, as we strive toward raising 100% of the Phase 1 costs, and then onward to raise the additional funds required to enable us to begin Phase 2. As we do that, we hope that each of our potential donors will aspire to make a meaningful contribution. Our Renewal Project will only truly be “our” project when all of our members give generously, according to their own means.
Need more information? Want to ask questions or just celebrate the good news with us? Please come to the Temple’s Annual General Meeting this Sunday at 10 am in the Philip Smith Hall. Beyond the election of our new Board and the other general business of Temple on the agenda, we’ll be giving a short presentation on our Renewal Project.
And don’t forget that immediately following the AGM, at 12 noon, our own Cantor Beny Maissner will be honoured with The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, presented by the German Consul General, Walter Stechel.
If you can’t make the meeting and wish to review the latest renderings and drawings for the Renewal Project or the Financial Oversight Committee’s Report, please go to the renewal tab at holyblossom.org. You can also visit the FAQs page, from time to time, for updated answers to specific questions you have – or new ones you may want to add. And don’t hesitate to share your own thoughts and ideas with us in person or by commenting below. Or, as always, you can reach us at [email protected].
And finally, look for more news coming shortly on a congregation-wide celebration weekend early in 2015, to mark this seminal moment in our Temple’s history.
With tremendous excitement,
Chair, Renewal Project Steering Committee
Chair, Renewal Project Building Committee
Rabbi Yael Splansky