Dear Fellow Congregant:
On April 3rd, we honored Maggie Grotzinger and Stan & Cory Schneider; we also noted the second anniversary of the devastating fire that destroyed our building on Fifth and Division. I would now like to provide you with an update on our plans for a new home and to announce significant – and exciting – progress on our capital campaign.
Since last September, we have been in the “quiet phase” of our $3.5 million campaign. A strong campaign committee has come together, ably chaired by Joel Cheskis and Stanley Schneider, and supported by The EHL Consulting Group, Inc. Working together, the campaign – appropriately named “The Fire Within Us” — has attracted significant commitments from congregation and campaign leaders. I am pleased to report that to date we have received donations and commitments totaling $1.78 million—more than 50% of our campaign goal. We now move into the “public phase,” poised to approach every Chisuk Emuna member as well as friends of the congregation for pledges payable over as many as five years. Our campaign team has developed some creative outreach efforts as we move ahead and we will look to every member of our congregation to become an investor in our future.
Accompanying this letter is a current report of families who have set the pace and have already committed to The Fire Within Us Campaign. In the near future, you will hear from a fellow congregant to talk about your participation in this effort. We look forward to hearing your input about the details of our future home. Together, we members and friends of Chisuk Emuna will strengthen our community spiritually and physically.
Our plans to develop and construct a new synagogue at Green and Vaughn are now being reviewed by city government. Once we receive the necessary approvals, we will complete our purchase of the site. We engaged Brawer Hauptman, an architectural firm in Philadelphia, to develop the initial design for us and most members have now seen the renderings for our building that promises to be both distinctive and a reflection of our values. The Building Committee has also been interviewing construction firms and will soon be making its recommendation to the Board so that when we close on the property and raise sufficient funds to commence construction, we will be able to hit the ground running.
In the coming months, we will keep you up to date about the status of the campaign through articles in the Bulletin, emails, and at our annual meeting in June. If everything proceeds on schedule, we plan a groundbreaking in the fall. We hope that the entire congregation will participate in this campaign and join us in celebrating other milestones to ensure that Chisuk Emuna will continue to play a unique and vital role in the life of the Greater Harrisburg Jewish community.
Carl Shuman, President