Contributions can be spread out during the course of the campaign in a variety of ways during the three years following the campaign, depending on the needs or desires of the donor. If an initial contribution is made in 2022, contributions can be spread out across four tax years: 2022 – 2025. A lump sum could be given at any time during the campaign, or contributions could be made monthly, annually, or anything in between. Contributions will be tracked in our financial software (Rakefet) and listed on members’ regular financial statements. Individuals who are 70½ years old or older may make qualified charitable distributions (QCD) of up to $100,000 per year directly to a charity from an IRA. Check with your accounting professional for information on how to do this!
The Feasibility Study that helped us determine realistic goals for the campaign was conducted in May 2022 through interviews with 20% of the households in the congregation. The results accurately represent our times. When the study was conducted the stock market was falling, we’d been in a global pandemic for more than two years, and inflation was climbing. Although we can never know what the future will be, we know that the members of Temple Beth Or are willing to give generously to ensure a welcoming, accessible facility for future generations of Jewish people in Snohomish County!
Our members have identified priorities for building renovation and expansion to help us fulfill our mission and vision moving forward—focusing on increased accessibility and security. The master plan includes accessible bathrooms, an elevator, expanded foyer space on both levels, and increased seating in the sanctuary. The complete project would also add six new classrooms on the upper level, a new kitchen and social hall on the lower level, remodeled offices for the Administrator and Rabbi, and additional parking capacity.
The scope of the work is dependent on two variables: how much money is raised by the capital campaign and the cost of construction. Examples of construction costs include, hourly wages, materials, permits, etc. If we don’t have sufficient funds to complete the full master plan, there are a few optional modifications that could be made to reduce the budget.
The current plan is for TBO members to handle the remodeling of the back of the sanctuary and the reconfiguring of the original/old/existing downstairs spaces after the general contractor has completed their work on the new portion of the building.
Personal touches are an ideal opportunity for congregants to personalize the new space. This may range from community assistance in choosing colors for updated classroom spaces to the potential for a community art project to be showcased in the new entry or other spaces. These plans are still open.
The design project has already begun with a pre-application meeting with the Everett Building department. The architect has been engaged to develop working drawings that will enable us to solicit bids from general contractors while we submit applications for building permits. Paul Vexler estimates that the contractor’s construction phase will take approximately six months to complete, and will be followed by the TBO community’s sweat equity contributions, which is harder to estimate.
One of the first steps in the construction project will be the demolition of our current interior staircase. Using our exterior staircase will ensure we continue to have access to the offices, sanctuary, and classrooms. That staircase currently serves the emergency exit at the front of the sanctuary, and some minor improvements will make it better suited to its temporary purpose.
Indoors, the contractor can provide a temporary wall on the north side of the sanctuary that will enable us to continue to use the space during their construction. Once the contractor has completed their portion of the work, we will have a working elevator, a new staircase, and new doors on the north side of the sanctuary in place before we begin the volunteer portion of the remodeling.
We have worked creatively through the COVID-19 pandemic to host events in alternate locations or on alternate platforms, and could build on that flexibility during the construction project if we need to host events outside of the sanctuary.
We do not anticipate significantly higher expenses with the new building. Administrative costs vary with the size of the congregation rather than the size of the building. Utilities should be lower with better insulation and a more efficient air conditioning/heating system. This is especially true if the portable classrooms are no longer needed. Cleaning costs may increase slightly due to increased space, but should not cause a significant increase.
We believe it is important to ensure an ongoing center for Jewish life in Snohomish County. The construction will ensure that our space is accessible to all, including an aging population, while revitalizing classrooms and community spaces that will be flexible as the makeup and needs of our congregation change over time. Our new, revitalized space will provide a lasting home to our vibrant community.
We believe now is the time to lay the groundwork for full use of our space. Enrollment in religious school has remained steady over the past couple of years, and is currently around 16 students. Attendance at in-person services has been growing as COVID case counts drop. Many members have been requesting increased in-person services and events. We also anticipate increased attendance once the building is more accessible.