To Build or Not to Build

On February 3 our congregation will face an important decision. Thanks to our tireless leadership and other members who have volunteered countless hours of their skill and time, we have found a way to build a building on our land in Olney. Yes, this comes after years of frustrating obstacles and detours. Yet there is a way that we can have a beautiful structure that will not only satisfy our religious, educational and social needs, but will also provide a secure foundation for our future.
This building will come at a price. In order to be successful, we will need to take out a loan which will then have to be paid by our current and future members. It will mean that we will be called on to invest and sacrifice.
Several months ago, at Kol Nidre services, I advocated for merger with another synagogue. I felt that in theory two shuls together would better be able to face the challenges of the future than one. The theory unfortunately did not transfer to reality. Merger talks either stopped or were discontinued with three different synagogues. Discussions on both sides of the table were pleasant and respectful but both sides had different agendas. To our regret, we could not find a partner that shared our vision.
Shaare Tefila Congregation has a lot to offer the Jewish community. We provide a friendly and warm environment to escape the stresses of life. We offer compassion in times of need and hugs in time of joy. We offer support and encouragement to grow in all aspects of Jewish identity. All can find in Shaare Tefila a home away from home. We want to make sure that a new generation of Jews can call Shaare Tefila home.
We need you to support this dream. We face a crossroad and we need the Shaare Tefila membership to not only understand the challenges that lie ahead, but vote to proceed with this new design-build plan. Together we will ensure that Shaare Tefila will thrive for many years to come.