Case For Support

As Congregation Sha’aray Shalom approaches the 60th anniversary of its founding in 1959, we continue to grow and renew our mission and purpose. Through our actions, we anchor Jewish life, education, and community on the coastal South Shore. To ensure and celebrate this, three anonymous donors have committed a total matching gift of $500,000 as we undertake a major fundraising campaign.

Our Congregation's key role is providing a safe harbor for congregants to celebrate Jewish communal life within a Reform Jewish framework. We are committed to diversity and offer a warm welcome to those who wish to call our congregation their Jewish home. We are a pillar in the secular community, providing leadership and championing discussions on Israel, injustice, antisemitism, hate crimes, and other important issues during times of crisis. We provide the security and stability of communal activities and sacred routines as we face the uncharted waters of changing family needs and ever-expanding work responsibilities. Our diverse congregation of growing families, empty-nesters and seniors - enables us to respond and contribute meaningfully throughout life.    

Congregation Sha’aray Shalom is the spiritual home for 280 families from 36 towns. Despite local and national trends, where synagogues and religious schools have closed or consolidated, our membership continues to thrive under the leadership of Rabbi Shira Joseph, Cantor Steven Weiss, President Deborah Farber, Executive Director Ellen Bernstein, and the Board of Trustees.

Our religious school provides exciting, hands-on education to approximately 120 children, while our sisterhood and brotherhood offer opportunities for adults to volunteer, contribute, and share in meaningful ways. Our partnership with the Jewish Community Center and our nursery school deepens our roots across generations and religious affiliations and has fundamentally transformed the way our neighbors view Judaism.

To continue this mission, there is a real and urgent need to invest in Congregation Sha’aray Shalom to ensure that our campus reflects our vibrant community and stands the test of time. As such, we are initiating a comprehensive fundraising campaign in order to keep all of these promises, both for now and for the future.

To ensure and celebrate our community continuity, three anonymous donors have committed matching gifts totaling $500,000 to help us undertake a major fundraising campaign. Our overall campaign goal is $2.5m.

Our Key Challenges and Opportunities:

1. We need to invest in our aging facility and infrastructure.
We have completed a thorough professional analysis of our building to enable us to fully understand the urgency of a number of essential repairs. Replacing our roof and HVAC system are our highest priorities. The roof’s constant leaking has resulted in interior damage and has exposed us to the possibility of mold infestation. Neither of these things have any place within our holy spaces. We must also insure that our building is reliably heated and air conditioned throughout the year and is a comfortable place to work, pray, and study for our staff, visitors, and congregants.

Our building security must be improved. This includes securing the classroom wing with locking doors, rebuilding the entryways to our North and South lobbies, and upgrading our locking and CCTV monitoring systems.

Given our commitment to inclusion, we must reconfigure our high traffic areas and rest rooms to be fully ADA compliant. Other essential facility improvements include updating our original windows with energy efficient ones and optimizing the insulation throughout the building to add efficiencies to our temperature regulation systems.

2. Our interior spaces, both communal and sacred, need renovation to reflect the culture and aesthetic expectations of our congregants.

“How beautiful are your tents O Jacob; how lovely are your homes, O Israel.”

Truthfully, while our community is beautiful and thriving, our tent needs attention. Key updating projects include a contemporary, welcoming entrance way and lobby; new carpeting, paint, new flooring, and sanctuary seating. Our Bimah needs to be brought into the 21st Century.

3. We need to support our staff and members as they reach out to further engage our vibrant community through enhanced programming and engagement opportunities.

A building is not enough to sustain a community. It must be filled with people and purpose. Our Jewish traditions teach that enhanced volunteering and educational opportunities build and sustain communities.

But these initiatives require dedication, focus, and support. We seek to feed and build on our community's keen interests in music, interfaith relations, Israel, Holocaust education, post-bar/bat mitzvah activities, and learning trips. Monies raised through this comprehensive campaign will be specifically earmarked toward dynamic and relevant programming across the age and interest spectrum.

Our Goal!

This ambitious project, appropriately titled “CHAZAK CHAZAK – FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH: THE CAMPAIGN FOR CONGREGATION SHA’ARAY SHALOM,” seeks to build on the exceptional generosity of the three families who have provided $500,000 matching gifts, and add $2 million dollars from gifts from the congregation, for a total of $2,500,000. 

We will fund the campaign’s three priorities within an 18 – 24-month period, enabling us to fully honor our 60th anniversary in 2019.  Funds for the campaign will be raised from the congregation, local foundations and businesses, and community friends and will be allocated as appropriate in priority order:
  • Building structural work:  $1,000,000
  • Building restoration and beautification:  $700,000
  • Enhanced programming and reserves:  $ 800,000
All funds raised through this effort will be deposited into a dedicated account, and will be tracked, accounted for, managed, and spent with complete transparency by a Temple board committee. This committee will also vet, research, valuate, and provide recommendations for any major, unanticipated campaign related financial decisions. Congregation Sha'aray Shalom is working closely with the professional fundraising consultancy Copley Raff of Newton to execute this campaign.

You Can Make a Difference Today

A significant investment in Congregation Sha'aray Shalom by our community is essential to meet the opportunities ahead while staying true to our vibrant culture and Jewish ideals. This can only be accomplished through contributions from congregants, families, and businesses associated with Congregation Sha'aray Shalom, as well as transformative gifts from those who are capable.

Our Board, President, Rabbi, Cantor, and other key stakeholders have pledged unwavering support for this campaign and will provide the necessary leadership to make it successful.

Contributions can be made in a variety of ways, including securities, over a three-year pledge period, to encourage generous participation.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and support for CHAZAK CHAZAK - THE CAMPAIGN FOR CONGREGATION SHA’ARAY SHALOM.