May 4, 2023
I am so excited about this year’s Gala. The first few years that we were members of Temple Israel, we would anxiously look forward to attending the yearly Galas as the social events of the season. We very much enjoyed dressing up and sharing food, drink, sometimes dancing, and much mingling with others, while also honoring the best of us.
This year we are so fortunate to honor Rick and Linda Burney. If you do not know them, please seek them out. They are two of the nicest people with whom it is also fun just to chat. They have done so much for TI over the years, but most recently they have spontaneously volunteered to take on some very important functions for the Temple. They just continue to step forward and ask if they could be in charge – in this case Rick with strategic planning and Linda with security. Not only do they value their community, but their role in their community, so much that they don’t even need to be asked to lead.
This year we are also fortunate to have David Jacobson back as the mastermind behind our Gala theme. Last year we had so much fun trying to note down all the things that were purposely “wrong” with the Gala. This year we will be trying to “Escape” the Gala as we have an escape room-like experience, full of fun as we also enjoy the camaraderie and celebrate the Burneys.
It was not until after the first few years of attending that I learned that the social event of the season was also the biggest money raiser of the year for our operational budget. Don’t just attend for the fun but also to help bring in funding. Even more so, be a sponsor of the Gala. There will also be our usual auctions, a great way to donate which are to help us afford the wonder that is Temple Israel. Remember, funds for operations pay for our clergy and staff, costs related to the building itself, as well as much of our programming.
We are getting so close to the 100th year anniversary of Temple Israel, in February of 2024. There will be many ways to celebrate during this anniversary year. One of our biggest undertakings has been the Next 100 Years Campaign, chaired by Amy Lipeles and Susie Amster, which is culminating in July of 2024. The hope is to meet our goal is raising an additional $6 million in funds for our Foundation. This campaign is raising both cash and legacy donations (in your will) to support our Temple through our Foundation, and we hope to have every Temple member contribute. Our goal is to have “endowed chairs” for our Rabbi, Cantor, and Educator positions so salaries represented in our operating budget can be offset or paid for in total by earnings from these chairs. We also have a Temple Israel Preservation Fund to keep our building looking as beautiful as it does today into the future. Imagine having enough money in our Foundation that earnings can go toward our operating budget and a large focus of attention of TI would not have to be fundraising. More attention could be put on all the other aspects of being Jewish – learning, spiritual, social, social action, and ritual practice. We have already received amazing donations in both cash and endowment pledges from many Temple members. We want you to be a part of this! Please enjoy all the celebratory events as they are rolled out, but just as important, please consider donating to the campaign. No donation is too large or too small.
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