Update # 7 - March 2011

Update March 18, 2011

Co-chairs Gary Averbach and Lorne Cristall are extremely pleased with the very positive and generous response of our members in the Preliminary Phase of our campaign solicitation.
As a result of this response we feel confident in approaching our membership on April 6, 2011 to approve embarking on capital campaign to allow for the physical redevelopment of our synagogue.
Actual numbers and the campaign target will be revealed at the April 6 meeting but our current pledge commitments are ahead of our initial projections for this time in the campaign development.
We are confident in the capability and generousity of our members to achieve the campaign target that will be set. Each of us, committing to Building Beth Israel – Capital Campaign for the Future, will ensure the success of BI. 
The redevelopment proposal, that applies to Congregation Beth Israel, as submitted to Vancouver City Hall, calls for:
        - 2-storey addition to the rear of properties and adjacent the existing Synagogue (New Sanctuary)
        - Renovations to the Synagogue (renovated to become our Family Life & Education Building)
        - New 3-storey building along the east property line adjacent to 28th Avenue, for community-serving office uses. (Potential lease arrangement to help fund our capital construction costs)
What this will allow BI to do is:
        - Construct an underground parkade for some 125 cars (25 more spots than currently on our lot).
        - Completely gut the interior and fully renovate the existing synagogue (26,000 sq. ft.)to serve as our Family Life & Education building, providing space for a social hall, administration area, chapel, classrooms, lounges and multipurpose spaces.
        - Construct a new building (18,000 sq. ft.) to house the new sanctuary and related spaces
        - Have the social hall and sanctuary connect so that for the High Holidays some 1400-1500 can be seated for the main service allowing us to be under “one roof”.
        - Allow space for the construction of 3 story 26,000 square foot building that could be leased to a not-for-profit organization.
Construction costs have been estimated at around $14.5 million. In addition we will have soft costs for items such as: construction loan financing, communications, transition costs, staffing and some furnishings.
We will probably be off site for 18-24 months while the construction is taking place.  We will be finding alternative spaces for all of our services, special events, simchas, offices, school and programs. We will try to make the transitions as smooth as possible but it will mean needing to put up with some inconveniences while we are building our new synagogue.
We will be involved over the next several months in finding the temporary quarters that will suit our needs.  As the details fall into place we will communicate the changes and locations to our members and the community.
We do not know yet when the construction will begin, but our preliminary forecasts could see the summer of 2012 as a possible beginning. Again, we still have much, much work to do and will update you as more details are confirmed.

We are glad that you asked! We need you, each of our members to add your support to this historic event for BI. We hope that on April 6, 2011, we will have resounding approval to proceed with the capital campaign.
Then we all need to look at how we can invest in our congregations’ future. Wonderful examples of giving have already been demonstrated for us to build upon.  Please think about the importance of this project to you, your families and friends, children and grandchildren, to our Jewish continuity.  We know if you do you will give generously to invest in our collective future.
CALL US if you would like to help canvas.
CALL US so we can come and visit with you now, to share more of our excitement and dreams of this amazing rebirth of your Congregation Beth Israel.
CALL US NOW so we can show you how your pledge for Building Beth Israel will make all of our dreams a reality that will be talked about with pride, for generations to come.