Do we really need a shed?

Keeping Connected  May 2023

Hi friends,

I am hoping the weather will be getting warmer soon…still too cold for me…  But, I guess this is the price we pay for living in New England.  As you know, Annual Meeting is coming up and in a couple of weeks, the agenda will be sent out to the membership.  As always, this is where we discuss important business of our temple and I encourage you to attend, especially if you have not participated in the past.  It is important that each and every member has a chance to listen in and partake in the important decisions we make at this meeting.  One of the discussions this year will be around a new shed we are hoping to purchase; you have likely seen some e-mails about the fundraiser we have around this shed.

First, let me tell you the rules of our congregation.  Although we are having a fundraiser to raise the money to purchase this shed, we still need congregational approval to spend these funds on the shed, as it is part of capital expenditures/capital improvement and it exceeds the amount that the Board of Trustees has authorization to spend.

So, why would we start a fundraiser BEFORE we had congregational approval?  It is important to note first that we have done this before, like with our fundraiser for some of the kitchen upgrades a few years back.  But, the idea to purchase a shed was not generated from one person, it did not come out of one meeting, it did not even come out of one committee.  It started with our ICE CREAM Committee which had representatives from several different constituency groups in our temple and where we generated a list of our wants and needs.  When that committee realized that it was not financially possibly to make significant structural changes to our building or to move to a new space, the information generated during the process was passed on to the Board of Trustees.  It was suggested that the Board look into possibly compartmentalizing some of the wants/needs and pursuing some changes over a period of time.  The Board agreed that another committee could be formed to start talking about some “easier” design changes we could make in our building to make some more space, be more functional, and improve some of the décor.

So, with that another committee was formed, again with members from several different constituency groups.  Here, we discussed how to reduce clutter, possibly moving our current office, cutting down clutter in the library, and re-envisioning the current office space as a place for members to sit and read or relax while hanging out at the temple. In this group, the idea of more space was discussed a LOT and we agreed that a good size shed, larger than our current trailer space, would be helpful.  We wanted to be able to purchase something that was not only functional, but of good quality and appeasing to the eye.  It would be a new structure on our property and this was important.  We brought the idea to the Board and this idea was approved along with a fundraising campaign.

For those of you who spend a lot of time at our temple, you know we have a lot of clutter, every closet is stuffed with various items, our attic space (which is not particularly safe) is also stuffed.  We want to improve the aesthetics of our space at Congregation Shalom, as it is beginning to look “old”.  We will have to do it slowly but we feel this is a good start.  We want to be able to attract new families to our congregation and although you should not judge a book by its cover, we all often do this.

There is lots more I could say about this and will during Annual Meeting.  But, I do want to thank the 39 families who have donated to this fundraiser so far!

What happens if Annual Meeting does not approve the shed?  Well, if that happens, we will return all donations.  But, I am hopeful it will pass considering many different constituency groups have been involved in the process and because we have had 39 families to date show their support financially.

So, please come to Annual Meeting and be part of this important process.

Let’s hope the weather warms up soon…