Frequently Asked Questions
Why are we constructing a new building? Three years ago we engaged the architectural firm of Finegold, Alexander + Associates to do a space assessment for us. The results were clear. Our current building was constructed for a congregation of about 450 families, and we are now a synagogue of approximately 800 families. We need to not only increase our usable space but to improve the quality of many of the existing spaces as well. This project will allow us to achieve all of those goals.
What has the planning process for this project been to date? You can click here to find a complete history of the project to date.
What are the benefits of the new building over our current facility? There are so many! Appropriate learning spaces for children and adults of all ages, a new second social hall which will allow for entirely new programming and celebration possibilities, communal gathering spaces that will allow us to better connect with one another, appropriate office spaces for staff and clergy, more intimate and relational prayer and study spaces, a new chesed room to help us compassionately care for those in need...the list goes on and on! See our Mikdash brochure for more details.
When is the expected construction start date and how long will the construction last? We currently intend to break ground by November of 2015 and to be moved back into our new building in early fall of 2016 in time for the High Holy Days.
What are our relocation plans? We are planning to hold regular Shabbat and minyan services at The Rashi School in Dedham. We are in the midst of discussions with the Congregational Church of Needham to use space they have newly acquired for our Children's Center and K-12 Learning programs. In addition, our learning programs will also be able to use the classrooms at TBS underneath our sanctuary as the construction line will allow us to be in the space safely. More information about relocation of our administrative spaces will be forthcoming. If you have questions about how relocation will impact your child's learning program, please contact Ellen Dietrick (Children's Center), Rachel Happel (Grades K-12), or Daniel Barkowitz for questions about other relocation needs.
Will we be borrowing money to fund construction while pledges are paid over 3 - 5 years? We have had conversations with several banks about construction financing. Each is willing to extend us a construction loan while pledge payments are being made.
Will we have a mortgage if less than $13 million is raised? We are enthusiastically focused on achieving our $13 million fundraising goal, and are encouraged that we will reach it given our extraordinary early success. If our community falls short of the target, our TBS Leadership will consider a number of options to make our new home a reality including additional fundraising, financing, and adjusting the scope of the project, if need be. Each possibility brings its own challenges which is why we remain focused on reaching our goal. We invite you to help us in that effort!
What is the process of donating appreciated stock as my donation? We welcome this possibility! Please simply contract Daniel Barkowitz. He is happy to walk you through the process.
Do we have Town of Needham approval for the project? With support from our architects, project managers, and legal counsel, we are working closely with the town to make this project possible. So too, we have invited our neighbors to share their voices with us so that we can partner with them in creating a new TBS home that houses our community while still allowing us to be wonderful neighbors.