Habonim Building Update – June 2017

 MAJOR PROGRESS ON THE NEW BUILDING 

Committee of Adjustment approval and campaign tops $9 million!

I wanted to share some great news with the Congregation.

Earlier this month, our new building was unanimously approved at the Committee of Adjustment.

This key step initially faced some challenges from neighbours and on parking issues over the past year. It took a long time to work through these items, but with this unanimous approval, we can finally move to the next major steps on building. These include putting together full building plans (until all adjustments were approved it was not cost effective to move forward on building plans), hiring a project manager, getting building plans approved by the City, selecting a construction firm and beginning construction.

The other great news is that just recently one of our members increased their gift to the building Campaign from $100,000 to $1,000,000 and another member doubled their commitment from $200,000 to $400,000!

With these gifts, our fundraising now stands at $9.1 million – just $400,000 from reaching our target of $9.5 million and a debt-free new building. We have been blessed with generosity from a wide range of members, with each gift playing an important part in helping fund our new building. We are now at 96% of the way to our goal, with 75% of our members having made a donation.

If you have not already given your support, or you would like to increase your donation, our target is in reach. Every pledge at every level gets us that much closer.

To give online, please visit: https://www.congregationhabonim.org/payment.php. With the Congregation’s tremendous support, things are moving in the right direction.

As for timing, our current forecast would be to have the new building open by March 2020.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call at 416-807-6222 or send me a note at tedr@tridelta.ca.

With appreciation,

Ted Rechtshaffen

President, Habonim

Habonim Building Update – December 2016

After the very busy High Holiday season, we have continued to work hard on putting all of the pieces together for our new building.

 

Fundraising

Over the past couple of months we have had many Habonim families make a donation to the new building, and I am pleased to say that nearly 70% of Habonim members have now responded to the campaign, and we remain committed to reaching 100% by the end of the campaign.

Just prior to High Holidays we had raised $6.6 million and today we are just under $8 million.  At this stage we would love to have a few more families make a donation prior to year end to put us well over the very important $8 million mark.  Our goal remains $9.5 million, and we are confident that we can reach this number before the building is complete.

 

Construction and Timing

While we have made important progress on parking issues and with our neighbours, there remain some steps required before we receive our Building Permit from the City.  We are working hard to make quicker progress, but delays with the City have put our timeline back a little.

Our current target is to begin construction by August 2017 with the new Building completed in the Spring of 2019.  It is still possible that these times could move, but this is our current target.

 

If you have any questions, suggestions or would like to make a donation, please don’t hesitate to contact me at tedr@tridelta.ca.

 

Happy Hanukah and a Happy (Other) New Year,

 

Ted Rechtshaffen

Fundraising and Construction News  April 25, 2016

Since our General Meeting in late February, when the Congregation voted 96% in favour of moving ahead prudently with a new building, we are doing just that.

 

As a quick recap of the plan:

*We are planning to build a new building in the same place as the current building, but also take over the land at 11 and 15 Glen Park.  These are two houses that are owned by Congregation Habonim.

*The building would be two stories and have a full basement.  The plan is to have Day Care using the second story school space, Monday to Friday.

*The larger space will allow for a small increase in membership, but we will continue to have double services on High Holidays.

*We will have ample space for small and medium sized Simchas.

 

Our best case timing would be to begin building after High Holidays 2016.  For this to take place, we would need to have a few things all go well.  These would be Fundraising, Building and Construction Planning.

 

Fundraising

Our immediate focus is to ensure that sufficient fundraising dollars are in place as we will only begin construction once 70% of the budget has been committed. 

With a goal of $10 million, I am extremely pleased to report that we already have  commitments for $5.75 million.  Gifts have ranged from $10,000 to $1,000,000 as our members clearly recognize the importance of the moment and have stepped forward to help make this once in a generation opportunity come to fruition.

We hope to raise another $1 to $2 million before the summer and will be reaching out over the next few weeks to members we hope will help bring us closer to our goal.

Specifically, we are hoping to secure at least 25 more leadership gifts of $18,000, $25,000, $36,000 or more (all payable over 5 years) during this period.  And for those in a position to contribute $100,000 or more, there are meaningful naming opportunities we would be happy to discuss with you.

While our immediate focus must necessarily be on securing larger gifts,  our goal is for every member to have a stake in the new building, with every family playing a role in building our new home.   For those who can’t contribute at the major gift levels, there will be ample opportunity to participate at a level of giving you are comfortable.   And with every member making a commitment at a personally meaningful level,  we will undoubtedly be successful in creating a wonderful building for generations to come.

A new building for a synagogue is a once in a lifetime opportunity for its membership.  We hope that all those who are financially able to do so, will view this as a gift to themselves, a gift to the long term legacy of Habonim, and to their children and grandchildren.   

If you would like to discuss your personal gift, please send a quick note to office1@congregationhabonim.org and we will connect with you right away.

 

Building Planning

Before construction planning can truly begin, we need to have full building plans approved by the City.

 

This is a long journey, and I believe we are about 80% of the way there.

 

Our remaining challenges – which we are working to overcome – relate to parking spaces and working with the community.

 

On the parking front, we simply can’t build enough parking without significantly limiting the size of the building or it being cost prohibitive.  We are currently working with a couple of neighbourhood organizations to partner with on overflow parking.  We believe that this should solve the parking issue.

 

In terms of working with the community, as with any successful project, we want to work well with our neighbours.  To that end we have gone door to door to explain the plans further and will be having community meetings with interested neighbours to ensure that we are being as accommodative as we can to their needs.

 

 

Construction Planning

Last week our Construction Committee had our first meeting.  This Committee will be overseeing the Project Manager, Builders and Tradespeople, to ensure that we are working with the best people for our project.  This Committee will do their best to ensure that the project is on time and on budget.

 

Because this is the part of the project that is still in its earliest stage, it is a little premature to discuss detailed timing, but we believe the project will take 18 to 21 months to complete. 

 

We are still looking for another individual or two to join this Committee.  In particular, we are looking for those with Construction Project Management experience.

 

If you are interested in finding out more, please contact me directly at tedr@tridelta.ca.

 

 

We are very excited about the progress to date, and will keep you informed of all the news related to the project over the coming weeks.

 

Best wishes for a Happy Passover,

 

 

Ted Rechtshaffen

President, Congregation Habonim

 

 

Update  Monday  February 29, 2016

 

Yesterday afternoon at the General Meeting, attendees heard about the rationale, designs and financials around a new building for Congregation Habonim.

 

Between proxy votes and in person votes, the results were 198 in favour and 8 opposed.

 

With this clear mandate from the membership, the Board of Congregation Habonim will move forward prudently with the next steps in the process.

 

These include continuing with fundraising efforts that have resulted in commitments of over $5 million to date.

Other key steps include working with the City on getting approval to build a new building.

 

As mentioned at the meeting, the Board is committed to moving forward in a conservative and responsible manner that manages the financials closely.  This means that moving forward remains dependent on achieving fundraising goals first and then proceeding on a building that is in line with the fundraising achieved.

 

We look forward to your support of this exciting project and to sharing news with you over the coming weeks and months.

 

Best regards,

 

Ted Rechtshaffen

President, Congregation Habonim

Habonim Building Update and General Meeting, February 28, 4:30pm

 

 

 

A great deal of work and discussion has been happening over the past few months on the new building for Congregation Habonim and I wanted to share some of this exciting news with you.

This note is meant to provide you with an overview of where we are to date.

Fundraising Highlights:

  • Four member families have made a $1 million commitment each – for a total of $4 million towards the cost of the new building. This tremendous financial support represents just under half of the total $9-$10 million that we are hoping to raise to cover all of the costs of the project.                                                                                                                                     
  • In addition to those four Leadership gifts, we already have another $500,000+ in committed gifts from a small group of other Habonim families. Combined with the Leadership gifts, we are approaching 50% of the way towards our goal.                                 
  • In the next couple of months we will be talking to another small group of families about the potential of making Foundational gifts of $100,000 or more.                                                   
  • Congregation Habonim will NOT be doing a traditional Building Fund. All donations will be done on a voluntary basis. When the time comes, we will be asking all members to give what they can towards the Building. The plan is that all of these gifts can be made over a time frame of up to 5 years – as an example, a $10,000 donation could be done as $2,000 a year for 5 years.                                                                                                                    
  • With the tremendous early support, we are confident that if we all do our part, we will be able to achieve our $9-$10 million goal.

Building Highlights:

  1. We are currently working with the City towards getting a Building Plan approved. If all goes well with the City, we could have our Building Plan approved by this Summer.               
  2. Featured plans of the new building could include (subject to change):                                
    • An east facing Sanctuary                                                                                            
    • A beautiful Courtyard immediately behind the Bimah. This Courtyard – which could hold outdoor events in nice weather – would provide a tremendous, glass walled, natural backdrop to all our services.                                                                              
    • A wonderful facility that could manage full services and receptions. Habonim could truly be your home for Weddings, B’nai Mitzvahs and other family events.                   
    • A Sanctuary that would be larger than our current facilities, but not significantly larger. We want to maintain a smaller community feel.
    • A full second floor which would likely house a Day Care during the week, and would house our School on Sundays and possibly weekday evenings. This second floor will also include an outdoor play area.                                                                   
    • A basement that will allow more room for Simchas, Bridge, School space, and Youth programming.                                                                                                      
    • A larger lobby area that will include a number of features related to Habonim History, our Legacy and our Future.                                                                              
  3. Timing: We believe that a New Building could be open some time between High Holidays 2018 and High Holidays 2019.

I believe that the year ahead will be a very exciting one for Congregation Habonim. 

All the best,

Ted Rechtshaffen
President, Congregation Habonim

Thu, August 24 2017 2 Elul 5777