From Your TBE Co-Presidents
Dear TBE Community:
As a follow up to last week’s Congregational Meeting, we wanted to send out one more update before the New Year. Below is a brief summary of last week’s presentation and discussion.
Real Estate and Construction
Our full construction and building-use application for the new building at 660 Kinderkamack has been submitted to Oradell’s Zoning Board of Adjustment for review and approval, and we’re on their January agenda. Thanks to the hard work of Steve Verp and our attorneys, much of the ground work was laid months ago in meetings with the town, the borough attorney, and the mayor. While approval isn’t fully guaranteed, we have good reason to believe that our application will be looked up favorably by the town, allowing us to close on the building and begin construction.
Speaking of construction, we displayed updated renderings of the current construction plans. Once we layered on the budget constraints under which we’ll be working, we made a few modifications. But presuming that the town approvals go as planned, we expect to break ground in April and be ready to move in for the start of school in September. We have already started to meet with the state licensing folks for the Nursery School, and we’ve incorporated their feedback and requirements into the construction plans.
The Integration Team (a joint TBE-TBO Board) has been meeting roughly every two weeks for the past year to pull together all of the pieces for a successful merger. There are so many pieces to consider—ritual, staffing, security, education, finance, programming, construction, governance, etc., and we’re working hard to pull it all together. But we could certainly use help! If you have either a professional expertise or personal interest in any aspect of our temple life, please reach out to one of us to get involved.
Our Nursery School is off to another exceptional year, led by Barbara Weinberg and her team of extraordinary teachers. We look forward to a growing Nursery School community once we move to 660 this fall, and registration will open for the 2019-20 school year in January.
And our Religious School, under the expert leadership of Anat Katzir, is off to an equally terrific start. Our innovative program, Peirot 2.0, has been extremely well-received. The kids are combining one day a week in the classroom with other Jewish experiences that earn them Peirot (fruit) pins. The kids are excited, and we feel we’ve really introduced something novel and progressive in Jewish education.
Our budget this year, our final stand-alone year, shows many of the same challenges that we’ve seen in the past. But we’re encouraged (and appreciative) that donations to the temple are up, and we take that as a sign of optimism for our future. We continue to watch every expense, and we expect to have a little better insight into financial performance within the next month or two, once the school and dues payments settle out.
All in all, we’re on the right track and poised for an exceptional future as Kol Dorot. We’re glad you’re part of our community, and we look forward to building a strong, vibrant, progressive Jewish community for many generations to come (the very essence of our new Kol Dorot name!).
We wish you and your family a very Happy and Healthy New Year.
Angela Schuster & Joel Rubin