T'rumah & Mitzvah Appeal Campaigns Beth Emet The Free Synagogue

T'rumah Capital Campaign

The T’rumah Capital Campaign achieved three goals – we re-imagined and transformed our physical home, we more than doubled the unrestricted portion of our endowment (the Beth Emet Foundation), and we improved our overall financial liquidity. We exceeded our original goal of $6.13 million, and by stretching our goal to $7.1 million we are able to achieve additional much needed capital improvements. We remain grateful to all those who have joined us by showing their commitment to Beth Emet.

Re-imagining Our Facility:

Our success brought phase one to completion which transformed the east side of the building including the Sanctuary, Herman and Mildred Crown Room, and the Lobby. We have more comfortable and accessible seating, better sound (including a new hearing assistance t-coil and updated RTF system), and informal space for enhanced community “hanging out.” It’s been exciting to see how the new space has evolved how we learn, worship and gather together.

Increased Endowment

Through the success of this campaign, the Beth Emet Foundation has more than doubled its unrestricted funds balance, providing financial security and the means to support the programs and services that are the backbone of our community.

Financial Responsibility

As part of the T’rumah campaign, funds were raised to improve our financial liquidity by providing a seasonal working capital facility thereby lowering our borrowing costs during times of high seasonal cash needs.

Coming Soon

This summer brings more renovation, as we move our school entrance to the west side of the building, offering a more secure and accessible way in which to enter the building. The Weiner Room will experience a much-needed makeover which will not only make the space more comfortable, but we are also adding a coatroom and updating the bathrooms. The adjoining courtyard also is receiving a new landscape design and will house the flame sculpture from Temple Judea Mizpah. Our classrooms are also receiving significant modifications to enhance Beth Emet's educational programs and to prepare for JCC Chicago's early childhood program that will begin operations in the fall of 2020. There will also be some office re-configurations to allow for the new entrance.

Rendering of the Weiner Room
Rendering of the inside of the new west entrance hallway.

Mitzvah Appeal 2018

It is our shared commitment and care for our community that makes this congregation thrive. While the recent and planned renovations to our building are very important for the long-term vibrancy of our synagogue, it is essential that we continue to support the annual operations of the congregation. This is the essence of the annual Mitzvah Appeal campaign. This year we are excited to report that we raised $214,000 through the generosity of our members. As part of this year's campaign, we had four very different thank you events, from discussions on politics to wine and beer tastings. We are grateful to this year's chairs, Bob Cutler and Caryn Etkin, who led this important effort on behalf of the congregation, and we thank those who supported their leadership by working on the various events.

Top left: At the Mitzvah Appeal thank you event "Got Beer?" at Temperance Brew Co., donors learned about the brewing process, recited Havdalah, and enjoyed dinner from Superdawgs. To right: David Zarefsky presented on Current Politics at a lunch and discussion at Jenner & Block law firm. Bottom: Guests at "Sommelier Soiree" sampled various wines at the home of congregants Neal Moglin and Mark Tendam. At "Bagels, Lox, and Leaders: A conversation about the current state of politics and society and the future role of the media" guests heard from Jan Schakowsky, United States Congresswoman serving Illinois 9th Congressional District and Peter Slevin, Northwestern University Journalism Professor and former Chicago Bureau Chief of the Washington Post. The brunch discussion was moderated by Cam Davis, who was elected as Board of Commissioner for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

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