January 12, 2020

Dear Congregants,

We are a community, whether you have been a Temple Sha’arey Shalom (TSS) member for over 50 years or for five days. And, we intend to move forward with a Congregation that best matches our ritual, song, practice, and spirit. Your Board of Trustees unanimously voted to continue investigating a merger with JCC of Summit/Ohr Shalom.

Since our January 8, 2020 announcement of that vote, several current Temple Sha’arey Shalom members have advised us that they are being invited to join synagogues other than JCC Summit/Ohr Shalom. You may be invited to join a congregation other than JCC- and you have the choice to do so. But, please know that any financial or other benefits that will come with affiliating with the JCC of Summit/Ohr Shalom will apply only to Temple Sha’arey Shalom members in good standing as of May 31, 2020. “Good standing” is defined as meeting all outstanding financial obligations to TSS no later than May 31, 2020.

Before you decide to join a synagogue other than JCC of Summit/Ohr Shalom, we hope that you will take time to learn why TSS members who met with other synagogues that were considered (ten members have done this) have independently recommended the JCC of Summit/Ohr Shalom as the best congregation to affiliate with - which was also unanimously endorsed by your Board of Trustees.

Some TSS members have already expressed an interest in attending a Friday night service at JCC of Summit/Ohr Shalom and we highly recommend that you experience their warmth, music, and service. In the upcoming months you will have the opportunity to meet the leadership and congregants of JCC of Summit/Ohr Shalom and learn of plans to create an exciting new entity - one that is worthy of your support. We expect formal negotiations to begin as soon as possible and when more information becomes available, small group sessions will be scheduled to answer questions to the best of our ability. Then, a congregational meeting will be called with the requisite ten (10) days’ notice to vote on matters related to the affiliation.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you as we go forward as a community in order to maintain our strength, vibrancy, and stability. We will work with you to achieve the best possible outcomes for Temple Sha’arey Shalom, for you, and for your families.

Please be sure to attend the upcoming special congregational meeting on Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. in the social hall of Temple Sha’arey Shalom to vote on the sale of Temple assets.

Let’s face the future together as we move forward.


Roberta Krumholz and Ellen Lieberman