June 26, 2020

Dear Temple Sha’arey Shalom Congregants,

I would like to clarify the confusion about the future status of our Temple. There was a vote at the June 14th congregational meeting which gave the Board permission to explore a path forward if one could be found to keep our Temple family together. We are working hard to accomplish this.

We recognize that this is an urgent matter and that time is of the essence. Several committees were established on June 18 to begin this exploration. One will determine what revenue would be required, another is investigating Religious School options, a third is exploring both alternative local renting possibilities and membership choices. The Board is meeting again Monday, June 29 to assess the information gathered by then. We hope to make our determination in July.

We are still Temple Sha’arey Shalom and will continue to hold summer services – led by Rabbi Renee and lay leaders and send out yahrzeit notices. Regular updates will be sent.

The Temple building is for sale at fair market value. The sale of the building does not mean the congregation needs to dissolve. The sale of the building would eliminate our debt and reduce regular expenses allowing TSS to relocate to a local space that better meets our finances and functions. It should also give us a “nest egg” to assist us in future years.

“Shutting our doors” on June 30 was based on extensive efforts to merge or affiliate with another congregation. This did not happen because the agreements were not in our congregation’s best interest. The dissolution plan for the Temple was suspended while the exploration for a path forward is being considered.

If the congregation is to successfully move forward, it will take the commitment of our members. If you would like to join us in our quest, please contact Marci Clarke, Religious School liaison, (MarciKoltenuk@aol.com or 908-209-5185); Ellen Lieberman, local renting and membership chair, (ellen.s.lieberman@gmail.com or 201-207-3117); or Edythe if you want to get involved (ediebee@netzero.net or 908-756-9644).


Edythe Ben-Israel

Download the letter