In dire need of significant and immediate repairs to its building, Temple Beth Israel Preservation Society launched a capital campaign to raise $37,500. Our thirty year old roof which has been leaking for the past several years is in need of immediate replacement. A new roof and related repairs to the chimney and decking will cost nearly $50,000. Repairing and waterproofing exterior walls of the west end of the building and interior repairs will cost an additional $25,000.
The response from our community and friends has been amazing. In three short months, we have already raised nearly $25,000. We have applied for and been awarded a State of Connecticut Historic Restoration Grant to cover 50% of the roof repairs. We need to raise an additional $12,500 to meet our goal.
The founders of this community were remarkable people. What better way to honor their memories, their struggles and their stories than to restore and preserve this building that meant the world to them? The Preservation Society continues to be the steward of a priceless legacy. These repairs will enable us to continue with our innovative and robust programming.
Please help. We don't have that much further to go. Every dollar brings us closer to meeting our goal.
The Preservation Society received a grant from the State of Connecticut Department of Emergency Services & Public Protection to assist in enhancing security at our historic building. In early January Marcus Communications installed an upgraded surveillance camera system and new access controls for the building's exterior doors. The system consists of nine surveillance cameras - six external and three internal - which provide 24/7 video surveillance which is accessible remotely to all members of the organization's security committee. The cameras record all activity in and around the building and the recordings are stored in the cloud for viewing and analysis of any incidents that may occur. Additionally, exterior doors are now equipped with video intercoms which provide electronic remote access control. Finally, the system provides for panic buttons which enable immediate lockdown of entry doors and direct notification to the the Society's alarm company with telephone ties to local police.
These security enhancements are made in a time of increased hostility displayed toward Jews and Jewish institutions in the United States. In 2021, the Anti Defamation League recorded 2,717 antisemitic incidents, a 34% increase when compared to 2020. This is the highest number on record since ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979. The Preservation Society is committed to remaining vigilant in the face of this increased hostility and taking all reasonable measures to keep its members and guests safe.
The Preservation Society has cancelled this year's Community Passover Seder. Our building sustained damage from burst heating pipes during the deep freeze that occurred over the weekend of February 4-5. Remediation efforts are underway and we hope to have the building restored and back in use by early summer. We wish all our friends happy and meaningful Passover and Easter observances.
On December 11, 2022 TBIPS dedicated its new fireplace in honor of Chris Bell. It dedicated its newly renovated kitchen in honor of the women of the sisterhood who spent many hours preparing food for holidays and special events. The fireplace lighting and the kitchen ribbon cutting were accompanied by ancient rituals and followed by a luncheon which was prepared in the new kitchen and featured Hanukkah latkes, vegetarian chili and other delicious treats. Luncheon was followed by the traditional Rev. Greg Thomas Chai Stakes Dreidl Tournament. There were speeches, singing, laughter and an all around good time enjoyed by a nice turnout of guests from throughout the community.
The 67th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service was held this year at the Federated Church of Christ in Brooklyn on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 at 7:00 pm. The Federated Church and Temple Beth Israel have taken turns hosting this spiritually uplifting event for the past 67 years. Guests were encouraged to bring canned foods for Friends of Assisi. Donations were collected to support the local Fuel Bank and Refugee Resettlement. It was a wonderful evening.