September 7, 2020
Dear Members & Friends of Temple Beth El:
“Parting is such sweet sorrow,” Shakespeare’s famous line from Romeo and Juliet, sadly describes TBE’s current circumstances.
Because we no longer have the financial and human resources to keep it going, TBE is closing its doors. During a recent Zoom congregation meeting, a motion was presented, and subsequently approved, for the dissolution of TBE. We will be setting up a de-consecration ceremony following the sale of the building to formally close with grace and appreciation. After serving the Jewish community for eighty-six years, a proper send-off for her is certainly deserved!
We have contracted with Laura Odland, from Berkshire-Hathaway, Fox Roach, to facilitate the sale of the building and land on which TBE currently stands. You can see the listing here and a slide show here. There’s also a short video here.
It is important to know that NO ONE associated with TBE can profit from the proceeds of the sale. Even though TBE will cease to be a functioning community, we are committed to keep her name and history living on. Thus, with the assistance of Noah Levine from the Jewish Community Legacy Service, we will be setting up an endowment fund with profits from the sale. This fund, for the purpose of providing financial help for worthy Jewish causes, will allow the name of Temple Beth El of Hammonton to live on in perpetuity. Please let us know if you have a Jewish institution or cause that you would like us to consider.
Finally, TBE coffers are down to bare bones, with enough money on hand to pay our bills through October. Obviously, it is crucial to keep the utilities on and the liability insurance paid while trying to sell the building and find homes for the materials inside. The last thing we want is to allow such a beautiful landmark of Hammonton to become dilapidated and turn into an eyesore.
As there will be no membership dues collected or High Holy Days donations received, we ask everyone who holds TBE near and dear to their heart to make a donation to “keep the lights on” while the process of dismantling is completed. It is a special mitzvah to give Tzedakah in a loved one’s name or memory this time of year and you will be helping to maintain the safety and care of our building while we bring the era of our beloved community to a close. Donations can be made by credit card here or with checks sent to Temple Beth El, P.O. Box 103 Hammonton, NJ. 08037
While there is great loss and disconnection during these challenging times, the upcoming Days of Awe provide us an opportunity to build community and create positive change inside and around us. You are welcome to observe the High Holy Days with Rabbi Abby and the Beth Israel Congregation in Vineland via zoom and/or by YouTube livestreaming. While there will be no fee or required membership to participate, it is necessary for you to register your name with the office @ 856-691-0852 in order, to be let into the zoom room. Please also consider a good will donation to support Beth Israel and the services being offered.
On behalf of Temple Beth El, we wish you a sweet new year of good health and many blessings and hope you will join us in honoring TBE’s legacy as we journey forward.
Steve Schwartz Rabbi Abby