President’s Message – May 2019

As I wrote to you back in March, at the recommendation of the Executive Committee, the Board of Trustees authorized the sale of the property that CBHT owns on Washington Road, behind the playground.  Since then, we had measurements taken to assure that we had enough green space on temple property to meet city requirements, surveyed the parcel of land we were interested in selling, and divided it into three small lots suitable for residential construction.  I am delighted to report that we closed on the sale of that property on April 11th.  All three lots were sold to one private buyer for the price of $425,000.  After commissions, the cost of the survey, and other costs related to the closing, CBHT will net approximately $370,000 from this sale.

Please join me in thanking Tikkun Gottschalk and Larry Weiss for the tremendous amount of work they both put into this process.  They are very dedicated leaders, working on behalf of our temple.

About $280,000 (75%) of this $370,000 must be used to pay down our First Citizens’ mortgage, according to the terms of our mortgage loan.  We have the opportunity to further reduce the balance of our mortgage by using some or all of the remaining 25% of the proceeds.  This will save us money by reducing the amount of interest we pay on the mortgage.  The final amount will be decided at the April meeting of the Board of Trustees, after this article is due.  But, if we use the proceeds from the sale to pay down, for example, $300,000 on the mortgage, we will save more than $44,000 in interest over the next three years (at our current interest rate of 4.8%).

We are so fortunate to be able to make this significant payment toward the balance we owe on the mortgage.  And, after subtracting outstanding pledges and this payment from the sale of the property, we will still owe First Citizens Bank approximately $450,000 (before considering interest) for the construction of our social hall, gallery, and school, as well as renovations.  Selling this piece of property certainly puts us in a better place, but we continue to have a significant amount of money to raise to retire the rest of the debt.  This seems like the perfect time to reflect on how much our new and renovated space adds to our experience at CBHT

Dave Social Hall and the gallery have allowed us to hold so many memorable events in a light-filled, beautiful space.  We host life cycle events, temple community-building events, events for the greater Jewish community, and even pick up a little revenue from renting the space to other organizations.  As someone whose family celebrated one bar mitzvah in the old Unger Hall and one bar mitzvah in the new Dave Hall, I can attest that the new space is a world apart!

The same holds true for our school, including the final build-out that happened only a short time ago.  Those bright classrooms and the communal space and kitchen are such an improvement over our old school.  It’s easy to take it for granted, but it gave us the opportunity to grow and every week to present a welcoming space for our children and teachers.

Our sanctuary got a much-needed face lift, our rabbi and staff got new offices, and we got a library, new restrooms, and a new kitchen.  And an amphitheater! How lucky are we to enjoy Shabbat services outside on a beautiful summer evening, while watching the sun set over the mountains?!

The next time you walk into our temple, I hope that you’ll stop for a second to appreciate how beautiful our space is.  I hope that you’ll reflect on the important role the space plays in making your temple experience meaningful.  On behalf of the Board of Trustees, my thanks go out to everyone who has contributed to the capital campaign to make this space a reality.  If you haven’t contributed to the efforts that made all of this possible, or if you’re inspired to contribute more, I hope you’ll consider doing so.  We still need everyone’s help to retire the remaining debt.  Please reach out to our executive director, Craig, to discuss your contribution.

My Best,

Karen Hyman

President, CBHT

May, 2019