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Rebirth and Renovation

04/01/2019 08:39:22 PM

Apr1

Terrie O'Day

After a long hard winter comes the spring - my favorite season! The rebirth of the trees, the flowers, the grass, the green and the shining sun, oh the beautiful SUN! Oh yeah, and it also happens to be the season that my youngest son was born too! The caterpillars become butterflies, the robin’s eggs hatch into beautiful red breasted birds…well you get the picture. So too is it the time when the long awaited Our House Lobby Renovation project will finally come to fruition!

What began more than three years ago as a process of assessing the various areas of the temple that would need updating in the near future, has evolved into a long series of multiple projects. Once the many projects were identified and prioritized by the committee that consisted of diverse members of Beth Tikvah, the work began. Some projects were things that fell under normal maintenance that needed to be done, led by the Buildings & Grounds Committee Co-Chairs, David Fiedler and Robbie Sax. The B & G folks work very hard to keep things in good repair and running smoothly day to day. They do a great job and for that we are truly very grateful!

There were bigger things that needed to be updated. For example, the Lobby—the first impression one gets of Beth Tikvah when walking through the front door, whether you are a new member, a prospective member, a guest, or a visitor. That first impression says a lot about us. It was during this assessment process that we really took a deep look at what a new person would see when they walked through the doors: cracked floors and tiles, dark dated brick walls with many holes and differences from past renovations, damaged ceiling tiles, and outdated yellowed lighting that is certainly not energy efficient by today’s standards. However, there was a lot of good too: warmth and beauty, the Tree of Life, a friendly gathering space. These are feelings that we wanted to preserve, enhance, and cherish. The heart of who Beth Tikvah is—Our Home Away from Home. Now how to preserve its warmth, yet update the old?

This cannot come from our members’ dues! No way! We need to raise funds expressly for the purpose of renovating the building. So then-President, Ilene Lanin-Kettering went off to lead the initiative to raise funds for the Our House Beautification Project - and what a phenomenal job she did! Through the amazing generosity of so many members of our community, the donations came pouring in: large, small, and everything in-between. Every amount helped the projects become reality. Again, we are so very appreciative of everyone’s support!

About this time, Sisterhood was embarking on a separate plan to remodel the women’s bathroom (as it really needed it!). During that process, it was determined that due to permit requirements, we would also be required to update the men’s bathroom (which was really in need as well). However, there was not room in their budget for that. So the Our House Committee stepped in to help with additional needed funds, as they felt this was in keeping with the spirit of their mission. Well, we all know how beautifully that turned out! #Teamwork!

Granted, much of the above is old news for most. Not only did I want to provide a refresher and a context for what’s to come, but we do have new members who don’t know the history of the last few years!

Now, after about 18 months of planning meetings, interviewing architects and general contractors, working on designs, material selections, and ensuring we are getting the most value for our money, I am happy to say that we are ready to begin the construction phase of the Our House Lobby Renovation project!

The work to be done will encompass the front lobby and the hallways and include updated energy-efficient lighting, new ceiling tiles, wallcoverings and treatments in the lobby, fresh paint and new flooring. The project will begin after the April 27th Fundraiser. More information will be coming in the weeks ahead as the schedule is put into place. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions. You may also stop by and have coffee and nosh with me at the next “Ask the President” Sunday, April 14th, from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.

April is also a special month for many reasons: Passover, The Annual Temple Fundraiser (Roaring 20’s Speakeasy Themed Casino night), and Teacher Appreciation! We have such a fabulous team of teachers who do so much to instill the love of Judaism, our history and culture into our students—starting from just “the wee little ones” in ECC all the way to those big young adults in high school! (They grow so fast!) Leading this team of teachers are our fabulous Co-Principals - Rokki Parrinello and Mandy Thalhammer! Not a Sunday or Tuesday goes by when you won’t see them here hard at work and making sure that our teachers have what they need so that our students always come first.

This year is a very special year for Mandy, in that it is her 10th anniversary here at Beth Tikvah! Mandy began teaching 2nd grade here before becoming Co-Principal with Rokki. Dr. Mandy Thalhammer has lent her expertise in education to co-develop creative and innovative programming throughout the years with Rokki—who you may remember celebrated her 10th anniversary last year! I think that makes the two of them one dynamic duo indeed! A nod to our Jewper Hero theme!

So stop by and wish Dr. T (or Mandy) a Happy Anniversary!

Thank a Teacher! Come to the Teacher Appreciation Shabbat on April 5th!

Thu, December 12 2019 14 Kislev 5780