The meeting primarily concerned discussion on finding a new location to replace our tenuous situation at the current MPB.

Four options were considered:

  • Lease the Sandor location (Auburn Woods) only
  • Remain at MPB only
  • Keep MPB as long as possible while renting classrooms from Shaarey Tefilla
  • Replace the MPB entirely at Shaarey Tefilla

Sandor is negotiating tough.  It insists that CBS buy more renters insurance and forces us to stay there three years even if our circumstances change. Their building a demising wall is non-negotiable even though no one is leasing the other portion.  The high monthly cost is also a concern.  Pledges have been raised from congregants to help us cover the nearly double monthly rent difference, but pledges are not yet sufficient to cover it for all 3 of the demanded three years or to cover the required build-out.

Board members toured Shaarey Tefilla (CST) prior to the meeting and were shown 3 available classroom spaces there. The price for solely the three classroom spaces with limited use of their non-kosher kitchen was less than Sandor was charging.  Board concerns expressed about Shaarey Tefilla were that CST would charge us for every little thing other than classrooms that we needed, that we lose our individuality and independence by being there making it a step backwards for us, and that because we really are not a fit with their religious philosophy, our students and teachers will encounter problems.  No one favored moving our activities there entirely.  Religious school teachers do not favor the move, even though Roberta Alder indicated that it might possibly work. Financially, paying for the MPB rent together with CST is still less per month than Sandor.

Following discussion the Board approved continuing the negotiations with Sandor by submitting a proposal in an effort to smooth out the problems but not yet finalizing anything.  Because no other location options are open to us at this time, and if the Sandor deal proves unsuccessful, the Board also voted to remain at the MPB as long as possible for our current worship and social activities and to keep the classroom options open at CST.

In other business, it was reported that Rabbi Mark Covitz will officially be assisting us at High Holidays by doing Tashlich on Rosh Hashanah, serving as backup for the Torah readings, and joining Rabbi Halpern in the Yom Kippur afternoon discussions.  The Board voted to offer Rabbi Covitz a stipend and to extend the Covitz family a Congregation Beth Shalom membership.