“A Rededication to Our Future”
In a world that pulls us further and further apart, a sacred space that brings us together isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.
Temple Etz Chaim is both our spiritual home and our extended Jewish family. Here we maintain our commitment to our values and traditions, educate our children and connect with our community. From modest beginnings over sixty years ago, our Tree of Life has grown and evolved. Today, it is a Jewish beacon and a vibrant center for Jewish life in the Conejo Valley. We are a warm inclusive community, in a region with rapidly growing numbers of Jewish families, who are searching for a Jewish home.
Temple Etz Chaim has an award-winning Religious School, excellent youth activities, and the most respected Early Childhood Education and Infant Care Center in the community. And we are blessed with devoted volunteers and lay leadership who give generously of their time and treasure to ensure our vitality.
Our congregation has a history of extraordinary spiritual leadership beginning with Rabbi Shimon Paskow. Rabbi Richard Spiegel led the congregation with distinction for a generation, and we continue to benefit from his wisdom as Rabbi Emeritus. Rabbi Ari Averbach continues this tradition as the torchbearer for this generation. He has demonstrated the unique ability to connect with the diverse segments of our congregation with an inspiring vision for the future.
We are now at a critical juncture. Nearly forty years of heavy use, with few improvements, have taken a toll and our physical limitations are very apparent. Our Jewish home is tired, outdated, and no longer responsive to the needs nor reflective of the style of our membership. Clearly, if our spiritual and social spaces are to match our vitality, we must upgrade and modernize.
Our architects have devised an attractive and affordable design for our congregation’s needs going forward.
– At the center of our Temple will be our renewed Sanctuary with a fully-accessible Bimah. The plans include enhanced acoustics, climate controls, and lighting. New interior finishes and carpeting will produce a warmer feeling with refinished and upholstered pews.
– A centerpiece of our Temple will be our updated main entry lobby, offering a warmer welcome. New furnishings, finishes, and lighting will provide comfortable areas to just hang out, enjoy a cup of coffee and connect online or off.
– The restrooms will be completely rebuilt to comply with ADA requirements.
A family restroom will be added to meet the needs of both families with young children and our seniors who require assistance.
– The Social Hall, together with our updated lobby, will become a venue of choice for our life cycle events. Substantial improvements to the walls, ceiling, carpeting, lighting and finishes will create a more attractive and flexible room that can accommodate affairs of many styles.
– Administrative offices will be reconfigured and modernized to provide an inviting lobby space, professional ambiance for our clergy to meet with congregants, and state of the art technology to more efficiently serve the needs of our members.
– Heating and air conditioning systems, which date to the building’s construction in 1984, have clearly exceeded the end of their useful life.
They will be replaced with highly efficient systems that will provide consistent temperature control at a significantly lower cost.
– If we are to proceed responsibly, we must also ensure our fiscal security.
To this end we are earmarking approximately one fifth of the campaign to the retirement of the Temple’s mortgage, to be able to embrace future challenges with creativity and confidence.
We are now transitioning into a post-pandemic world where we will have an opportunity to innovate and reimagine what we can become. We have a thriving community with an inspirational spiritual leader, but we must invest in our spiritual home to ensure that our future will be as vibrant as our past.
Our Temple will be a renewed, rededicated sacred space. It will be a warm and steady center, reflecting our determination to strengthen our Jewish community and transmit our values, l’dor va dor, from generation to generation.
The challenge to meet our current and future needs can only be met through the combined efforts of the members of our congregation. Together, we share a collective responsibility to guarantee that our Temple will continue to nourish our children, our grandchildren, and future generations.
Through the Rededication to Our Future Capital Campaign, each of us will ensure that Temple Etz Chaim will continue to be a beacon of Jewish light in our community.
If you would like to make a contribution to TEC’s 2022 Capital Campaign, “A Rededication to Our Future,” please contact the Temple Office or CLICK HERE and select “Capital Campaign” from the dropdown menu of funds.