Sign In Forgot Password

Synagogue Emanu-El Kitchen Renovation


For over 40 years our synagogue has been enjoying the meals coming out of our kitchen. While it has served us well, we have not invested in updates. Our electrical system does not meet Building Code.  Drainage pipes have collapsed.  Load-bearing walls are not reinforced. Countertops are unsanitary. Once construction begins, we will know the condition of our foundation and the extent of our asbestos problem.

We are proud to have chosen Rosenblum Coe as our kitchen renovation architect. 

For questions on the kitchen renovation or insight into donation opportunities, please contact Brenda Lederman  (, chair of our kitchen renovation project.  We can’t thank Brenda enough for what she has done to make this project a reality.

Please continue to monitor this section of our website for updates on the renovation.

Donate Online  --  See Donation Levels  --  At the Finish Line Update

Summary of Kitchen Problems

Click here to view Rosenblum Cole Architects' study of our existing kitchen (large download)

Building Code Compliance

-Probable asbestos present in ductwork mastic
-Multiple cracks in load-bearing/non-load-bearing masonry walls.  Some cracks extend from the interior of the kitchen to the outside of the building

Mechanical and Plumbing

-Insufficient clearance between equipment and hood edges
-Use of extension cords behind equipment to power large appliances
-Inoperable floor drains
-Drains improperly connected
-No known grease trap


-Unsupported wiring above ceiling
-Insufficient clearance for electrical panels and water heater equipment
-Non-GFI (ground fault interrupter) outlets near sinks


Food Safety/Cleanliness issues

-Joints between countertops are exposed
-Grout damage on tile flooring near drains
-Non-operational floor drains
-Water-damaged toe space beneath floor cabinets
-Exposed piping and surface mounted conduit


Simply put, our current electrical system is a fire hazard. It is dangerous for everyday use and will not support our new fire suppressant system.

Our drain pipes located under the floor are collapsing into themselves and cannot be cleared by a plumber again.

Currently, only the dairy convection oven can be used, and then only when someone stays in the kitchen and knows how to use the fire extinguisher. The meat kitchen is closed.

Naming and Donation Levels

Naming Opportunities

Full Kitchen: $250,000

Meat and Dairy Kitchen: $100,000 each

Coffee Nook: $50,000

Naming opportunities will be recognized on a glass plaque in the atrium and in the kitchen/social hall.


Levels of Giving

Renovation Leaders: $25,000 and above
Etched glass plaque in the atrium, honorary wall plaque in the kitchen/social hall and an honorary High Holiday aliyah

Benefactors: $10,000 -$24,999
Etched glass plaque in the atrium, honorary wall plaque in the kitchen/social hall

Sponsors: $5000-$9999
Etched glass plaque in the kitchen, honorary wall plaque in the kitchen/social hall

Supporters: $1000-$4999
Honorary wall plaque in the kitchen/social hall


All gifts will be recognized in the Scroll.  When we open our new, safe, sanitary kitchen, we anticipate having a grand opening party.  At that time, we will distribute a booklet recognizing gifts to the Kitchen Renovation Fund over $100.

Please remember that all donations to the Kitchen Renovation Fund are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. 
Credit card donations can be made easily on this site or our mobile app. 

For cash and check transactions, please contact the office. 

As always, appreciated stock and RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) donations are appreciated.  Please call Ruth in the office for guidance.

At the Finish Line - Sept 2020 Update on Kitchen Renovation

The finishing touches on any project are sometimes the most important. We are pleased to share an exciting update on our Growing Together Kitchen Renovation project with you as we near the finish line.

Fundraising News--Naming Opportunities Filled: 

We are pleased to announce that Synagogue Emanu-El has received a most generous gift from Nancy and Karen Fedder (pictured) in memory of Jerry Fedder. Nancy and Jerry were members of Congregation Beth Israel in Greenville, SC, for over 50 years, where Jerry enjoyed baking challah for the synagogue after he retired. Through their generosity, the Dairy Kitchen will be officially named in memory of Jerry.  This gift now completes the naming opportunities for our kitchen. 

The Meat Kitchen will be named in memory of Sylvia and Henry Yaschik, through a generous gift from the Yaschik Foundation. The Yaschiks were role models of philanthropy whose legacy continues through numerous Jewish educational programs in South Carolina. 

The Kitchen Coffee Nook will be named in memory of Pearl and Warren Hyman, our longtime members who were fixtures at Synagogue Emanu-El and role models for Jewish engagement for decades. 

In total, through the generosity of over 200 congregants and outside donors, our fundraising commitments now total $634,000. We are deeply indebted to all of our donors for understanding the importance of our kitchens in bringing the community together.

Project Update

The repair and renovation of the flooring, walls, and plumbing have been moving along nicely. There have been some delays due to necessary work on fire suppression safety and security systems, so that our kitchen alarm systems align with the rest of the synagogue building. In addition, due to Covid-19, there have been delays in the fabrication of custom kitchen equipment. The good news is that, thus far, all of the construction work has come in at or under budget. However, we are now looking at an October completion date.

At the Finish Line

The total budget for this project, including all expenses and contingencies, was set at $700,000. With $634,000 in commitments, the synagogue leadership is working to avoid using funds from the Building Reserve fund. Thus, we still have a need for donations to ensure we have ample funds for this renovation and future kitchen maintenance.  If you or someone you know is interested in making a pledge for the Kitchen Renovation Project, contact Craig Browdy or visit our kitchen web page. However, we will be closing out the campaign just before Rosh Hashanah in order to focus on our annual fundraising, which supports core operations and programs for the coming year.

Grateful to Our Team

We have big plans for a dedication and kick-off event…but due to Covid-19 safety concerns, these will be delayed until the time is right. Nonetheless, there are scores of supporters who have made commitments to help us reach our goal. Let us say Toda Raba, thank you, to all.


See below for a list of donors who have committed $1000 or more to the project.** Non-profit community organizations like Synagogue Emanu-El require a team effort to achieve our goals, and we are grateful so many on our team are helping us get to the finish line.

Legacy Donors
$100,000 & above

Nancy Fedder & Karen Fedder
Henry & Sylvia Yaschik Foundation

$25,000 & above
Manuel & Elinor Cohen
Marilyn Hoffman
Charlot Karesh
The families of Mitchell & Sally Fischbein, Mindy & Al Hawkins, Joe & Brandon Fischbein, and Rachel & James Landis
Ted & Rose Levin
The Lynch Families
Samuel & Sunny Steinberg

$10,000 - $24,999
Arlene, Charles, and Sam Altman
Nicky Bluestein
David L. & Linda Cohen
Neil & Marsha Gewirtzman
Perry & Joan Halushka
Fern Hurst
Warren & Pearl R. Hyman Living Trust
Alan & Lisa Isaacson
Jacobo & Olga Mintzer
Mark & Karen Pinosky
Richard & Shara Star
Harriett Steinert

$5000 - $9999
Donald & Barbara Backer
Ryan & Sharyn Bluestein
Craig & Tsivia Browdy
David & Julie Ellison
Michael & Debra Engel
Dennis & Sharon Feinberg
Allan & Jeanne Lieberman
Howard & Sandra Peskin
Robert & Ellen Steinberg
Maurice & Linda Krawcheck

$1000 - $4999

Michael & Patricia Bagg
Stephen & Robyn Bagg
David & Susannah Bailin
Seymour Baron
Edmund & Marilyn Barron
Ira & Andrea Berendt
Stanley & Eileen Chepenik
Evelyn Engel
Joe Engel
Mitchell & Irene Gilbert
Harriet Goldberg
David Grossman
William & Judy Grossman
Ellis & Janice Kahn
Bruce & Ava Kleinman
Newton Klements & Debra Engel
Brenda Lederman
Michael & Sandra Leibowitz
Robert Lovinger & Mindelle Seltzer
Adam & Lydia Mandel
Carol Manheim
Owen Meislin
Burnet & Jane Mendelsohn
Harry & Ellen Nadler
Evelyn S. Needle
Leonard & Gail Silverman
Howard & Gail Snow
Hazel Solomon
Stuart & Elaine Tessler
Gary & Miriam Weinstein
Victor & Randi Weinstein
Edgar & Dorothy Weiss
Barbara Wind

**Commitments as of September 8, 2020. Contact Brenda Lederman if you note any errors or omissions in our records.

Sun, May 16 2021 5 Sivan 5781