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Update on the “Growing Together” Campaign to Renovate Our Kitchens

“When We Meet Again”

Update on the “Growing Together” Campaign to Renovate Our Kitchens


It is mid-July, and many of us are feeling anxious about when we can next come together to break bread. We have not seen many of our friends for some time. Yet what we hold close—for family and friends—is the day we can come together to pray, to learn, to schmooze… and to eat. We all look forward to that day—and your Synagogue Emanu-El leadership is working hard to be ready. The Growing Together Campaign that was begun last spring is flourishing, as the total renovation of our meat and dairy kitchens is underway. Here’s a complete update on the project…


Leadership: At the forefront is Renovation Committee Chair Brenda Lederman, our “Jane-of-all trades” who is coordinating the contractors and subcontractors to make sure that the demolition and construction is done properly, with kitchen efficiency and safety in mind. She is ably assisted in the construction realm by Al Hawkins and Jeffrey Rosenblum. In the area of fundraising, Board President Craig Browdy is leading the way, with immense support from Brenda (aka Jane), Suzanne Lynch, and Ryan Bluestein. They are working diligently to raise 100% of the project expenses, and they now can share some important news.

Fundraising Successes: We are pleased to announce that Synagogue Emanu-El was the recipient of a most generous $100,000 grant from the Henry and Sylvia Yaschik Foundation to name our Meat Kitchen to honor the memory of the Yaschiks. We are deeply indebted to this Charleston Foundation which supports local Jewish and secular projects reflecting the values the Yaschiks embodied. We will share more about this important gift in the coming weeks. We are also pleased to share that, through a combination of donations totaling over $50,000, the Coffee Nook will be named in memory of Pearl and Warren Hyman, longtime members whose welcoming faces greeted hundreds during morning minyan for decades. In total, through the generosity of 197 congregants and outside donors, our fundraising commitments now total over $500,000! This remarkable achievement has moved us much closer to our goal but still leaves a significant gap.


Fundraising Needs: The total budget for this project, including all expenses and contingencies, is $700,000. Thus, with a $200,000 shortfall, we continue to seek gifts of any amount to help reach that goal. Financing has been secured for the project, allowing us to accept pledge commitments for up to three years to help us meet the need. A major naming opportunity that remains is the Dairy Kitchen. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about naming opportunities, contact Craig Browdy or visit our website at Your leadership team is committed to meeting the Growing Together Campaign goal and concluding the construction well before the High Holidays.

Project Update: The old flooring and drainpipes have been removed down to the dirt beneath the kitchen. All of the drainpipes have been replaced, and the asbestos abatement has been completed. The drainage to the city lines are clear, and plans for ventilation and fire suppression are in place. The construction crews are now beginning to install a new concrete floor. Next will come a new electrical system. If you look into the kitchen today, you would see new gravel and drainage pipes in the ground, and in 8-10 weeks, God willing, the project construction and fundraising will be complete.

We are grateful to every donor to our Growing Together Campaign—through large gifts and small, we will find success and meet again soon to enjoy food from our kitchen. Keep an eye out for future emails about:


Sylvia and Henry Yaschik, Honoring Philanthropy and Menschlichkeit

Brenda Lederman—Leadership, the Quiet Way

Pearl and Warren Hyman—The Welcoming Touch

Thu, October 28 2021 22 Cheshvan 5782