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New Building Update

For prior updates click here.

Scroll down to read about news of discussions with Congregation Har HaShem about developing a joint campus on the Boulder Jewish Commons. 

The Bonai Shalom New Building Project Leadership Team (the NBP Leadership Team) provided a detailed update on process, timeline, and fundraising objectives for the New Building Project at the CBS Board Annual Meeting in June. To watch that update, click here, enter your login information, navigate down the page and click on "June 19, 2022 Annual Meeting Video Recording Here". The new building project update portion starts at 1h 20m and 41s into the video recording of the meeting. At the Annual Meeting, a motion was overwhelming approved by members to initiate a Capital Campaign to raise the funds necessary to ultimately build our new synagogue on the Boulder Jewish Commons campus. The NBP Leadership Team is grateful to the community for their ongoing support of this project. 

Since the Annual Meeting, the NBP Leadership Team has continued to meet bi-weekly throughout the summer to do the work of advancing the project forward. In late July we met with City of Boulder staff to discuss our Pre-Application Review submittal and receive their initial feedback. Since mid-July, we have been conducting meetings with the Architecture & Design Committee to further refine programmatic needs and develop a scope of work for a “Concept Plan Revision” design step with our architects, Finegold Alexander Architects.  With the ”Concept Plan Revision” we will refine the original Concept Plan to:

  • Incorporate community input from the 12/13/21 Community Meeting;
  • Incorporate initial feedback from the City of Boulder;
  • Update the plan to incorporate updated thinking on programmatic and capacity needs;
  • Reducing overall construction costs;
  • Create a viable pathway to grow the shul if needed in the future;
  • Add more storage to maintain ability to maximize the flexibility of the space.  

We anticipate the Concept Plan Revision process will start in October and will take 8-12 weeks. We will follow that with an update to the community which will include updated construction cost estimates from qualified local general contractors.

 

Exploration of a Joint Campus with Har HaShem

Since the Annual Meeting, another opportunity to solve our long-term physical space needs has emerged.  We have recently begun conversations to explore the possibility of building a joint campus with Congregation Har HaShem on a larger piece of land on the Boulder Jewish Commons. This project has the potential to serve our community at a deeper level while increasing the sustainability and engagement of the broader Boulder Jewish Community for generations to come.

This is not a merger with Har HaShem. The vision is that each synagogue would retain its unique identity and separate worship space, while we explore the possibility of shared spaces, such as the entrance, meeting rooms, outdoor areas and parking. The Boards and clergy of both synagogues have agreed to engage in this process with open hearts and minds. Here is a link to the statement to their congregation. 

Har HaShem’s task force to explore their options is being led by Melinda Kassen, Vice President of Har HaShem’s Board of Directors.  She is joined by Marianne Balin, Dan Cohen, , Gil Rudawsky, and Har HaShem’s Executive Director Alan Friedman. We are represented on this joint facility working group by NBP Leadership Team members Jeff Gan Levy, Gary Jacobs, and Bruce Wildman. The working group held its first exploratory meeting on August 19. This meeting was facilitated by JCC Executive Director Jonathan Lev, Susan Rona, a philanthropic consultant and Har HaShem member, and Julie Shaffer, Executive Director of the Oreg Foundation.

The working group will be assisted by RB+B, the architects that designed the Boulder JCC. The firm will aid us in a month-long process to develop different possible variations of a joint campus. These discussions will start the second week of October.

In order to meet our community’s timeline goals, we will continue with our ongoing process for designing and seeking City of Boulder approval for our stand-alone building on Lot 2B of the Boulder Jewish Commons.  Similarly, starting next month, RB+B will be working separately with the Har HaShem task force and other Har HaShem members to examine Har HaShem’s options for staying at their current campus. Both communities share the goal of creating the best long-term solution for the physical needs of their respective communities.

As we work through this process of exploring the feasibility of a joint facility we will address at least the following questions:

  • What are the benefits and risks of a joint move?
  • What are the potential synergies and cost savings?
  • What are the costs and benefits for Har HaShem to remain at its current campus, for Bonai Shalom to build the new building we’ve been working on, and how do those options compare to the option of moving jointly to the Commons?
  • If both synagogues want to move forward together, what does the timeline and process look like?

We know that you will have additional questions. We also anticipate that this exploration will give rise to many emotions, including excitement and inspiration as well as doubt and uncertainty. We are committed to communicating at each step of this process and to addressing your questions and concerns. We expect to engage both congregations’ members in this exploration.

The initial feasibility investigation process for a joint Har HaShem/Bonai Shalom facility on the undeveloped land east of Julie’s Way on the Boulder Jewish Commons is expected to take approximately 4-6 months. When we have concluded the Concept Plan Revision process (by Q1 2023) and have sufficient information on the feasibility of a joint facility with Har HaShem, we will organize a community meeting to present the findings from the investigation and solicit community feedback. We will keep you informed as the process moves forward. In the meantime, if you have questions or comments, please email us at bonaishalomnewbuilding@gmail.com.

 

Sincerely,

Rabbi Marc & 

Bonai Shalom New Building Leadership Team representatives Bruce Wildman, Jeff Gan Levy, and Gary Jacobs

Mon, December 5 2022 11 Kislev 5783