Temple seeks to “Secure Tomorrow Today” with $7 million endowment campaign

Posted on: September 28th, 2016 by tgregory

The Temple’s Board of Trustees announced last month a $7 million fundraising campaign, Securing Tomorrow Today, to strengthen the congregation’s endowment and secure its future. 

Temple President Martin Sir said the campaign will provide funding to address priorities that support The Temple’s mission of engaging in worship, education, community, and social justice.

“I am honored and grateful to be serving as president during this exciting time in The Temple’s history,” Sir said. “The Temple is like a home to me and my family, and just like you work to secure your home for your children and the future, that’s what I envision for The Temple with this campaign.”

Sir said the funds raised during the campaign will focus on five priorities: investing in spiritual leaders, meeting current and future program needs, advancing religious school and life-long learning, sustaining The Temple Cemetery, and upgrading of The Temple’s security, facilities, communication and technology.

Securing Tomorrow Today is the first comprehensive endowment effort in the history of The Temple (Congregation Ohabai Sholom), and, according to congregation officials, the largest ever undertaken in the Nashville Jewish community. In the last 20 years, The Temple has conducted two fundraising campaigns: one capital and the other to retire debt.

Securing Tomorrow Today is led by Steve Riven and Lisa and Stephen Small, with Leon May serving as honorary chair. All three families have been members of The Temple for generations, serving in various leadership roles from past president to board member to committee member. 

“The timing of the Temple endowment campaign is right,” said Lisa Small. “The congregation is pleased to have great clergy, interesting programming and a strong working relationship with all our sister congregations and with the community in general. It is today that we must develop our long-term financial stability in order to ensure both the immediate and distant future well being of our congregation. And it will take a commitment from each member to make this goal a reality.” 

Both the Smalls and Riven said that they became involved because of the campaign’s compelling case and The Temple’s importance to their families and in their lives.

“It is important to focus on and increase our endowment funds,” said Riven. “We’re going to exceed every expectation because of the generosity of this congregation.”

Senior Rabbi Mark Schiftan said Securing Tomorrow Today has received “inspiring support” since getting underway at the beginning of the year.

As of last month, it had received $5.6 million in commitments and planned gifts, marking significant progress toward the $7 million goal. The commitments include support from The Temple’s board of trustees and past presidents and 18 gifts of $100,000 or more. 

The Temple is seeking the broadest participation in the historic campaign, and in the coming months the entire congregation will be invited to participate.

 “I am hopeful every congregant, as well as others living in Nashville, will consider supporting this historic effort to strengthen and preserve both The Temple and the wider Jewish community for generations to come,” said Rabbi Schiftan.

Likewise, Rabbi Shana Mackler described the campaign as “an opportunity to fully engage our entire congregation: young professionals, newcomers to Nashville and natives, interfaith and intercultural families, the LGBT community, and empty nesters.” 

Said Rabbi Schiftan, “As The Temple celebrates its 165th anniversary, all of us – congregants and clergy – are committed to celebrating past achievements, preparing for future challenges, and securing the vibrancy, vitality and vision of our Temple, both now and for the next generation.””  •


For more information on the Securing Tomorrow Today campaign, contact Hayley Levy, campaign manager, at hlevy@ccsfundraising.com, or Erin Zagnoev, Temple director of membership and development, at erin@templenashville.org or (615) 352-7620.