CHAIR Campaign

Creating a Hospitable Accessible Inclusive Renovation

Bringing a new level of comfort for all to our Temple

May 2024

Dear Fellow Congregants, 

Today, we are pleased to announce the commencement of a capital campaign to be known as 

CHAIR: Creating a Hospitable Accessible Inclusive Renovation.  

It has been seven plus years since Rabbi Greg Hersh began his tenure at Temple Emmanuel.

Under his leadership, membership has grown from approximately 30 to 60 family units.  Along with our welcoming community, Rabbi Greg who is beloved by all, is a most important aspect to the growth of our membership. Equally important to our continued growth is enhancing the Temple’s physical plant by providing a more attractive, comfortable and accessible environment.

To achieve these goals The Ways & Means and House & Grounds Committees presented a plan to the Board of Directors and the membership which was approved nearly unanimously. The plan consists of refurbishing our cherished sanctuary with 100 new comfortable, movable chairs, new carpeting, possible new lighting with fans, a ramp to the Bimah and a second ramp at the rear of the sanctuary to allow for easy access to the existing stairlift. Also included will be new carpeting on the stairs leading to Weitzman Hall and bookshelf alcove and a new camera and retractable screen to enhance the permanent need for Zoom capabilities. Long overdue, and in consultation with an architect, will be the addition of a handicapped accessible bathroom on the first floor! The bathroom renovation will allow those who require this accommodation to have it in a dignified and easily accessible manner. This will be accomplished by converting the current coatroom to the bathroom and the bathroom to the coatroom.

The new moveable chairs, 50 with armrests and 50 without, will allow the sanctuary to have almost the same capacity as it presently has during high volume times. Importantly, the chairs will allow the sanctuary to be arranged in spacious, creative patterns when maximum seating is not necessary. The option for flexible seating could result in the additional use of the sanctuary by organizations who would want to rent the facility.

The cost of this much needed transformation is estimated to be approximately $68,400. 

Initially, the funds for this project will come from the Temple’s General Funds, but it is imperative that these funds be replaced to meet our ongoing, future and any unexpected expenses.  At this time, we are thrilled to announce that CJP has awarded the Temple a $15,000 dollar grant to be used for the accessibility portion of this renovation. While we will be reaching out to non-members and organizations outside of the congregation, we are asking the entire membership to support this fundraising effort.  It is understood that not everyone can contribute equally.  At a minimum, in addition to your generous annual dues, please consider contributing an extra year of dues paid over three years. Of course, any donation that is within your financial means is most welcome.  

We need to imagine an even more welcoming Sanctuary, one that we all deserve and one which will be more appealing to both current and future members.  We need to take advantage of this window of opportunity over the next several years to present our Rabbi and our Sanctuary in the best possible way. Picture yourself sitting in a comfortable chair with your feet resting on a new carpet with the chairs placed as needed in our beautiful Sanctuary for a Shabbat or High Holiday service or for school use, meetings or for possible rental by outside organizations.  Think of this inviting space as an attraction to new potential members.  The new bathroom will be totally user friendly for all.  Think of this as something we all deserve and then make your pledge. A pledge form, which allows you to make a pledge and allows us to measure our progress in fundraising, is available on the Temple Website. To ensure confidentiality, we will use the form only to report the pledge amounts and not the donors. Please join us in this exciting project! 

These renovations will commence on July 1st with the goal of being completed in time for the High Holidays, 2024.


Yuri Shikhanovich                     Ben Weiner     

President                                    CHAIR Committee Chairman

Donation Options

All payments can be made by mailing a check to Temple Emmanuel, 120 Chestnut Street, Wakefield, MA 01880 indicating for the CHAIR Campaign on the envelope and check or using the form below and select the preferred payment frequency.

Questions or concerns about recognizing this gift can always be directed to Ben Weiner, CHAIR Committee Chairman, at or 617-510-2655. We thank you for your support.