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236 Kane Street / Brooklyn, NY 11231 / 718 875-1550

The Fund For Kane Street Synagogue

August 5, 2020

Dear Friends,

We hope that this email finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy.

As you know, after Kane Street closed its doors in March, we embarked on a mission to keep our ties to one another and to the greater community strong, as we all navigated the unprecedented uncertainty brought about by COVID-19. We began by quickly transitioning to online platforms for our robust schedule of programs. This summer, five months into this strange new reality, we continue to plan for what lies ahead, even as we hope and pray for the day when we can be with one another again.

We are reaching out to ask for your support as Kane Street Synagogue faces
financial challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the past several years, Kane Street has been on solid financial footing – fueled by our growing membership, our vibrant Hebrew School and preschool, and successful fundraising efforts. Year after year, we exceed budget revenue expectations. That said, this year we have been presented with extraordinary (and hopefully once-in-a-lifetime) circumstances. The Board of Trustees and senior staff have closely examined anticipated revenue and expenses, and are projecting that the 2020-21 fiscal year will be very challenging.

Here is what our community is facing in the year ahead:

  • We anticipate reduced revenue. We know that some Kane Street families are facing financial difficulties. At the same time, several of the Synagogue’s revenue streams have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 closure of our building. As such, we expect that fundraising contributions, payments for tuition and membership, and other income sources may bring in less revenue than in the past.
  • Net expenses are unlikely to decrease. While we reduced expenditures wherever possible, the bulk of the Synagogue’s expenses are salary-based by contract or otherwise fixed. We are committed to being a fair, responsible employer, and are proud that we have not laid off or furloughed any full-time or part-time staff as a result of COVID-19 thus far. Our staff – to whom we are deeply grateful – are essential to the Synagogue’s continued operations and to all of our programs, whether they occur online or in person.
  • Expenses may increase. Expenses may go up to cover additional items such as online streaming for High Holiday services, additional cleaning/sanitizing and related building costs, other online offerings, and expenses related to keeping our members and staff safe.

Looking ahead, the Finance Committee has advised us that existing cash reserves will help to cover some, but not all, of Kane Street’s projected budget gap for 2020-21.

We are launching The Fund for Kane Street Synagogue, a targeted fundraising effort to close the gap in our budget, enabling Kane Street to meet expenses through the 2020-21 fiscal year.
A number of Kane Street members have come forward with leadership gifts totaling $150,000 bringing us closer to our goal of $250,000 that we need to raise (above and beyond our annual fundraising efforts).
We hope their commitment will inspire other members to help our community maintain the financial strength that we have worked so hard to achieve.

If you are able to make a contribution at this time, we would be deeply grateful. We appreciate donations of all sizes. And as we look to the year ahead, your continued participation in annual fundraising – including the upcoming Kol Nidre Appeal – will also be integral to the Synagogue’s financial wellbeing.

Once again, our best wishes for your continued health. Thank you for everything you do to make Kane Street Synagogue such a special community.

Leslie Wilsher
President of the Congregation

Jessica Schoengold
Vice President of Fundraising

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Website photography: Paul Bernstein | Hank Gans | Rich Pomerantz | Harvey Wang