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Temple Habonim Endowment Fund
By Jean Cohoon / December 31, 2013 /   Loading Disqus...
“Habonim” means “the builders,” and it’s what leaders at Temple Habonim intend to be as they build the Temple’s foundation for the future, including this endowment fund.

Noting the endowment was established approximately 20 years ago and transferred to the Foundation in 2013, Jerry Weinstein, chair of the Temple’s endowment committee, states, “We have grand thoughts of expanding it.”

“We need to educate the (Temple) community about the endowment and increase awareness of its importance,” continues Leslie Lorber, president of the Temple board.

The beginnings of Temple Habonim can be traced back to 1959 when 35 families in the East Bay established the Eastward Jewish Center in East Providence. Four years later, interest had grown for starting a center in Barrington and the Barrington Jewish Center became a reality, with services held at the Barrington Congregational Church.

The Temple had its first home of its own in 1965 when members purchased a house on County Road. As membership increased, they outgrew the building and, in 1976, purchased a former school administration building on New Meadow Road that remains the Temple’s home today, although it has been renovated and, more recently, expanded to accommodate what today is a congregation of 200 families.

“We work hard at being very welcoming,” Leslie says of Temple Habonim, the only Reform Temple in the East Bay. “We’re a spiritual home and a community. And that’s what we strive to offer people, a community where they can feel comfortable.

Jerry explains three reasons the Temple’s leadership decided to transfer the endowment to the Foundation. “First, we want the expert, ongoing attentive management of the funds that the Foundation provides. Secondly, we want to go to prospective donors and say, ‘You can count on the reputation and stability of the Foundation,’ and thirdly, we want to grow the endowment through donations and the Foundation offers a way to assist with that.”

Returning to the idea of increasing awareness prior to raising funds, Jerry concludes, “This presents a great opportunity. We can make a big difference.”
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