July 2017 – June 2018
In 1979, the Rabbi Grafman Endowment Fund was established by Rabbi Milton Grafman and Charles Collat, Sr. These visionaries realized the value of creating a permanent fund that would benefit the congregants of Temple Emanu-El for generations by providing both annual enrichment grants and a solid financial foundation for the future.
Thanks to forward-thinking leadership, strong fiscal management, and generous donors, over the past 35+ years our endowment has distributed allocations totaling over $3.6 million, which have grown to account for over 22% of the Temple’s annual operational budget.
In the past fiscal year, our Endowment Fund provided funding benefiting our congregational family of nearly $460,000 to enrich our Temple’s programs, care for our cemeteries, maintain our beautiful facilities, and enable our youth to participate in Jewish-related experiences. Following are the highlights of how these funds impacted our Temple in 2017-18:
ENRICHMENT PROGRAMMING & BUILDING PRESERVATION — $266,850
Enhancing Worship & Ritual
- High Holy Day Choir enhancements including the choir and other musical accompaniment, beautiful flowers adorning the bima (Ruth & Marvin Engel Cantorial & High Holy Day Choir Fund and Andrew Abroms Memorial Flower Fund)
- Break-The-Fast following Yom Kippur services (Sherron & Allan Goldstein Break-The-Fast Fund)
- Several special Shabbat services, programs and receptions, including:
- The touching community-wide Shabbat service and reception honoring the 27-year tenure of Rabbi Jonathan Miller (Steiner Interfaith Fund)
- Selichot service featuring renowned singer/songwriter Rich Recht (Ziff Cultural Arts Fund and Mary K. Brodnams Music Fund)
- The inspiring community Civil Rights Program co-sponsored with Temple Beth El, featuring many local speakers as well as nationally-acclaimed spiritual musician, Neshama Carlebach (Steiner Interfaith Fund and Joan & Milton Jacobson Cultural Arts Fund)
- Reception following the Annual Congregational Meeting honoring the seven-year tenur of Rabbi Laila Haas (Faye & Norris Fridman Social Enrichment Fund, Reese Family Fund and Gail & Jeffrey Bayer Fund for Religious Education).
Caring for Our Congregants and Greater Community
- Sponsorship of our annual Mitzvah Day, including breakfast for 120 volunteers and materials to support a morning of work on 7 social action projectes through the community (Hermione & Edward Friend Social Awareness Fund)
- Supplies to create a new Clothes Bank to provide for the homeless (Hermione & Edward Friend Social Awareness Fund)
- Birthday cards created by our Teens class to send to each of our senior congregants throughout the year (Lee & Stanley Elsas Teens Fund)
- Complimentary childcare and babysitting for High Holy Day services
- Support of the new Hillel Connections initiative providing housing and programming this past summer, connecting University of Alabama student interns to our Birmingham Jewish community (Nina & Norman Cohen Next Generation Fund and Honan Family Fund)
- Financial assistant grant to three (3) of our congregational families (Leona & Marvin Cherner Caring Community Fund)
Educating Our Children
- A significant grant providing for administrative staff positions for our Religious School and Discovery School programs (Gail & Jeffrey Bayer Fund for Religious Education)
- Monthly enrichment programming by the McWane Center for our Discovery School pre-schoolers (Betty & Robert Loeb Education Fund)
Cultivating Our Leadership & Adult Education
- Registration fees for the annual URJ Scheidt Seminar for our incoming temple president (Nina & Norman Cohen Next Generation Fund)
- Usage fees for the film, “Sand on the Floor” as part of the Adult Education program lead be Interim Rabbi Douglas Kohn (Honan Family Torah Study Fund)
Supporting Communications & Technology
- Annual maintenance of our Temple’s website: www.ourtemple.org
- Advancements in our technology including a new server (Reese Family Fund)
- Technology upgrades in both Hess Chapel and the Sanctuary to enhance the quality of our webcasts of Shabbat and holiday services (“OurTemple” Anywhere Fund, Gotlieb Sanctuary Preservation Fund and Gloria Goldstein Howton Building Fund)
- Announcement programs distributed weekly at Shabbat and holiday services
- Production of five issues of OurTemple, the monthly bulletin
- Installation of new touchscreen monitor outside the sanctuary featuring gifts/tributes honoring Rabbi Miller’s retirement, Legacy Stories featuring our donors, and most recently the archived photos of Confirmation classes over the past 90 years (Ruth & Marvin Engel Archives Fund, Jasper Temple Fund, and Nina & Norman Cohen Next Generation Fund)
Unrestricted Operational Support
- Over $54,825 for unrestricted operational support from twelve (12) congregant families who have endowed all or a portion of their Annual Membership Commitment in perpetuity.
- Another $51,560 for unrestricted purposes was also provided.
ENHANCING OUR CLERGY TEAM — $145,000
- A meaningful contribution to help support three dynamic clergy to service our congregation (Ruth & Marvin Engel Cantorial Chair and General Endowment Fund), as well as to help in funding the Rabbi Emeritus retirement package.
SUSTAINING OUR CEMETERIES — $35,400
- Cemetery maintenance and upkeep of Northside, Elmwood, Gadsden and Jasper cemeteries (Cemetery Care Fund and Gadsden Cemetery Fund)
FOSTERING YOUTH INVOLVEMENT — $13,300
- Three (3) students redeemed bonds presented upon completion of their bar/bat mitzvah for participation in a Jewish activity (Max Friedman Youth Experience Bond)
- Financial assistance grants and a recognition award enabling six (6) teens to participate in Jewish summer camps, (I.E. Simon Memorial Fund, Diana & Sidney Patterson Scholarship Fund, Betty Allenberg Goldstein Camp Jacobs Scholarship Fund, Lewy Memorial Scholarship Fund, and Lester Seigel Scholarship Fund)
- Four (4) of our young adults received stipends to travel and study in Israel — several attended the Alexander Muss High School in Israel, while another participated in Birthright (Figtree Scholarship Fund and Barbara Abrams & Julian Aland Scholarship Fund)
Allocations from our Restricted Funds are indicated in italics;
all other grants were made possible from our General and Unrestricted Funds.