Endowment Funds at Work

Fiscal Year 2019- 2020

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 40 years our endowment has distributed allocations totaling over $4.75 million, which have grown to account for over 22% of the Temple’s annual operational budget.

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This past year our Endowment Fund provided funding benefitting our congregational family of over $467,000.   This allocation supplements our clergy salaries, provides many enrichments that our congregation has come to enjoy, and significantly supports our technology, communications and technical improvements. Notably, this year’s funding includes over $383,600 directly applied to our Temple’s annual operational budget – which accounts for over 20 percent of its revenue.  Following are the highlights of how these funds impacted our congregation in 2019-20:

 

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SUPPORTING OUR CLERGY TEAM — $129,525
  1. A meaningful contribution to help support our clergy to serve our congregation, including the senior rabbinic and cantorial positions, as well as help in underwriting an interim cantor during this past transition year (Rabbi Jonathan Miller Enduring Legacy Fund and the Ruth & Marvin Engel Cantorial Chair).
  2. Assistance in funding the Rabbi Emeritus retirement package (Miller Retirement Fund).
ENHANCING OUR PROGRAMMING — $131,863

ENHANCING WORSHIP & RITUAL

  1. High Holy Day enhancements including the magnificent choir, the lively contemporary family service led by Robin Berger, the beautiful flowers adorning the bima, and lovely Break-the-Fast (Ruth & Marvin Engel Cantorial & High Holy Day Choir Fund, Andrew Abroms Memorial Flower Fund and Sherron & Allan Goldstein Break-The-Fast Fund).
  2. A couple of special Shabbat services, programs and receptions — before the pandemic forced us to postpone or cancel many of our Spring plans:
    1. Klezmer Trio accompaniment at the Selichot service (Mary K. Brodnax Fund) 
    2. Installation of Rabbi Adam Wright including the magnificent Shabbat of Song service with special visiting guest rabbis, and the inspirational leadership training sessions (Joan & Milton Jacobson Cultural Arts Fund, Faye & Norris Friedman Social Engagement Fund, Cherner Family Fund and the Nina & Norman Cohen Next Generation Fund).

CARING FOR OUR CONGREGANTS AND GREATER COMMUNITY

  1. Complimentary childcare and babysitting for High Holy Day services last year
  2. Support of the Hillel Connections summer initiative during the summer of 2019, providing housing and programming, and connecting University of Alabama student interns to our Birmingham Jewish community (Nina & Norman Cohen Next Generation Fund).

EDUCATING OUR CHILDREN

  1. A significant grant providing for Youth & Education administration and several delightful enrichment programs at the beginning of the year for our religious school students (Gail & Jeffrey Bayer Fund for Religious Education).
  2. Artist-in-Residence weekend featuring Avi Zuckerman with our 6th graders and their families (Lee & Stanley Elsas Teens Fund)
  3. Fabulous community educational program “Building Jerusalem” with Lego building blocks (Betty & Robert Loeb Education Fund).

UNRESTRICTED OPERATIONAL SUPPORT

  1. And $51,465 for unrestricted purposes was also provided.
ADVANCING OUR TECHNOLOGIES & COMMUNICATIONS — $42,670
  1. Production of eleven issues of OurTemple, the monthly bulletin and the weekly announcement programs distributed at Shabbat and holiday services.
  2. Annual hosting fees for our Temple’s website:   www.ourtemple.org
  3. The increasingly important webcast of  Shabbat/holiday services and special events/speakers from both the sanctuary and chapel (“Our Temple” Worship Anywhere Fund).
  4. A significant contribution toward the sound system improvements in the Sanctuary and Hess Chapel (Mollie & Herman Gotlieb Sanctuary Preservation Fund, Hess Chapel Fund and Jasper Temple Fund).
PERPETUATING OUR DUES — $67,475
  1. Unrestricted operational support from thirteen (13) congregant families who have endowed all or a portion of their Annual Membership Commitment in perpetuity.
PRESERVING OUR FACILITIES — $55,353
  1. A meaningful contribution of over $55,000 to our Capital Improvements Fund to help respond to maintenance needs of our beautiful, yet aging, facilities.
SUSTAINING OUR CEMETERIES — $40,390
  1. Upkeep of our sections at Northside, Elmwood, Gadsden and Jasper cemeteries (Cemetery Care Fund and Gadsden Cemetery Fund)

 

Allocations from our Restricted Funds are indicated in italics;
all other grants were made possible from our General and Unrestricted Funds.

Legacy Stories

See our online album of stories highlighting many of our Temple families who have designated a legacy gift to help ensure a vibrant future for our congregation.

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