Next Expansion Forum meeting is
scheduled for Wednesday 03/24/10
Congregation Meeting to vote on expansion advancement Wednesday April 7th.
Minutes of March 10, 2010 Meeting
Ronnie Rabbie, Eddie Nassim, Vivi Nassim, Albert
Nassim, Edeed Ben-Josef, Lydia Ben-Josef, Merav Ben-Josef, Brittney
Ben-Josef, Ravit Kraus, Joe Jangana, Hesky Haim, Joyce Reise, Gila Aizer,
Danny Aizer, Parviz Abrishamchi, Natalie Mashaal, David Mashaal, Alice
Aboody, Anna Hakakian, Elias Hawa, Ronnie Yehuda, Helen Yehuda, Rabbi Nir
Shalom, Eliahou Shamash
Ronnie: Updated that all
committees are meeting and updating their information for final
determination. Fundraising chairperson
Ronny Ben-Josef, Construction – co-chairs Ronnie Rabbie & Eddie
Nassim, and the Finance chair Shlomo Bakhash.
Stressed the importance of the space development as it pertains to
all the children of the BJC. All
were updated about the new Hebrew school that was formed co-chaired by
Mervav Ben-Josef, Anna Hakakian and Natalie Mashaal.
Rabbi Shalom will be guiding the program with direction and
Eddie: Updated on finance as Shlomo was not present that
we are developing a 5 year cash flow / budget detail operation
income and expense including construction cost to determine financing and
funding required to develop our extension.
with the project architect regarding the time line (overall development
can take from 18 months to 3 years to complete subject to funding after
issuance of building permit) and requirement of development and the
importance not to alter any plan footprint as was approved by BZA. He also
suggested that the site plan approval process plus architectural
construction drawing and securing the building permit will cost
approximately $200,000 and can possibly take 12 months to complete.
He stressed the importance of that time for the fundraising for
Danny Aizer: questioed the design of the drawing and
financing required to complete the entire scope of the drawings.
He emphasized the importance of building the social all and making
it available for multi-purpose use for all programming especially for the
children. This opened the
forum with lengthy discussion
by those in attendance.
Alice Aboody shared her update from the members of Sister
hood – She stressed that our
community needs to be educated how to have a broad vision
work towards realizing it and stressed the importance of enrolling all to
become part of the movement forward (a summary of the Sisterhood notes
will be posted on BJC website – expansion journal for all to review).
She stressed that we need to
provide for all the BJC Children to have a space based on the age
and priority in addition to reviving the Hebrew School program.
Some of the open discussion during the forum included:
Ronny Ben-Josef updated that the fundraising committee is
fully in force and meeting to finalize the proposed plan for board
Parviz Abrishamchi: Informed
the forum about possibilities of getting extension but the architectural
cost remaining the same.
added that the needs of all generations are important and that programs
will be created according to need.
A goal needs to be set to have a Hebrew School program for
BJC member families by September 2010.
The forum was informed that our expansion will attract new
Hesky Haim: update the forum of a close friend of his who
took out children and enrolled them in Temple Israel because we don’t
have the proper program and the disappointment in this loss both
financially and in growth.
Ravit Kraus stressed we have to think big, we must create a
program for all the youths to bring back families to the BJC.
Rabbi Nir Shalom enlightened the forum with his wisdom on
the importance of the synagogue as the heart of our community.
There must be passion and that’s what we need to bring to our
The forum was updated that the next meeting will be on
Wednesday March 24th at the BJC and urged all to let members
know. This meeting will be
primarily focused on the financial aspects of the expansion and funding
required to complete and operate the BJC over the next five(5) years.
The congregation meeting to vote for pursuing the expansion
with release of funds to start architectural development and securing
building permit will be scheduled for Wednesday April 7th.
Vivi Nassim suggested that we have graphics developed
including a possible model of the proposed expansion to excite the
community and encourage their involvement
We thank Helen Yehuda for taking notes during the meeting to
develop this memorandum. We
also tried to included as much as possible and reference all those who
participated and named as attendees. We apologies if any specific fact was
Combined Feedback from Sisterhood Board Members to Alice Aboody
For the need of
a Children’s Space and its Functions
The responses clearly point out
for the need to allocate space for the younger children as well as
a lounge for teenagers.
important point mentioned is that in order for the children to get a
feeling of belonging to the BJC,
it has to start at an early age so as to develop an attachment to the Synagogue. Therefore the existence of a Hebrew School is necessary.
this way the children will learn to identify their Hebrew school with
the Synagogue as a unit, instead of being connected to other Synagogues
and Yeshivas. Once they will begin to participate in programs &
develop friendships somewhere else, it would be difficult for them to
connect with the BJC.
argument given for the need of a Hebrew School is the success of the group of young children who attended classes at the
inception of the BJC & who
are now college bound.
bonded together and continued their friendship & participation at the
BJC through out their Bar & Bat Mitzvah years. They are the same group
of teenagers who put on the magnificent performance last Sept. at the Art
Center, & raised money for a worthy cause in Israel. They also learned
to participate in outreach programs of Mitzvoth in the Community.
and over it was noted that the future and success of BJC is to meet the
needs of its youngest members because they are the Future.
The Purpose of a
Social or Multi purpose Room
“A place to hang out” for Teens
The majority of responses suggested
creating “a warm and inviting place”
for teens. To have cubbies with internet service (media center), a
juke box with various music, different types of games, a pool table, a
popcorn machine, a large flat TV for movie viewing, & other, and a
computer. This would be a
special place for teens to meet, make friends, become creative and
plan events together. Participation in such activities would be on
The importance of
creating a library with
various books, some that focus on the richness of our Iraqi Jewish
heritage to help inspire and educate the future leaders of our
would be a place to hold discussions
(by different speakers from our members or others) about historical VIPs
in the Jewish community of Baghdad. This could range from talking about
the illustrious Rabbis and renowned scholars, to the doctors, lawyers as
well as financiers, and
economists. Some of who became
ministers in the Iraqi government, and were instrumental to create a
thriving economy in Iraq up to the time when the Jews left
in the 1950’s.
Basically the goal
would be to help the teens become educated about their Iraqi Jewish
heritage which would not only
give them pride in their roots, but also be transmitted to their children
in the future. Pride
in one’s heritage can inspire as well as motivate to follow in the
footsteps of ancestors one admires.
This can be done with programs that include participation of the
older generation of our members.
They can share their experiences growing up in Iraq, and describe the
religious and cultural traditions they were part of. Many other ideas and
suggestions can be incorporated in such programs. Perhaps the creation of
debating teams that are centered on Jewish themes can be both educational
and invite active participation.
short, the importance of starting children early in a Hebrew school at the
Synagogue is fundamental. This will guarantee family participation and
interest of all members. Otherwise there will be a loss of the Iraqi
on many levels, which is an important reason why the BJC was
created to start with.
importance of attracting the teens and younger children to gather to
enjoy and appreciate what the BJC has to offer needs to be a
priority for all the members of the BJC without exception.
No investment is too much when it benefits our
children and grandchildren!
of Expansion Forum on Wednesday 02/24/2010
Attendees: Alice Aboody, Eze
Bashi, Edeed Ben Josef, Merav Ben Josef, Ronny Ben Josef, Elias Hawa,
Jenny Haim, Fred Jiji, Abe Maslavi, Shouly Maslavi, Eddie Nassim, Ronnie
Rabbie, Sharry Shamash
Areas of Discussion
2. Hebrew School
5. Construction Costs
6. Design Criteria,
Options and Alternatives
7. Purpose and Uses
8. Phasing of
9. Building Fund
10. Sale of Name Plaques
11. Increase of Membership Fees
After discussion of the items listed above, the following is a summary:
1. Alice Aboody to continue
developing the children's program requirements in respect to design
criteria with the Sisterhood.
2. Construction committee
along with Merav Ben Josef to meet with the Architect to discuss options
and alternatives and phasing of design.
3. Finance committee to meet
with Accountant and develop proforma for 5 years with various funding
alternatives (Shouly Maslavi to contact Shlomo Bakhash to update on
possible financing alternatives).
4. Fundraising Committee to
meet and prepare suggested fundraising programs, plaques, and proposed
building fund assessment for entire membership.
5. Congregation notification
for attendance to forum meetings is critical and the responsibility of all
members to inform each other. Next
scheduled meeting is on Wednesday March 10th at 8:00 pm at the BJC (Helen
Yehuda to send regular emails requesting member attendance).
Update: In discussions with
Rabbi Nir Shalom regarding the Hebrew School, he suggested to contact Anna
(Khabbaza) Hakakian and Natalie Mashaal to schedule a meeting in order to
develop a committee to review and recommend the needs of a Hebrew School
program identifying in specific the families of the BJC who will be
of Construction Budget Review Monday 0
Attendees: Edeed Ben Josef,
Ronny Ben Josef, Anton Mourtil, Eddie Nassim, , Ronnie Rabbie, Avi
Subject: Review and
verification of sq. ft areas, determination of multiple phases,
establishing preliminary budgets.
Lobby Addition: 1100 sq ft. -
estimated construction cost $200 sq ft. - Total budget $220,000.
Floor Addition: Includes front
door elevation and fire staircase, with elevator: Total
sq ft. 2353 @ $175 sq ft - Total budget $411,775.
Estimated cost of the elevator is $70,000.
Total 2nd floor expansion budget $481,775.
Total area 4000 sq ft - estimated construction cost $250 sq ft -
Total budget $1,000,000.
Improvement Budget - $250,000.
Building upgrade: $150,000 -
Fees and Building permit filing fees:
General conditions and other soft cost expense:
Estimated at 10% - $200,000
Summary: The above budget
figures were based on initial drawings prepared by Thomas Fitzsimmons
dated 10/25/2007. The team
discussed the possibilities and alternatives subject to available funds.
The decision was made to identify the use and purpose criteria most
important to the congregation. It
was suggested that a meeting be scheduled with the architect to clarify
questions pertaining to phasing design criteria critical to our zoning and
the possibilities of developing multi-purpose uses.
Children Programming Update 02/19/10
Alice Aboody sent an email to Sisterhood members on 2/19/10 as follows:
As you may know, the BJC Board
recently met to discuss the upcoming expansion plans for the Synagogue.
A few of us expressed the extreme importance of creating an adequate space
for the children while planning the expansion.
I was requested by officers of
the BJC expansion committee to ask each of you, on the
Sisterhood Board, to express specifically what you think is
important for the children to
create the space for in the building plans.
You can suggest the specific needs for children of different ages. It is
really expressing your personal vision of how you would like to see the
new space adequately provide for a certain activity in relation to the
One reason for your
specifically identifying a need, is to help the Fund Raising committee
explain to the donors for what purpose the particular space will be used
in relation to meeting the needs of the children.
Another reason is that the amount of funds for this proposed expansion
will be limited, so we need to clearly think what the priorities are in
planning the building expansion.
Please put down all the activities for the children for which you think a
particular space needs to be built.
We have to be clear that the continuity of our Synagogue very much depends
on enrolling and encouraging the children and teens to participate in
different activities at the Synagogue. This
not only re-enforces their interest and love for their rich
heritage, but also creates the SPACE for them to meet their friends and
plan their events that enriches the whole Congregation.
This is very much my personal view, and I will do my very best to
represent all of your views as best as I can.
Thank you for all your help in future activities as well.
of Expansion Forum on Thursday 02/11/2010
at the meeting (no specific ordering method used): Rabbi Nir Shalom,
Albert Nassim, Eddie Nassim, Danny Aizer, Edeed Ben Josef, Moris Zilkha,
Anis Shashou, Ronny Ben Josef, Hesky Haim, Elias Hawa, Fred Jiji, Moris
Bakhash, Shlomo Bakhash, Anton Mourtil, Ronnie Rabbie, Merav Ben Josef,
Lana Bakhash, Gila Aizer, Alice Aboody, Helen Yehuda, Verna Rabbie
updated all present with the status of the zoning approval.
Rabbie updated the expansion progress to date.
(See Meeting Agenda for 2/11/10 below)
Mourtil discussed various construction criteria.
discussion on the importance of classroom, social hall, and other design
following directors volunteered and were appointed:
Committee: Shlomo Bakhash
Committee - Ronny Ben Josef
Committee - Anton Mourtil, Eddie Nassim, Ronnie
Children Planning - Merav Ben Josef, Alice Aboody
will be a 60 day review period of proposed expansion, construction,
financing, and fundraising.
Rabbie to advise architect and attorney of 60 day postponement of site
weekly or biweekly forums to update congregation and members of progress.
suggested meeting to be held on Wednesday February 24, 2010 at 8:00 pm at
the BJC. Meeting is open to
February 11, 2010
success of our expansion plan requires careful planning, funding, and
construction. It is important to receive input from all parties within the
entire congregation. Before we
proceed with the construction development plan, we must consider all
options and define the ones best suited based on the budget and needs of
the current proposed Expansion Plan (Social Hall including new lobby; 2nd
floor expansion with two means of egress and elevator shaft and site
on developing a development budget (including cost incurred to date;
in-direct construction costs including architectural, engineering and
associate fees and charges- , contingencies;
estimate cost of each
proposed phase site development, 2nd floor development and
social hall expansion).
current architectural fee and scope (Tom reviewed his original
contract of 2007 and after discussion with his sub-engineers has raised
the fee by $7,500 which will effectively increase his fee for construction
services from the original 2007 amount of $116,500 to $124,000. Estimated
fees of $10,000-$15,000 not included in the number above for town charges,
legal fees, etc.
from Counsel: Peter
originally advised us that we will need to proceed to the Town Board for
site plan approval as quickly as possible based on decision which was
rendered on December 16, 2009. We requested that he investigate our
requirements and timeline. He checked with the
Executive Secretary to the Board of Appeals, Gene Martonik, who advised
him that the time to obtain a building permit has been increased from 90
days to one year. Therefore, we have until December 2010 to obtain
the building permit. However, we need to proceed with the application to
the Town Board for site plan approval which will require preparation of
drawings and submittal of the application with counsel, architect and
traffic engineer due to possible continuing neighbor opposition at time of
presentation to the Town Board at a public hearing.
line for permit
architect for site plan development and application (allow 2 months for
architect for construction drawing (allow 3 months)
drawing for building permit approval (allow 4 months with any objections)
process to commence on completion of drawings for permit approval.
a Building Committee to commence and develop the project
fundraising criteria including vision, organization and goals
that resources and facility improvement necessary to our existence
financially healthy BJC is better than an expanded unable to operate BJC
fundraising team including director, administration and management to
develop a strategy and implement special events, special appeals, sales
a director for financing committee to develop the loan criteria
construction Loan negotiations
annual operating funds
pledges from the
Guarantors to loan
December 16, 2009
of Zoning Appeals Decision to see the pdf of the Board of Zoning
Appeals decision granting the BJC's application on December 16,
April 10, 2005