Brisbane Progressive Jewish SYNAGOGUE – from dream to reality

 The story so far …

In February 2009, on the second anniversary of the founding of Brisbane Progressive Jewish Congregation, we launched our Building Fund. Our aim then, as now, was to reach a pledged goal to enable us to search and find suitable premises in which to hold our Shabbat and Festivals services, our educational and social functions, and to operate fully as a Congregation.  We dreamed of a place with opportunity for further development, so that it could become Brisbane’s Progressive Jewish home – with cultural, recreational and study facilities, hosting like-minded Jewish organisations looking for a base from which to work .

To date we have received many generous donations and other tangible offers of support … but our work has really only just begun. To complete Stage One of our dream – the acquisition of a place of worship, a place of our own – we need to focus our efforts on fundraising. We have a  BPJC Building Fund By-Law that has at its core the protection of contributions received, together with an undertaking to ensure that all donations received into it are used exclusively for building, fixtures and fittings. Our By-Law also requires a ten-yearly review of progress with fundraising. Any contributor is welcome to request an update on the status of the Fund from our Treasurer.

A road map to our new home …

In 2011, the Board agreed to renew our efforts in order to reach a significant milestone within the Fund’s first decade – the collection of sufficient funds to act as a deposit on a property.

Accordingly, in June 2011 our President wrote to all members and supporters outlining our approach to planning for this milestone, and seeking their support and commitment. The Board agreed to the following three-channel approach to raising sufficient funds:

  • Members and supporters giving
  • Jewish community giving
  • Wider community giving

Jewish giving – tzedakah …

Tzedakah is more than charity. Tzedakah is based on the Hebrew word (צדק, tzedek) meaning righteousness, fairness or justice. It refers to the religious obligation to perform philanthropic acts, which Judaism emphasises are important parts of living a spiritual life. According to Maimonides – RaMBaM (Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon), a 12th century Jewish scholar and physician – the highest form of tzedakah is to give a gift, loan, or partnership that will result in the recipient supporting themselves, instead of living upon others. BPJC’s Board looks to members and supporters to help us move forward with tzedakah to enable the congregation to become self-sufficient.

Our call to tzedakah from within the BPJC community rests on three strategies – donations, pledges and bequests.

Donations – we will actively solicit donations to our Building Fund at all reasonable opportunities, including at membership application and renewal and also at our functions. Furthermore we will undertake specific fundraising activities from time to time through activities such as raffles and auctions.

Pledges – we will seek financial support from members and supporters through (non-binding) expressions of financial commitment – easily manageable by way of regular payments into the Congregation’s account. A standard regular contribution can be made by arrangement with the Treasurer. You can also download and send us a pledge form.

Bequests – Leaving a gift in your Will is the biggest way you can help support the growth and ongoing maintenance of Progressive Judaism in Queensland. The process is easy, and will make a world of difference to our vision for “A vibrant and enduring focus for Progressive Jewish life and thought in Brisbane”.  Advice on, and suggested wording for leaving a bequest is in the Form of bequest.

Our call to tzedakah will also rest on seeking philanthropic support from individuals in the Queensland Jewish community who are not (yet) members, as well as seeking assistance from the regional and world resources of Progressive Judaism.

Wider community giving …

Grants and other public funds are available to support aspects of community building, as well as the physical assets needed for a permanent home. An initial approach has already been made to expertise within the Brisbane Jewish community, and grant and funding options will be explored – and applications made – to secure financial and other support for our Centre.

What you’ll see next …

Fundraising for our Progressive Jewish community home will take a higher profile. We will be working hard on our three channel approach. This means that our fundraising activities may be more visible.

How you can help …

In order to secure a permanent home for Progressive Judaism in Brisbane, financial support is most welcome, today, tomorrow and into the future. We plan to be as inventive as possible in securing precious funds in the search for a synagogue.

We are grateful for the generous donations we have received to date. All contributions, whether financial or otherwise, are most welcome. You can donate using the Paypal button at the bottom of this page.

Recognition of Contributors

Contributors will be publicly recognised, unless anonymity is requested. Fund contributors are recognised in the following categories:

  • Platinum – A donor of more than $50 000 in total contributions
  • Gold – A donor of between $25 000 and $50 000 in total contributions
  • Silver – A donor of between $10 000 and $25 000 in total contributions
  • Bronze – A donor of between $1 000 and $10 000 in total contributions