Temple Shalom votes to explore space-sharing with The Temple

Temple Shalom’s members voted Sunday, Aug. 18, to begin negotiations on a space-sharing arrangement with The Temple.
In a close contest, the congregation voted 94-80 in favor of negotiating, with members casting their ballots in person or by proxy.
The decision does not automatically mean Temple Shalom is moving. Details of the arrangement must first be worked out, and Temple Shalom membership must ratify by a two-thirds vote whatever agreement is struck. The Temple will only require board approval.
The Temple President Reed Weinberg applauded the result of the vote.
“We think this is not just a positive thing for Temple Shalom and The Temple, but we think this is a very positive thing for the Jewish community in general,” Weinberg said.
At a time when synagogue membership is declining, Weinberg said an agreement between the two Reform congregations would strengthen all of Jewish Louisville.
“I think now more than ever we’re realizing that a rising tide lifts all ships, so if the community in general is working together, then all the synagogues are going to benefit.”
The move, if it happens, would create a Reform Judaism “campus” on the East End. Temple Shalom would be housed in The Temple’s Klein Center off Lime Kiln Lane and would be permitted use the main sanctuary for large events, such as weddings and b’nai mitzvah.
As negotiations commence, Temple Shalom President Rich Goldwin cautioned that a move to Lime Kiln won’t happen right away.
“Everybody wants to make sure their important issues are covered,” Goldwin said. “Even if everything went perfect, I can’t imagine we’ll be over there before spring or summer. And I don’t know too many things that go perfect, even for a synagogue.”
Many Temple Shalom members still prefer to stay put. President-Elect Matt Karr is one of them, but most important is keeping the congregation together, he said.
“People have emotional ties to places; I have an emotional tie to the place,” Karr said. “The main thing to remember is that the Fifth Decade Committee’s priority number one was to try to stay in the Lowe Road building. I am honoring that and am going pursue a successful stay in the Lowe Road building.”
The Fifth Decade Committee was a panel empowered to explore all options to keep Temple Shalom a viable congregation. After about 12 months of work, the panel recommended a space-sharing option with The Temple.
Karr, who will be part of Temple Shalom’s negotiating committee, said he is simultaneously pursuing fundraising and revenue options to keep the congregation in place.
“Finding the answer is my priority,” he said. “There are a bunch of other incomes that we’re pursuing, and I’m going to pursue it until all the negotiations are over and the new contract has been brought to the congregation. Then the congregation will decide.”
One funding stream Temple Shalom has already pursued is housing the new Kentucky Torah Day School at Lowe Road.
Even if Temple Shalom does move, Goldwin said fundraising must remain a priority.
“We are still pursuing all sorts of fundraising, which will be needed whether we stay here or go there,” Goldwin said.
He said he’s looking forward to “open and frank discussions” with The Temple to reach an agreement that will suit the congregation’s needs.
“We’re going into this with a positive attitude,” Goldwin said
Weinberg expects talks to begin within the next couple of weeks.

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