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Herzlia-Adas Yeshurun Synagogue



by Rhonda Spivak, February 27, 2013

[Editor’s note—I have carefully tried to sort through the various details here in my report below, and in my view the Rady JCC-Herzlia deal is not a done deal until the Federation Board sees the exact financial commitment being asked of it and approves of it. The Rady’s decision to enter into a leasehold agreement with Herzlia is conditional upon the Federation providing a certain amount of funding and until the Federation board has met and approved this amount, this deal is not done. In other words, if the Federation did not approve the amount, the deal will not proceed.  It looks hopeful, but not final until all the details are agreed to. I can only hope that the Federation Board meets and approves this deal, so the renovations can begin]
The Rady JCC Board voted unanimously, with one abstention to proceed to develop a satellite daycare at the Herzlia synagogue on 620 Brock Street. The synagogue will now be set to proceed with its renovation plans, and it will add 60 daycare spaces. This will be in addition to the 113 spaces already existing at the Kaufman Child Care Centre.

Under the proposed deal, the Rady JCC is being asked to undertake the cost of the leasehold improvements, which means the cost of creating the daycare spaces within the building.

Gayle Waxman, Exec Director of the Rady JCC said that “The Rady JCC is very pleased to be working with Herzlia and Federation to address this important need in our community. This initiative clearly requires community support and knowing that the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg has expressed commitment to helping ensure the new daycare is built and viable is critical.”
Various sources have told the Winnipeg Jewish Review that the amount required from the Federation could be about 500,000, but no one has given an exact figure.
But Bob Freedman, Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg  was more cautious in his assessment regarding the Federation’s commitment, noting to reporter Rhonda Prepes that  “We are assuming that the Rady JCC will turn to the Federation to ask for assistance in raising the money necessary to undertake those leasehold improvements. I am assuming that the Federation will be supportive but, that is a board decision. There is a board meeting scheduled next week where they will review the resolution passed by the Rady JCC particularly as it pertains to what is being requesting from the Federation.”

Last week, Bob Freedman CEO of Jewish Federation told the editor of the  Winnipeg Jewish Review in a telephone conversation that  he personally supported the deal going forward, thinking that it was good for the community as a whole. However, ultimately the Federation Board will need to approve of the exact financial commitment.

Earl Hershfield, President of the Herzlia-Adas Yeshurun provided this statement: “The Herzlia-Adas Yeshurun Shul is extremely pleased with the information that the Rady Centre has moved to develop their new Daycare Centre in cooperation with the Shul. Although no formal information has been received by the Shul at the time of this statement, we expect negotiations to begin shortly. We hope that the negotiations will be short, swift, and to the point. This is a win-win situation for the members of the Shul, for the parents and children of the prospective daycare and for the Jewish community at large, as these young people will be the leaders of our community in years to come."

Representatives from Herzlia-Adas Yeshurun, including Ben Cohen, Building Project Chair, have had extensive meetings with Akman Construction and Grant Design Group to produce renovation plans for the 57 year old building. The objective was to redevelop the existing structure to be safe, comfortable, functional and multipurpose space, in the most affordable manner possible. The building project team was able to reduce the original estimate of $2.8 M to $1.9 M, which made the undertaking feasible.
The synagogue’s membership unanimously supported Herzlia’s retaining ownership of its assets, and dug deep to finance the necessary building improvements. The Herzlia – Rady relationship will be that of a landlord and tenant, and as is common in commercial leasing, the tenant will be responsible for leasehold improvements. The Rady has agreed in principle to a 15 year lease, with annual cost of living increases. The Provincial daycare office has offered $325,000 toward leasehold improvements and Federation will be asked to assist with the balance.
Herzlia-Adas Yeshurun has raised $900,000 from its membership base of 100 families, and will now approach other community funders. Pledges will be payable over up to 5 years to enable all members to participate in the restoration of the building.

“The goal is to move quickly” Waxman stated, with the hope that the daycare could be ready sometime in late 2013 for the daycare, although the synagogue will likely open in September.

Waxman also stated that the Rady JCC is currently “working with other partners such as the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue” to consider opening another satellite day-care at Shaarey Zedek Synagogue, which could potentially be located in the lower lounge area of the synagogue.

“We have about 700 children on the waiting list for the Kaufman Child Care Centre,” Waxman said. She also stated that as a general rule, about 1/3 of those on the wait list will actually need the space when offered, suggesting that the Rady should be planning for about 200 spaces into the future.

Thus, the Rady JCC could potentially run day care not only in the Shaarey Zedek synagogue but also elsewhere.

“If there is an expansion of the Asper Campus in the future, we would also want to have more day-care spaces in the Campus,” Waxman said.
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.