HELENA — The deadline for the Montana Jewish Project’s (MJP) Temple Emanu-El buyback has been extended from late June to late July.
“And I think having this opportunity to have a place where people can come, people can learn, people can be in community and then go out. I think there's just no better time, there's no other time, and there's no better place,” says MJP Co-Founder and President of the Board of the MJP, Rebecca Stanfel.
The goal of $925,000 is within sight for the MJP, and the Catholic Church has extended its deadline to July 31st. While $400,000 has already been raised, the group is looking at a plan that would allow them to buy the Temple and surrounding area with a loan, and then sell the house on the property that sits on Rodney St. Thus, leaving them with only $100,000 -$200,000 left to raise through fundraising.
Stanfel tells me that, ideally, they would like to raise up to $1.5 million in order to cover such things as ADA repairs and hiring a director of programming. They plan to make the space into a Jewish community and cultural center while renting out the first 2 floors.
Multiple businesses and religious organizations have given to the campaign, and Stanfel says that it’s humbling how supportive the community has been, especially in light of rising antisemitism.
“It's especially gratifying and humbling to have partners reach out to you at a time like this when things are more challenging and more difficult,” says Stanfel.
Stanfel says that this once-in-a-lifetime buyback possibility is important to take, considering this building and property may not be available to them again any time soon. She says it’s important to preserve the historical legacy of the building as well as create a space for community.
“We really want to reach across divides to educate, to build acceptance, to build a better sense of community,” says Stanfel.
If you would like to help in the buyback you can follow this link: https://www.montanajewishproject.com/