Sign In Forgot Password

Burn the Mortgage


On Yom Kippur we spoke about how truly amazing our synagogue is. We have incredible services, extensive programs, and a thriving religious school. We are truly operating at a very high level.

We also mentioned an extraordinary effort to eliminate our mortgage and free our temple from its most significant financial obligation. We shared that 23 families had quietly pledged $3.28 million towards reducing our mortgage.

Today, we expand that effort and ask all our members to help eliminate the outstanding mortgage in its entirety – all $1,720,000. When we have paid it all off, we will be able to “Burn the Mortgage.”

Why Now?
We run a robust, and lean, operation funded from our Operating Account. The mortgage is paid from a separate Mortgage Account. In the summer of 2024, less than two years from now, that Mortgage Account will be depleted. Simply put, our Operating Account will not be able to sustain the mortgage payments in addition to the operating costs. Fred Forster describes this problem in 2022 as “urgent, but not dire.” We must address this now, so we don’t get into the “dire” phase in 2024.
Another reason we are broadening our appeal is economic timing. In the past, we have seen the effects of macroeconomic uncertainty on charitable giving, reinforcing the idea that now is the time.

Our Focus
Rabbi Steinberg refers to the mortgage as an “albatross” preventing us from pursuing our highest aspirations. You can find a list of those dreams attached. We believe that the need to remove that albatross is so important that we will not raise money for anything on our dream list until the mortgage is eliminated.

We have 650 families, and we continue to grow, providing a Jewish home for so many. If we all shared the obligation, it would be less than $3,000 per member family. For some, there is simply no room in their budget to give at this level. For others, there is the opportunity to make an even more significant contribution well beyond this level. We are grateful to all who participate at any level.     

We are asking each family of our congregation to consider a gift to help us burn the mortgage. Every gift will be deposited the next day to have an immediate benefit. Of course, the greatest benefit will be to the generations that follow us that we provided a beautiful campus on which to celebrate their Jewish faith for decades to come.

Informational Meetings
To understand the numbers in detailed fashion, we will be holding two informational meetings.

November 7th at 7pm at Temple.
November 14th on Zoom (it will be recorded)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 854 2512 4375

With full hearts, we ask you to perform this act of tzedakah.


Susan Taylor                        Ken Perlman
        A pair of glasses

Description automatically generated with low confidence
Co-President                       Co-President

PS: Feel free to contact any of us with questions or a request to meet (members of the Burn the Mortgage Program):
Rabbi Steinberg –
Fred Forster –
Stephen Gordon -
Hara Waldman -


Dreams for SHM
“It isn’t what we see; it’s what we don’t see yet.”
Rabbi Richard Steinberg
SHM is a leading congregation in Orange County.  If given the opportunity with more resources, SHM’s vision would catapult SHM and the rest of Orange County to a new level of Jewish experience.  Our goal is simple – not only to keep Judaism alive, but to see it thrive.  Such vision includes:
  • Create a Temple Counseling Center
  • Redouble our Outreach to:
    • Unaffiliated groups
    • Israelis
    • Jews of Color
    • Young Jews (20s & 30s)
    • Underserved areas of the OC
  • Create and Facilitate a Major Speakers Bureau entitled – “The Town Square”
  • Expand Youth Retreat Programming
    • Having students for two to four hours a week is qualitatively different than having them for 48-72 straight hours.  Jewish identities are built at “camp.”
  • Create SHM Tikkun Olam 501c3, as a foundation, run by SHM, that focuses on improving the circumstances of those less fortunate in a more directed way.
    • More grant opportunities available when not a church/synagogue directly.
  • Shabbat at the Center Program - “More than the Jews have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews.” – A program to center Reform Jews on the importance of Shabbat observance (in home experiences with the Rabbis and others).
  • Create Afterschool Programming at SHM – tutoring services, day care, outdoor activities, etc…
  • Create a Theatre Program for people of ages – performing Jewish themed plays and music
  • Refocus attention on Holocaust Remembrance
  • Lead Collaborations around the county with other synagogues and JCC and other Jewish organizations
  • And so much more…

Please enter your pledge amount below. You may use either a credit card (Remember that there is a 3% convenience fee) or an eCheck (ACH) if you have one set up already.
If you would like to pledge a certain amount to give at a later time, fill in the field in this section.
Enter your pledge amount below. Any amount entered in this field will not be charged.

If you would like to donate a certain amount to be paid in full today, fill in the field in this section.
Enter your donation amount below.  Any amount entered in this field will be charged immediately.
Fri, December 2 2022 8 Kislev 5783