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  • Are you a non-profit? Is my donation tax deductible? Can I make a donation to the 501(c)(3)?
    Yes, your donations are tax deductible. We are a registered 501(c)(3) organization with the IRS. All donations are tax-deductible. Please reach out to discuss any of these details with us further.
  • What are the terms of the purchase?
    The property we will buy includes the historic synagogue at 515 N. Ewing, the yard to the south, the six parking spots behind the building, and a house at 512 N Rodney St. The bishop agreed to sell these properties for $925,000, which is well below market value. The Montana Jewish Project must have 70 percent of the purchase price raised by February 28, 2022 and the entirety of the money raised by June 30, 2022.
  • Why now?
    The Roman Catholic Bishop is moving out of Helena’s historic synagogue. He is committed to selling it to the Montana Jewish Project so that the building can serve as a statewide center for Jewish life. Helena is one of very few state capitals without a synagogue or Jewish center . We’ve seen the recent rise in anti-Semitism nationally. In our home state, we have watched in horror as white nationalist groups have launched a campaign of hatred against Jewish families in Whitefish and elsewhere. By reclaiming the historic synagogue, the Montana Jewish Project takes a stand against fear and hatred.
  • What is significant about this building?
    This historic building was Temple Emanu-El, the first synagogue built between Portland and Minneapolis. It is an architecturally-significant structure, listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The building is a living symbol of the role Jews played in the development of Montana. Too often, the significant history of Jews in the intermountain West is overlooked. We are excited to highlight the history of Jews throughout Montana in a future historical exhibition. Temple Emanuel was built as “a gift to ornament the city we love.” Just like the pioneering Jews in 1891, the Montana Jewish Project is an open and inclusive community, dedicated to supporting Montana’s existing Jewish institutions and working with everyone who shares our value of tikkun olam (repairing the world) to serve the larger community.
  • How do you envision using the space?
    The space will be used as a Jewish cultural center. The inclusive center will serve Jews and non-Jews alike. Read more. It will serve as a hub for Jewish life for all of Montana and will welcome Jewish and interfaith families interested in celebrating Jewish culture and traditions and provide education and outreach to non-Jews interested in learning about Judaism. We also foresee making space available to other organizations that share the core Jewish value of tikkun olam (repair of the world.)
  • How will you operate and maintain the building?
    The building has been well maintained. When you walk into what was once Temple Emanu-El, you are not walking into the 1891 structure. However, the architects who converted the building into office space were unusually sensitive for the time. The original stained glass remains. The stone was not damaged in subdividing the floors. Even the original staircase still exists. The bishop’s office just put in a new boiler. We intend to raise enough money to cover both the purchase price, a new roof, and other repairs. The building as it now exists can meet the community’s needs. There is space for community events, classrooms, and offices. We have created a business plan to assure long-term stability. This includes renting part of the space to other Montana organizations unless we substantially exceed our fundraising targets. Read more. The building has immense future potential . As Judaism grows across Montana, the Montana Jewish Project will growth with it to meet the needs of these communities.
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