We need your help to “Raise the Roof” on historic Temple Emanu-El!
Thanks to generous donors from all over the world, MJP was able to buy back Montana’s first synagogue, Temple Emanu-El, from the Helena Diocese in August 2022, and return it to Jewish ownership for the first time since 1935.
MJP knew when we purchased this landmark 1891 building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, that we would have to put a new roof on it this summer. Preserving and maintaining this gem of a building–a living symbol of the rich history of Jewish life in Montana–is a key part of our mission.
Our neighbors in Helena might have noticed recent activity, as our roofers brought in equipment and a crew to tackle this project. Temple Emanu-El could seat 750 people when it was an open sanctuary. It’s a big building with a big roof!
We were all surprised when our roofers discovered five layers of shingles laid over the original 1891 tin roof sheeting and timbers. Talk about living history! We’re relieved to have the opportunity to roof the building properly–preventing future water or structural damage. But this is a more expensive undertaking than we anticipated.
That’s why we’re asking you to help MJP raise $100,000 by October 15.
The roof may be on, but it’s a lift for us as a new non-profit, so we'd be grateful for your generous support to help us “raise it.” Funds raised beyond the cost of the roof will be directed to other building and operational expenses.
We’ve kept you updated for the past year about everything happening inside historic Temple Emanu-El. In the past twelve months, our building has housed Hanukkah, Passover, and Sukkot celebrations, open Torah discussions, our monthly book club, a growing library and Judaica collection, a reception for all Montana state legislators to build bridges across party lines and to share new realities about Jewish life in Montana in a time of rising antisemitism–and much more.
Now it’s time for us to shine some attention back on the iconic building itself.
This is the privilege that comes with Temple Emanu-El’s return to Jewish ownership. In preserving it as the landmark it is, we honor the past and those who built it, we take care of our permanent home in Montana’s changing landscape, and we protect and preserve the hard work of past generations for our children and the generations to come. L’dor Vador.
Thank you for all your support–past, present, and future.