The 5 Towns Jewish Times

Project Makes Use Of Crowdfunding To Establish Jerusalem Synagogue

A new social project, Project 542, is making use of Crowdfunding to build a synagogue and community center for the underprivileged in the Jerusalem hills

Unlike other public fundraising efforts, this project does not seek donations in the traditional sense. Instead, it uses an innovative and unusual approach, building a memorial in the synagogue that honors the names of Jews and those who love Israel from all over the world. Funding for the memorial will build the synagogue.

The project aims to bring together the hearts, fellowship, and friendship among Jews of the diaspora and others who are devoted to Israel and its heritage throughout the world.

The process of preparing the land for construction has already begun. After receiving required building permits, the project timetable will be finalized. From that point, they expect the synagogue to be built within six months.

The memorial is an impressive artwork that takes the form of a tree, proudly located next to the holy Ark in the synagogue. The tree is made of solid wood and copper, and rises to three meters, with a span six meters wide. On the memorial tree — an impressive art exhibit in itself — there are 4,870 fruits, each engraved with the names of Jews from all over the world.

The memorial tree gives real value to all participants — a partnership in the mitzvah of founding a synagogue in Eretz Yisrael, establishing a community center for the underprivileged, and preserving the names of loved ones forever.

The project is accompanied by the blessing of the Admor Naftali Reuven Kornreich, who heads the Kassov-Vizhnitz community in Beit Shemesh, which is known for its openness and love for every Jew. He gives a personal blessing to each purchaser, in addition to signing a certificate of appreciation for each one.

The architect Israel Mozes designed the synagogue. It has three floors, with sections for the public on all levels. The building’s wings include classrooms, a huge institutional kitchen, a dining room, guest rooms, and even a banquet hall that will enable the observance of the simchat brit milah and bar mitzvah for a nominal fee to those who cannot afford it. To let supporters follow the progress, the construction process will be viewable online, 24/7, filmed by cameras placed in critical locations.

The cost of purchasing a personal brick in the memorial tree is $1,199. The project also allows registration in the memorial book, which includes all purchasers and those who took part in the construction, at the cost of $300.

Admor Kornreich reminds us, “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’ (Psalm 118:22). Where faith prevails, and love is free, great things happen. Every stone that is built on the Land of Israel, in the blessed Project 542, becomes a rosh pina.”

He adds, “This is an opportunity for all lovers of Israel to speak out in support of Israel, especially at this time, when our enemies seek to destroy. But we continue to build the land and spread the Torah.”