Chabad of Boulder turns to crowdfunding to raise money for new community center
By Amy Bounds
Staff Writer (Boulder Daily Camera)
Chany Scheiner was anxiously glued to a screen on Sunday, watching as donations came in for a 24-hour, online fundraising campaign for a new Jewish community center.
“It’s a crazy idea,” she said. “It’s actually pretty scary, but very exhilarating and humbling.”
By 9 p.m. Sunday night, the campaign was 93 percent to its goal of $92,500, with about $86,500 raised. The campaign ends at noon today — and if the goal isn’t reached, the money will be refunded.
Scheiner founded Chabad of Boulder together with her husband, Rabbi Pesach Scheiner, 23 years ago. Since then, the Boulder County Center for Judaism has served the community from a small space in a residential neighborhood.
The September 2013 floods damaged the center and, as they made repairs, they began to talk about building a new, larger space, Chany Scheiner said.
“It sparked us to work harder and better,” she said. “We wanted to have something positive come out of the flood.”
They raised enough money, about $400,000, to pay for permits and to start construction, with the framing under way. The new center will be located at 2810 Jay Road in Boulder, a property that was purchased about 10 years ago.
“It’s been a long journey,” Scheiner said.
Now, with the promise of a match by each of three donors, they’re trying to raise $92,500 in just 24 hours. Each dollar given is multiplied by four, so $25 becomes $100, $125 becomes $500 and so on.
The matching donations are from the M.B. Shana Glassman Foundation, Bob and Dodi Klutznick, and R’ Moshe and Dini Scheiner.
The total cost of the new center, including furnishing, is estimated at $1.5 million. The plans call for about 2,000 square feet of indoor space, as well as another 1,000 square feet of courtyard space, in phase one. Another 2,000 square feet of indoor space is planned for phase two
The center will include a large room designated for children’s programs and displays, along with a second large room for prayers, lectures and holiday parties. Plans also include a commercial kosher kitchen and small kosher store.
“The amount of donors involved has been really amazing,” Scheiner said. “If we meet this challenge, it really will help us get over the hump. It will give us the momentum we need.”