Mount Zion L’Chaim 5783 Annual Campaign: From Strength to Strength!
Mount Zion is moving from strength to strength this new year as we celebrate a transition in executive leadership.

Shai Avny, our Congregational Engagement Director, is taking over the role of Executive Director from Larry Solomon, a twelve-year veteran in that position.

Since September of 2010, Larry Solomon has worked energetically to help establish a solid financial foundation, ensure the synagogue’s safety, and renovate the building.

Larry assisted in organizing the first annual campaign in 2014—a major milestone for the synagogue—consistently adding between $120,000 and $135,000 to the annual operating budget. In 2016, Larry launched the first legacy campaign and Mount Zion’s Legacy Circle with the guidance of the Grinspoon Foundation and the Federations of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

2017 was a particularly eventful year of Larry’s tenure that saw him forming both the Yarok (Green) Committee and the Safety Committee. The Yarok Committee focused on reducing waste and improving energy efficiency at Mount Zion and received a waste-management grant from Ramsey County in 2019. The Safety Committee expanded its focus under Larry’s tenure to address the safety of all Mount Zion members and guests, including developing the Shomrim program and receiving a $75,000 Homeland Security grant for security updates.

Larry oversaw renovations of important spaces inside the temple, including the Bloom Library, Lipschultz Lounge, and Melamed Boardroom. Reflecting on the past twelve years, Larry is most proud of these building and operations improvements, and of “assisting in maintaining Mount Zion as a vibrant and close-knit community space.”

Shai Avny joined Mount Zion as Congregational Engagement Director in 2018 and quickly set to work. “They were great with me,” he remembers. “The leadership team, the admin staff, everybody—so patient. I really appreciated their help and the opportunity they gave me.”

Shai focused on engaging families, young adults, and our caring community. The MZ Small Groups platform and task force proved especially effective and led to clubs dedicated to diverse interests, including music, meditation, and bicycling. Shai pivoted to a digital environment when COVID-19 broke out in 2020, adapting his outreach methods to reflect members’ changing needs.

The annual campaign is particularly crucial this year, Shai says, because donations will be used to upgrade the temple’s heating, lighting, and sound systems, to sustain community engagement, and to make other improvements. One thing we can’t improve on: the commitment to Mount Zion these two have demonstrated over the years.

Yasher Koach, Larry and Shai!

A way to show you care.

Contributing is an active response to gratitude. It is a tangible way to affirm your connection to Mount Zion’s congregation, clergy, fellow members, and staff.

Everyone Can Participate.

Our goal is broad participation. Any gift at literally any level will make a difference.

Annual Campaign – our free will offering

Take from among you gifts to Adonai, everyone whose heart so moves him/her shall bring them.
—Exodus 35: 4-5

All gifts to the Annual Campaign go toward Mount Zion’s essential needs in our annual budget including initiatives in Jewish education, cultivating life-long connections, innovative worship services, festivals and community celebrations, the pursuit of social justice, and meeting strategic plan objectives.

Support our sacred work.
Dues – our annual commitment

When you take a census of the Israelite people according to their enrollment…everyone who is entered in the records shall pay…a half-shekel as an offering to Adonai. —Exodus 30:11-15
Our dues are akin to the half-shekel that every Israelite gave in ancient days. In accordance with our congregation’s values, Mount Zion uses the Fair Share model where all member households give according to their ability. Dues and fees cover only a portion of the operating budget. Dues alone cover approximately 50% of our budget.

Endowment – our foundation for the future

Endowment functions financially much like the building’s concrete foundation: it is largely hidden, yet provides the unshakeable base upon which everything that takes place in the building depends. Mount Zion’s endowment funds and legacy gifts provide permanent resources so that succeeding generations can engage in diverse activities while allowing the Temple to address emergent opportunities and unforeseeable contingencies.

Thank you for your generosity.

Annual Campaign Online Pamphlet

Your Giving Supports the People and Programs that Make Our Community Vibrant

All gifts to the Annual Campaign go toward the Mount Zion operating budget, including initiatives in Jewish education, cultivating life-long connections, innovative worship services, festivals and community celebrations, the pursuit of social justice, and meeting strategic plan objectives.

No. Dues and fees cover only a portion of the operating expenses at Mount Zion.We are also fortunate to have a healthy endowment that covers many expenses. But it is due in large part to the Annual Campaign that we are able to balance the budget.This addition has brought our congregational giving on par with other congregations around the country.

Yes! Just call the Temple office at 651-698-3881. For more details about estate plan, read about our Life and Legacy program.

We’d be happy to discuss it with you. Please contact Larry Solomon, Executive Director, 651-698-3881.