About 35 years ago, Rabbi Phillip Sigal proposed a library endowment fund. While his specific proposal didn’t garner as many gifts as he envisioned, a single $10,000 gift, along with additional small donations over the years, has grown manyfold. The original gift came with a provision for modifying the use of the money as needs changed. Over time, it became apparent that the money was growing faster than it could be spent. Because of this, we have gone back to the Wapner family with requests to broaden the use of the money.
In March, the Board approved the latest change to the structure of the fund. First, we formally changed the name of the fund to the Jacob and Fannie Wapner Library, Information, and Technology Endowment fund. We can now use the fund for any and all synagogue related technology needs, such as equipment, internet connectivity and communication, and for the purchase of resources of any kind or any topic appropriate to a synagogue library.
In addition, at the family’s suggestion, the board transferred $25,000 of the Wapner fund to the parking lot reconstruction fund. Normally, funds given to the synagogue for a limited purpose may not legally be used for any other purpose. In this case, the initial gift gave the synagogue permission, as long as we had the family’s consent, to use the money for a different purpose.
The board also decided to close the separate Library Fund and move the money into the Wapner Library IT Endowment fund. After the transfer of the $25,000 to the parking lot reconstruction project, the fund will contain approximately $46,700, and continue to be invested with the Jewish community endowment. It should generate approximately $2,300 in income each year, more than enough to buy as many books as we want, and with careful planning, keep the synagogue’s hardware, software, and internet up to date.