The Rabbi Gordon Tucker Fund for Jewish Learning,
Thought and Culture
Thought and Culture
Temple Israel Center of White Plains is delighted to announce the establishment of The Rabbi Gordon Tucker Fund for Jewish Learning, Thought and Culture. It is being created to express our deep appreciation for our beloved spiritual leader, Rabbi Gordon Tucker, upon his retirement as Senior Rabbi at the end of June 2018, after serving our sacred community for 24 years.
For a generation, Rabbi Tucker has led our congregation with vision, compassion, and intellect, helping to cement TIC’s place among the most vibrant and well-respected congregations in the Jewish world. The Fund will support initiatives to strengthen Conservative and Masorti Judaism and advance a pluralistic understanding of Jewish thought. Inspired by the leadership and passion Rabbi Tucker has brought to the Conservative movement throughout his rabbinate, it will honor and secure his legacy at TIC.
Rabbi Tucker has been, above all, a teacher. His renowned reputation for valuing Jewish learning and scholarship has influenced many people to become members of TIC and has inspired a deep and life-long love of Jewish learning across our entire community. The Fund will ensure that this devotion to learning and commitment to Jewish continuity and vibrancy—a hallmark of Rabbi Tucker’s rabbinate at TIC—will be strengthened and endure for many years to come.
There are two aspects to our vision for the Fund: Aspiration of space and substantive programming. Planned initiatives include:
• Reconfiguring our existing Library into a Bet Midrash, a “House of Study,” named in honor of Rabbi Tucker. This redesigned space will house an enhanced collection of books and the digital resources and furnishings to support individual and group study. The Bet Midrash will complement our beautiful Milstein Sanctuary, “House of Prayer,” and announce to our membership and visitors on a daily basis that TIC is a place where the desire to deepen Jewish learning is meant to happen.
• Creating new learning opportunities and hosting symposia, named in Rabbi Tucker’s honor, on topics central to Jewish thought. Among other things, we envision an ongoing program of Bet Midrash/House of Study-style learning at TIC, in which beginner to advanced participants can study important Jewish texts and discuss theology in a collaborative, informal environment.
In addition, longer-term programming initiatives for the Fund include:
• Inviting rabbis, authors, artists, musicians and other thought leaders from Israel to visit TIC, and in some cases to live in our community for a period of time, in order to strengthen our connection
to the State of Israel and create a valuable cultural exchange of ideas and meaningful experiences for congregants of all ages. Modeled after our outstanding experience with Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum, we expect this will also provide an opportunity for these Israelis to learn about American Jewry and bring some of our pluralistic culture back to Israel. We also hope to design special and innovative programs and events, including engaging speakers beyond what is currently possible under TIC’s annual operating budget.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Fund
What is the purpose of the Fund?
The mission of the Fund is to ensure that TIC will continue to be a center for deep and meaningful Jewish learning. It will enrich the Jewish lives of our congregants through cultural programs and events, and maintain TIC’s standing as a role model and leading proponent of Conservative Judaism here and in Israel.
How much of the Fund can we spend each year?
After an initial outlay for the redesign and refurbishment of the Library into a Bet Midrash, we anticipate spending approximately 4-5% of the Fund’s start of year balance each fiscal year. The TIC Board of Trustees will ultimately determine how much to spend each year.
Who will decide how the Fund is used?
We will establish a Steering Committee, which will make recommendations to the Board (or the Executive Committee acting on behalf of the Board) on initiatives dedicated to the purpose and mission of the Fund.
How will the Fund be invested?
To support the long-term growth of the Fund and protect against inflation, TIC’s Investment Committee will invest the Fund in accordance with TIC’s Investment Policy Guidelines, as approved by the Board of Trustees.
What will Rabbi Tucker’s role be in the Fund?
The Steering Committee will consult with Rabbi Tucker about initiatives for the Fund and topics for symposia. We hope that Rabbi Tucker will also participate from time to time in certain programs and events supported by the Fund, including in teaching roles. The Board will be advised about all initiatives and programs supported by the Fund.
How can I contribute to the Fund?
You can sponsor an ad in honor of Rabbi Gordon Tucker and Amy Cohn in the Virtual Tribute Journal for TIC’s Evening of Celebration and Appreciation, that will take place at TIC on Sunday, April 29, at www.wizadjournal.com/tictributejournal2018. All contributions are tax deductible as TIC is a 501 (c)(3) organization. TIC will continue to accept donations to the Fund on an ongoing basis after this event through our website. *Since this year’s event will replace our Annual Fundraising Gala, the first $250,000, net of expenses, will be directed to the 2018 operating budget. All additional monies collected will support the Fund.
How will contributions to the Fund be acknowledged?
Those who contribute to the Fund will be acknowledged by name and giving level in the program that will be distributed at TIC’s Evening of Celebration and Appreciation, and in the Virtual Tribute Journal that will be displayed. A printed version of the Journal will be available upon request. We will also feature the information on TIC’s website as ads are received, and we will continue to post them for at least six months after the event. All gifts of $10,000 or more will be recognized on a specially designed donor plaque to be displayed in the synagogue.