We’ve been busy since the 2nd meeting with the Finance Task Force on January 6! The Ambassadors met to review our status, the current draft of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between our congregations, and the process necessary to continue toward a potential merger. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) is an agreement between two or more parties outlined in a formal document. It is not legally binding but signals the willingness of the parties to move forward with a common line of action.

Click here to view the PowerPoint from our January 12th Town Hall Meeting.

The MOU has eight essential elements, including the following:

  • Combined congregations at 225 N. Country Club
  • Religious schools will be combined
  • Worship service styles decided by clergy and Ritual Committee
  • Clergy continue. Their roles/responsibilities negotiated with the new board
  • Administrative functions/financial operations merged
  • Governance merged, with equal representation of former congregations
  • New committees e.g. mission/vision, naming, governance, yahrzeit board, and Imagination Committee
  • Target date: On or before December 31, 2020. The timeline is subject to change based on the progress of the various committees and the approval of the two boards.

The detailed MOU with its introduction will be distributed to all congregants of each congregation. The two synagogues will conduct a vote of their members. Or Chadash has established a mail-in ballot voting process which will culminate with counting votes publicly on Sunday, February 9th.  Temple will have a Special Congregational Meeting on the same day, February 9th, where attendees will vote during the meeting.  Details of these processes will be forthcoming to each congregation by your leadership.

If the MOU is approved by both congregations:

  • Boards of Directors vote to authorize expenditures related to preparations for merger.
  • Apply for funding for expenses related to merger (IMPACT)
  • Hire a consultant to help with the steps in a merger
  • Create new committees to assist in development of the details in the Plan of Merger
  • Retain legal counsel to draft final documents in accordance with current Arizona Law, including Articles of Incorporation and Plan for Merger
  • Congregational vote on Plan of Merger

If the MOU is not approved by both congregations:

  • Work toward a merger will be suspended
  • Usual annual financial planning process will continue for each synagogue
  • Each Board will review their financial situation and work to mitigate losses for the current and upcoming fiscal year
  • Fundraising efforts through dues and donations will be redoubled, and expenses associated with programming, services, and administration will likely be cut
  • Boards of Directors will consider merging Religious Schools while remaining as independent congregations

Please stay connected to find out more about the next steps in our ongoing conversation.

And please feel free to share your thoughts and comments by writing to our shared email account at JewishTucson@gmail.com.