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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have a question that does not appear here, please let us know. We want to hear from you. For more information, contact sacredspace@rodefsholom.org.

Sacred Space General FAQs

Q: Who is the architect for the project?
A: 
Herman Coliver Locus Architecture

Q: Why didn't the congregation just remodel? 
A: We originally planned a renovation and addition but found, due to the age of the building, that it would cost nearly as much to renovate as it would to rebuild from the ground up.

Q: How do you know the congregation needs more space? 
A: The building was built in 1960 when we were just 380 families. We have grown over 60 years to over 1100 families and, based on our Visioning Process in 2016, determined that there was a need for not just additional space, but more flexible and improved spaces for our congregation.

Q: How big will the new building be? 
A: The new synagogue will be roughly 50% larger than the current building and occupy two stories.

Q: Why do we need a two-story building? 
A: The second story is needed as expanded space on the ground level would negatively impact the parking lot and courtyard.

Q: Is the sanctuary going to be bigger than before? 
A: The sanctuary will hold approximately the same number of seats as now, and can be expanded for additional seating.

Q: What's going to happen with the stained glass from the old sanctuary?
A:  The old stained glass design is actually colored glass attached to clear glass and has cracked over time. It would be unsafe to re-use it in the new building. The new building will have skylights with a similar stained glass effect as a nod to our beloved original sanctuary.

Q: Are you adding religious school classrooms? 
A: No, we will continue to use the Brandeis Wing, but we've added new multi-purpose rooms and a new youth lounge.

Q: Will there be a social hall? 
A: Yes, the social hall is intended to be a destination place for all of our community‚Äôs simchas.  It will open to the courtyard for increased functionality.

Q: How will people with hearing, visual, and mobility impairments be welcomed and accommodated? 
A: Ensuring the comfort and accessibility of the new spaces was a high priority for the building committee. In addition to complying with the ADA and California Building Code-Title 24, we have worked to design welcoming spaces and systems for all.

Q: What security measures are being taken? 
A: We are working with two security consultants to incorporate appropriate security measures for a public building, including both physical barriers and enhanced surveillance and communication technologies.

Q: Will the bigger space mean more traffic in the neighborhood and require more parking? 
A: We do not anticipate more traffic or parking as the additional spaces will not all be used at the same time.

Q: How will we be harnessing technology to ensure the best possible audio-visual experience for in-person and hybrid programs and services? 
A: The audio-visual experience will benefit from all that we have learned during the pandemic. We are working with a pre-eminent audio-visual/acoustic firm to ensure we translate our best virtual experiences into ongoing practices.

Q: What green building strategies have been incorporated into the new building and courtyard?
A:  We have elected to voluntarily pursue the highest tier of green building code-compliance in Marin County. Many factors will contribute to a high-performing sustainable building and landscape: an energy-efficient building envelope, natural daylighting and solar shading, solar panels, high performance lighting, heating and cooling systems, low-flow plumbing fixtures, air filtration systems, natural and non-off-gassing interior and exterior materials, drought-tolerant planting, a "smart" irrigation system and exterior pervious paving, bioswales for storm water treatment, and more.

Q: Will the new building have air-conditioning? 
A: Yes, a state of the art HVAC system will be installed.

Q: Will the HVAC system filter the air to help reduce permeating smoke during wildfire season, as well as the propogation of viruses indoors? 
A: The HVAC system will be fitted with an air filtering system to help reduce wildfire particulate matter and virus transmission from indoor air.

Construction & Logistics

Q: Who is the General Contractor?  
A: Cahill Contractors, a 130-year-old San Francisco General Contractor.

Q: How long will construction take?
A: Groundbreaking took place in June 2022, and construction will take approximately 17 months.

Q: What are the hours of construction? 
A: 7:30 am-4pm, Monday through Friday.

Q: Will construction take place on weekends? 
A: Typically not, but on occasion it may be necessary.

Q: How will you handle noise, dust, and air quality during construction? 
A:  There is a comprehensive Construction Management Plan that complies with County requirements. The Contractor has also developed a safety plan that address any potential safety issues.

Q: Will the material from the old building be recycled? 
A:  Non-hazardous, recyclable materials in the existing building are being recycled.

Q: Will services be held during construction? 
A: Services are held primarily in the Osher Marin JCC.

Q: Where will B'nai Mitzvahs be held during construction? 
A: B'nai Mitzvahs are held primarily in the Osher Marin JCC.

Q: Where will religious school be held during construction? 
A: Religious school is held in Brandeis Marin. Midrasha is held in the Osher Marin JCC.

Q: Where will Mitzvah Kitchen cooking occur? 
A: Mitzvah Kitchen cooking is taking place in the Osher Marin JCC Kitchen.

Q: Where will clergy and staff be located during construction? 
A:  Clergy and staff offices are located on the second floor of the Osher Marin JCC, just outside the elevator. Feel free to stop by and say hello.

Q: How much parking will be lost during construction? 
A: 28 parking spaces will be temporarily unavailable during construction.

Q: Where will High Holy Day services be held during construction? 
A:  High Holy Day services of 2022 are being held in the Exhibition Hall of the Marin Civic Center with second day of Rosh Hashanah in the Osher Marin JCC.

Q: Will Congregation Rodef Sholom's phone number and mailing address change during construction? 
A:  Our phone number is staying the same. Please use 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael, CA 94903 for mailing.

Budget FAQs

Q: How much has been raised towards the project?
A:  Approximately $30 million has been raised to date.

Q:  Why are you still fundraising after the groundbreaking?
A:  We have $6 million left to raise to cover the cost of the project. We're almost at the finish line and want all congregants to have an opportunity to invest in this historic moment for our community.

Q: Will our membership dues be increased as a result of this project?
A: Dues will not be increased to finance the building project.

Q: Will operating costs increase for the new building? 
A: We anticipate increased operational costs, and are working internally to forecast and minimize these costs for the future through sustainability efforts, such as solar power.

Sun, December 10 2023 27 Kislev 5784