Temple Beth David, San Luis Obispo County’s largest synagogue, is facing foreclosure if its members can’t come up with $2.3 million by May 5.
The building, completed in 2006, contains a 337-seat worship space as well as classrooms, a library, and gift shop. It’s a state-of-the-art building that has won numerous awards for being on the cutting edge of environmental design and construction. But these luxuries came at a price, and when the economy collapsed, the congregation couldn’t afford the mortgage payments.
“It’s been a lesson in humility,” said Gregg Loberstein, co-president of the synagogue’s board of directors. “In our zealousness to build, we went too far.”
Loberstein said the synagogue has received more than $1 million in donations and contributions to help save the building. The synagogue’s plight has inspired a great deal of interest, he said.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has offered to help if the synagogue would allow anti-meat posters in its classrooms. As of press time, the two sides hadn’t discussed the offer.