Lifting the Sky: A Campaign for Touro Synagogue
Touro Synagogue is a historic New Orleans congregation committed to sacred observance, study, and the pursuit of justice within our walls and beyond.
In 1828, just 25 years after the Louisiana Purchase, the founders of what would become Touro Synagogue started one of the first Jewish congregations outside the original 13 colonies. Touro Synagogue has since become a thriving, dynamic beacon of life, hope, and justice in our community. We are a vibrant congregation with a steady growth of our membership. We occupy a beautiful historic building prominently situated and readily accessible to much of the city. With historic roots and a progressive heart, we are an ever-evolving expression of the Jewish faith, hope, possibility, meaning, and impact within our walls and beyond. Working with our community partners, we are passionate and active advocates for the most pressing issues of our time. We are guided by our core values of transformative prayer, expansive thought, fearless engagement, and love. We are a Beit Knesset, a home for gathering in community to experience the fullness of life together.
Join us as we preserve and protect this cherished space, support our congregation, strengthen our community, and secure the future of Touro Synagogue. Together we will lift the sky!
The Lifting the Sky Campaign is about impact, community, and structure.
One of New Orleans’ finest and most unique buildings, Touro sits on St. Charles Avenue as a gorgeous historical marker designed by the renowned architect Emile Weil. Completed in 1908, the structure is a true architectural gem. But it is the historic congregational family and the broader community convening within its walls that brings our iconic sanctuary and its beautifully interconnected buildings to life.
Building on our legacy, we see a future with even greater impact driven by improved accessibility, expanded educational opportunities and programming for our congregants and guests, greater use of our beautiful communal spaces for cultural and community events, expanded social impact work, and even greater community engagement. We see a structure and community that is ready to tackle the next two hundred years.
To ensure that future, revitalization of our carefully and lovingly maintained home is needed. Our frequently repaired roofs have served far beyond their expected lifespans and must be replaced. Our HVAC systems including humidity control are in critical need of modernization and replacement. An elevator in our education building, all-gender family bathrooms on our main level, and a reconfiguration of our office space will provide improved accessibility to better serve all who enter our congregational home.
As we begin this phase of renewal, we are grateful for the incredible recognition and support of the National Fund for Sacred Places, a program of Partners for Sacred Places in collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Touro was the only Jewish recipient in 2020 and one of only two synagogues ever selected for their matching grant program for capital projects. Each recipient of this distinguished award demonstrates a unique and compelling contribution to the national architecture, historical, and cultural significance of their communities and American religious institutions. Touro’s inclusion highlights our historic and ongoing standing as an extraordinary place in shaping our local community as well as the national religious story.
Your meaningful contribution, along with this grant, will allow Touro Synagogue to be renewed for our congregants and community. Please join us in supporting Touro Synagogue’s Lifting the Sky campaign in order to preserve our legacy and ensure our future.
To learn more, please contact the Touro Synagogue office at 504-895-4843, or email Ruth Kullman at [email protected].
Touro Use of Funds
- Replacing HVAC components that are 40+ years old and chillers that are 15+ years old.
- Current HVAC system is well beyond normal lifespan and far less efficient than currently available options.
- Current challenges include service access, parts availability, and operations.
Replace All Flat Roofs
(21,000 sq ft).
- Replacing flat roofs that are 30+ years old and experience leaks and ongoing patching.
- Independent roof expert assessed that the current roof will last 0 – 5 more years due to condition, age, and moisture trapping.
- Installing solar panels, tankless hot water heaters, etc.
- Will also be part of HVAC replacement considerations.
Brick / Mortar Restoration
- Restoring brick and mortar, as the last major tuckpointing occurred more than 12 years ago.
Administrative Office Renovation
- Creating room for additional staff commensurate with membership growth.
- Installing elevator to create improved accessibility to upper floors.
- Repurposing existing single gender bathroom to family bathroom.
- Creating access for disabled and families.
- Installing generator for key systems such as security.
To learn more, please contact the Touro Synagogue office at 504-895-4843, or email us at [email protected].