Emergency Congregational Meeting

Dear Hevre,

As you were informed yesterday, we have run into a problem with the Next 50 Project that we need to address immediately.

Our board of directors has called an emergency congregational meeting for this Sunday, May 29th at 10:30 am in the main sanctuary. Please make every effort to attend this meeting. We will provide more details about what has occurred and how we plan to address it. In addition, we need to vote to authorize additional financing to finish the job. Please find the motion we will vote to approve at the bottom of this email.

In case you missed yesterday’s email, we were blindsided recently when Bryson Burns, our general contractor, called to tell me that they closed their business and gave me the number of their bankruptcy attorney. They fired all their staff that day, and we have not been given access to their job records, accounting, or contracts. In conversations with their subcontractors, we discovered that a significant amount of our money that we had paid them was not paid to our subcontractors. There are three aspects of this problem that we are focusing on solving: finishing the construction, dealing with the financial problem, and pursuing legal action against Bryson Burns.

To make sure that we can finish the construction, we have hired the job supervisors that were working on our job as independent contractors. They did all the scheduling and management work for our job as previous employees of Bryson Burns. We are so close to finishing the project that, with their help, we can finish this job as Owner/Builders. In addition, when we contacted the subcontractors and told them we will pay them directly, they have offered to help by accelerating their work on our job. It looks like we may be able to complete the project on time. We are about 90% complete in our construction of the Mercaz, Beit T’fillah, and Beit Midrash, as well as the school and administrative wing. The sanctuary is a much shorter job and everything is scheduled to be finished by the end August.

The Financial Oversight Committee has been working hard to recreate the accounting and contract records of Bryson Burns and manage the finances for the construction. They are doing an excellent job managing our cash and developing plans to have sufficient funds to cover the construction. Unfortunately, we will have to cover the lost funds with additional financing.

David Hoffman and Ian Kass have contributed their time to take the initial lead on legal issues, including filing a complaint with the Contractor’s State License Board; informing the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office of this diversion of funds, and speaking with the attorneys who will be representing Bryson Burns when the company files bankruptcy. The goal is to attempt to recover as much as we can, hopefully through restitution orders. But this process will take time.

This news is disturbing, but we can rise to the challenge. We need to focus on what it takes to finish the job we started – to build the facility we need for the next 50 years. The construction is almost finished, and the work on this job is beautiful. We are confident that we will finish this job, and work through this financial problem with your help and support. We hope to see you this Sunday, May 29th at 10:30 am to answer your questions and to vote to approve additional financing for the job. Together we can finish this beautiful facility.

Best regards,


Dan Skilken
Congregation Beth David

Motion to be Voted on at the Meeting

“The members of Congregation Beth David authorize the Board of Directors to borrow up to an additional $1.6 Million to be used to cover the financial impact and losses resulting from the alleged misappropriation by the Congregation’s general contractor on the Next 50 Project; the terms and conditions of the loan(s) shall be at the discretion of the Board of Directors, and the Board of Directors is authorized to secure the financing against the Congregation’s real property.”Absentee ballots do not count toward the mandatory achievement of a quorum at the meeting.   Your vote counts toward the vote total only if the mandatory quorum of 75 is achieved.

Please make every effort to attend so that we may conduct the business at hand.
However, if you are unable to attend, you may request an absentee ballot. To request an absentee ballot, click here

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