FOR the first time in more than a decade, members of the community will be able to purchase Hakoah Club memberships early next year.
The major announcement from club president Steven Lowy comes on the back of four successful major donor functions to raise money for the $55 million project.
“I am very pleased to announce that the major donors have collectively indicated commitments of around 50 per cent of the funds needed to make this dream a reality,” Lowy exclusively told The AJN.
“We are so grateful for their support. We are halfway there in just a couple of months and that gives us the energy and impetus to keep going, and to now engage with the rest of the community.”
Now the focus shifts from fundraising to memberships.
When Lowy became president in March this year his intent was to determine by the end of the year if the project was feasible, sustainable and had the support of the community.
“We are now a long way to achieving this,” Lowy said.
“We have built a sustainable business model producing financial, cultural and social dividends to our community, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.”
In the first half of 2020, the community will be able to purchase memberships.
“The board now has sufficient confidence to press ahead next year – obtain our final DA approval, firm up construction costs and secure an experienced builder, as well as seek the necessary remaining funding.
“But it will be essential that the community embraces this transformational project by taking out memberships in 2020.”
Lowy said the bold project aims to rebuild the hub of the community for everyone.
It will include a function centre, which will be able to cater for a 300-person sit-down function, club rooms, communal and event spaces, a gymnasium, enclosed multi-use courts, a heated 25-metre lap pool, a full-sized synthetic football field and parking for nearly 300 vehicles and 100 bicycles.
“We are all well aware of the challenges facing our community and the plight of Jewish communities in the US and elsewhere.
“This is our opportunity to stand up and play our part in preserving and enhancing Jewish continuity for our community.”
The Hakoah Club was founded in 1939 by Jewish immigrants and became a focal point for the Jewish community.
In 2007 the club’s Hall Street property was sold for $19 million and three years later the 2.265-hectare site at White City was bought for $13.5 million.
For nearly a decade the board worked on a plan for the site, but it was not until the new board took over this year that the vision of a new club seemed feasible.