Beit Simcha (meaning “House of Joy”) Messianic Fellowship was founded in 1992 and incorporated in 1996.
Our vision statement is: “We are a community, welcoming Jews and Gentiles, rejoicing, worshiping the God of Israel, learning and loving one another.” Our vision is the core motivation for our building project, creating both a Synagogue and a Community House that welcomes Jews and Gentiles to rejoice and worship the God of Israel with us. We want to remove barriers between people and to extend a bridge between people and God.
Let me start on a personal note. I (Messianic Rabbi Glenn David Blank) met my wife Pamela in a community house called “The Mansion” while I was completing a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the early 1980’s. The Mansion required both spiritual commitments—common agreement about biblical values and standards, an annual camping trip and daily prayer before dinner (if you didn’t pray first, you didn’t eat!)—as well as practical responsibilities—maintaining the building and preparing evening meals and cleanup. We all understood and accepted these commitments up front and could be held accountable to them. We all experienced tremendous spiritual growth, as “iron sharpened iron” and we became open and vulnerable to one other in sharing our lives, fellowship, prayer and service. It’s small wonder that we made lifelong friends and even a few marriages.
Over the years, I have also visited or contacted other covenant communities in Michigan (Word of God), Minnesota (People of Praise), Pennsylvania (House of God’s Light), Ontario (Return Ministries), a Benedictine monastery in Western Pennsylvania, as well as kibbutz and moshav communities in Israel (including a Messianic Jewish moshav Yad HaShmona near Jerusalem). While these communities represent a range of expressions and commitments, they all involve some members living in proximity and sharing common space, time and responsibilities, and they all seek to make a difference in their wider communities. They also give a glimpse of the idealism that transforms individuals into something greater, as we see in Acts 2:46, “Day by day they continued with one mind, spending time at the Temple and breaking bread from house to house. They were sharing meals with gladness and sincerity of heart.”
Beit Simcha to some extent already fulfills our vision for community by welcoming the public to our Shabbat morning and festival services as well as occasional coffeehouses, in the space we rented from Wellspring Community Church (since 2004), and prior to that in Boulevard E.C. Church (now Christ E.C.) in Allentown (1997-2004) and First Baptist Church in Bethlehem (1993-1997). We also encourage members to participate in havurah (fellowship) meetings, strategic prayer centers and Bible studies, all held in homes of members.
Constructing our own Synagogue will enable us to create a space where other Jews can join us comfortably, and expand what the services and fellowship times that we offer on Shabbat mornings, from Erev Shabbat (Friday evening) through oneg luncheons and afternoon classes and on to the end of Shabbat (Saturday evening), as well as other activities of general community interest such as Scouts for children, youth activities, a food pantry for the poor, and more frequent coffeehouses for adults, featuring a wide range of music to attract the wider community to visit our space, get to know us, check out our Judaica shop, and appreciate how Yeshua (Jesus) makes such a big difference in our lives.
Constructing the Community House will enable us to be more intentional about our vision for a community, welcoming others to experience Erev Shabbat dinners, havurah, prayer and Bible study meetings, and Shacharit (morning) prayer services, all to be held in a common room attached to the Community House and open to the public. Residents of the Community House will be required to be members of Beit Simcha in good standing and will further covenant to participate regularly in House activities and welcome others, as well as help maintain the House and surrounding premises.
I am happy to announce that the Lower Macungie Township Planning Commission and Zoning Board both voted unanimously to recommend our variance requests! Truly our G-d is the “master of breakthroughs” (2 Samuel 5:17-20)!
Thanks be to God the many gifted people He has already brought together for this project.
Exodus 35:5, “Take from among you a contribution to the LORD; whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as the LORD’S contribution:”
Exodus 36:6, “The skilled men said to Moses, “The people are bringing much more than enough for the work of this construction that ADONAI has commanded to be done!”
Beit Simcha (“Borrower”) is raising investment funds through the sale of Notes in which 100% of the proceeds will be used to finance the construction of its new synagogue facility. In advance of closing on any loan funds, the Borrower will assign all Notes, in addition to the proceeds from the sale of the Notes, into the newly-formed limited liability company, Beit Simcha Synagogue, LLC (“LLC”), in which the Borrower is the sole member. Thus, the loan to Beit Simcha will be from the LLC evidenced by a Loan Agreement, Promissory Note, and Mortgage on the property which is located at 1111 Grange Road, Wescosville, PA 18106 (the “Property”).
It is important to review the Borrower’s plan for repayment (“Repayment Strategy”), located under the “Borrower Information” tab, which outlines the plan for reducing principal during the term of the Loan as well as how the Borrower plans to address the balance of the Loan when it matures. Note, due to the structure of the Loan and to stay current on the obligation, Borrower is only required to satisfy installment payments on the loan, and is not obligated to make additional principal repayments on the Loan until the loan comes due.
The Notes to be issued by Beit Simcha to its supporters will have a maximum interest rate return of 3.5% for a period of 5 years. Each investor will have the ability to further reduce the rate for their specific Note which results in greater positive impact for the Borrower.
IMPORTANT: All potential investors need to click on the blue button above titled "Offering Memorandum" to read all about the details as well as related risks of the note investment opportunity in Beit Simcha Messianic Fellowship.
Each potential investor is required to read all information provided within the listing including the supplemental documentation. This includes review of the past, current, and forward-looking financial information provided. The supplemental information helps provide context as to the Borrower's credit worthiness and can be found under the “Resources” section.
When purchasing a Note in this offering, the investor will be relying on the Borrower to make the installments payments due on the Loan and payment of principal on the maturity date of the Loan. Please refer to the Offering Memorandum by clicking on the blue button above for further information on the Note investment opportunity as well as related investment risks.
NOTE: With any church, because of the importance of its core leadership, there is an added risk that something could happen with core leadership that would negatively impact the financial health of the organization. Attached under "Resources" is a document titled Succession Plan which describes the role of our oversight network in calling a new spiritual leader for a member congregation. Tikkun America has successfully aided in the succession of a new leader in several congregations in recent years, both in identifying new leaders and providing some financial support for the transition.
FURTHER NOTE: Beit Simcha has elected to utilize the services of one of its members to take lead as Construction Manager on the project instead of hiring a third-party general contractor for this position. The individual selected does not manage construction projects as a profession. To better understand the experiences and professional background for the Construction Manager, please see Construction Manager Resume under "Resources".
Borrower has set a total loan need of $1,700,000 to complete construction of the building on the Property. In addition to loan funds, the congregation has $230,000 in available funds designated for the construction with more potentially coming. The loan amount may be reduced in the event that designated gifts are realized towards the construction. To understand use of funds for the full $1,950,000, for the construction, attached under "Resources" is a more detailed list titled Construction Budget which outlines the different uses.
In the event the full $1,700,000 is not addressed by the LLC, a bank may be identified to provide a loan to make up the difference. Thus, unless the total loan amount comes from the LLC, the Mortgage securing the loan from the LLC may be in a subordinate second position to the bank loan. If the LLC loan is required to be subordinate to the bank loan, there are inherent risks that need to be understood. NOTE: If Beit Simcha is unable to support its outstanding obligations, any resources that are available, including proceeds from the sale of the Property, would first be directed toward paying off loans in a preferential position.
No formal "As-Completed" appraisal has been completed to establish a value of the Property at this time. The Property was purchased for $90,000 under a purchase contract which will require Beit Simcha to make $500 per month payments for 15 years starting 18 months following commencement of construction (“Seller Loan”). The Seller Loan has an interest rate of zero percent (0%). To date, Beit Simcha has put $300,000 into the Property (please see the report titled New Building Expenses under the “Resources” section.
Until an appraisal is provided to communicate otherwise, it should be assumed that the $1,700,000 in financing to complete construction will be secured by a Property whose “As-Completed” value may be less than the total debt would result in a Loan-to-Value of over 100%. NOTE: While it should be assumed that the improvements made on the Property would increase the value, potential investors should make a decision based on the fact that, if the Property had to be sold to satisfy obligations, investors would realize a loss on their investment.
FURTHER NOTE: The Loan to the Borrower is to address construction costs. While the budget allocates contingency reserves of $100,000 and the congregation has additional cash reserves, due to the potential of cost overruns related to any construction project, there are no assurances that the building will be completed and a certificate of occupancy received. Being unable to complete the construction would have a significant negative impact on Property's value and the financial health of the Borrower.
Regardless of whether a bank has provided financing to Beit Simcha or not, it should be assumed that a 3rd party will be involved to handle inspections and manage releases of funds from the Loan during the construction project in an effort to mitigate this risk.
Property Address: 1111 Grange Road, Wescosville, PA 18106
Property Status: Owned - Construction
Property Value: TBD
“THE RETURN OF FUNDS OF THE PURCHASER IS DEPENDENT UPON THE FINANCIAL CONDITION OF THE ORGANIZATION.”
“ANY PROSPECTIVE PURCHASER IS ENTITLED TO REVIEW FINANCIAL STATEMENTS OF THE ISSUER WHICH SHALL BE FURNISHED UPON REQUEST.”
The incomes from the Synagogue and Community House are expected to adequately cover all debt and installment payments. Beit Simcha has budgeted to first cover interest and then principle as aggressively as possible. To review the budget, please see the document titled Financial Projections under the “Resources” section for details.
As the loan matures at the end of 5 years, any remaining principal will be refinanced either through a similar investor solution or commercial bank financing.
Are there any outstanding or pending litigations against the Borrower? No
Are there any material changes in revenue sources that should be disclosed or are not represented in the financial information provided? No
Are there any material changes in operating expenses that should be disclosed or are not represented in the financial information provided? No
Are there any material changes in the Borrower’s leadership (compensated or non-compensated) that should be disclosed? No
Are there any employment issues or claims outstanding or pending? No
Are there any environmental issues on any of the real estate related to the Borrower loan? No
Has the Borrower been in default in any obligations in the past 3 years? No
Has any of the key leadership of the Borrower (compensated or non-compensated) been involved in any pending or current litigations or judgments that could adversely impact their ability to serve the Borrower? No
Has any of the key leadership of the Borrower (compensated or non-compensated) ever been indicted or convicted of a felony? No
QUESTION: What is the next step?
ANSWER: At the point that you are ready to participate, select "Get Started" and follow the simple steps. It takes about 2 minutes to enter the basic information, including your email address, amount you want to invest, and the rate of return you would like to receive. Choosing to take this first step is not a binding commitment.
QUESTION: What if I want to get my money out before the end of the investment term?
ANSWER: If you plan to access the funds prior to the maturity of the investment, it is encouraged that you not invest since there are currently no well-defined secondary markets for the investment. In the case of hardship, best efforts will be made to see if someone else would like to take your position, although there are no guarantees.
QUESTION: Can I make an investment using retirement funds?
ANSWER: Yes, but you are not typically able to direct funds from your current employer 401(k) or 403(b). If the instructions online are not clear or if you have questions, please contact Semble.
QUESTION: Are there costs in using a retirement account (i.e. IRA) to invest?
ANSWER: Yes, all custodians will charge a fee for holding this type of investment because they are not compensated through the normal fees they realize in holding traditional investments (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc.). The fee varies based on the custodian. The IRA custodian that is the preferred provider through Semble has a $25 setup fee and a flat annual cost of $65/yr. This cost should be taken into consideration when making an investment. There are no costs to invest using non tax-deferred funds since there is no need for custodial involvement.
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