Please consider sending a support letter to the Planning Commission on behalf of the Emanu-El Next project.


Support letters can be sent as an email or as an attachment document. Please send your letter to Noah Christman ([email protected]) for inclusion in the project application to the City.

If you are unable to email your letter, please mail a printed copy to Noah Christman at 857 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94133. If you have any questions, please reach out to Noah Christman at Lighthouse Public Affairs ([email protected] or 805.215.2517).


The letter below is a sample version — the most effective support letters are written from your personal point-of-view and in your own voice.

Please copy and paste the following letter into the body of your email. Alternatively, paste the letter below into your word processor (Microsoft Word, Google Docs, etc.) for printing and mailing or attaching to an email to [email protected].



49 South Van Ness Avenue, Suite 1400

San Francisco, CA  94103

Dear Planning Commissioners,

I strongly urge you to approve the efforts of Congregation Emanu-El to modernize their home at Two Lake Street so that the temple can better serve both the congregation and surrounding community for the next century and beyond.

Driven by the core Jewish belief of tikkun olam, to make the world a better place, Congregation Emanu-El has been integral to the fabric of the City of San Francisco for more than 170 years (and nearly 100 years at its current Lake Street home). The improvements they have proposed are critical to Emanu-El’s future.

The seismic and security updates that constitute the foundation of this project, coupled with interior upgrades designed to allow the congregation’s programming and operations to meet the changing needs of the community, will enable Emanu-El to continue serving San Franciscans for generations to come. The safety improvements are not just internal to the project, either: the curb bulb-out at Lake and Arguello will not only shelter the main entrance to Emanu-El but also have immediate safety impacts on the neighborhood by helping to further slow traffic and create safe passage for pedestrians. And this will all happen without diminishing the building’s architectural grandeur, which still elicits awe by neighbors and visitors alike.

I also want to applaud the congregation’s commitment to community engagement throughout the planning process, from hosting multiple meetings over the past several years with neighbors and local groups to their clear and comprehensive website. In all regards, the Emanu-El team has always received feedback with an open mind and thoughtful response. The proposed design for Emanu-El mirrors this openness by focusing on opportunities to foster engagement and accessibility both within the congregation and the surrounding community, with the new space enhancing continued collaboration with community partners.

The world has changed significantly since Emanu-El was first erected, and we sadly now live in a time when a right to safety is elusive for many San Franciscans. The congregants of Emanu-El deserve to celebrate and worship in a safe, sustaining, and secure home. The fact that the project will also have a positive impact on the wellbeing of the neighborhood is an ancillary benefit. I urge you to approve this much needed, and much deserved project.