He said the fact that his temple was chosen to be the interim home for the proposed new synagogue has probably made the unification decision easier for members. On April 4, the congregation voted, 54 to 1, in favor of moving forward with the process.
“It’s an emotional vote for each congregation. It’s a huge change,” said Merlin. “It cuts both ways. It’s sad for each individual entity that it won’t exist anymore, yet at the same time we have to move forward and look to the future. The Jewish community in the south area is still going to survive, number one, and hopefully this new entity will grow, expand, and hopefully thrive with our combined efforts.”