July 15, 2016
Dear TBI Member,
We are excited to welcome you back to Temple Beth Israel for the coming year.
Temple Beth Israel is a caring community where each person truly makes a difference, from being the 10th at a minyan, to participating in our varied social, educational, religious, cultural, and family programs.
During the past year, the Board of Directors has considered several models for synagogue membership fees. Until now, the Board of Directors has set a standard membership rate for everyone, and required those who were unable to meet that level to apply for a lower rate in order to be considered part of our community. This year, we are moving to a sustaining membership model that allows all members to give at the level at which they are comfortable while allowing the congregation to meet its budgeted expenses.
We take a simple approach to calculating the target sustaining contribution. We begin with the synagogue’s total annual operating budget, and subtract all income from sources other than membership and High Holy Day pledges. That leaves the amount we need our members to contribute. We divide this by the expected number of members to reach the target sustaining contribution for each TBI member.
The sustaining membership contribution combines a membership contribution and a High Holy Day pledge.
While we recognize that most members will be able to meet this fee level, we also know that no one formula is right for every person or family. Therefore, we invite those who can give more to do so; those whose situation requires them to give less should contribute as much as they are able at this time. If you would like guidance regarding a reduced membership contribution, please contact Rabbi David Finkelstein in confidence at 781-894-5146 during his office hours.
We trust that you will select an amount that reflects both your means and the value you receive from membership at Temple Beth Israel. Please be thoughtful about your financial ability to contribute and, if you are able, consider pledging at a higher level so our Temple can remain open to those who could not otherwise afford to be part of our community. On the enclosed membership form, please indicate the amount you are contributing in the space provided. The amount you give will be held in strict confidence, and no one will inquire about your decision; whatever amount you choose, please accept our sincere appreciation. We gratefully will acknowledge all contributors.
In addition to the sustaining membership, we also assess a modest building fund fee of $50 per adult. This defrays the cost of maintaining our Temple building. We also invite you to contribute to the Temple funds of your choice.
Please complete the enclosed membership form and return it to the Temple office with your check before August 20. The membership contribution portion of your fee is due with your form. To help with our planning, we would like to meet our goal for High Holy Day pledges before Rosh Hashanah. Please therefore also indicate the amount of your High Holy Day pledge on the membership form. You may pay it now if you wish, or we will send you a reminder after Yom Kippur. Once you complete the form, you may return it in person, by mail or via email. The form is required to process your membership, even if you have been a member for several years.
If you need to arrange a payment plan, please call Andrea in the Temple office at 781-894-5146 between 9:30 A.M. and 1 P.M. any weekday. You also can download a copy of the membership form from www.tbiwaltham.org.
For any other membership questions, please email Membership Secretary Ellen Macklin at email@example.com.
Membership Application 2016 – please print and mail in this form even if you pay online. Your membership will not be complete without it.
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