Congregation Shalom uses a fair share schedule to determine the cost of membership for each household. The Fair Share system relies on each member to give according to his/her financial ability. That is the essence of tzedakah—justice and righteousness—as our tradition teaches it. After reviewing other methods for determining annual commitment, we continue to believe that the “fair share” method is the best approach for our congregation. Members are asked to review their placement each year.
Frequently Asked Questions About Annual Commitment
Why must we make an Annual Commitment to the Synagogue?
Each of us has a stake in maintaining the synagogue as a place in which Judaism is fostered. By committing on an annual basis, you help Congregation Shalom predict and budget, which ensures we meet our day-to-day operating expenses, plan successful programs, and provide support to community members in need.
Do congregants pay according to the set levels?
Despite requests for everyone to strive to meet his/her appropriate annual membership level, members sometimes pay below their levels. When families experience hardship and legitimately cannot pay full Annual Commitment, we work to determine an appropriate annual commitment level. We’d like, however, to persuade those who can pay at their membership levels to pay full Annual Commitment or even something extra. Temple affiliation should be a lifelong relationship, one you continually support so that Congregation Shalom is there for you in times of joy and times of difficulty.
Do we turn away those families that cannot pay?
While Congregation Shalom does not turn away anyone for legitimate financial reasons, we strongly encourage individuals to pay according to their means. We all have competing needs for limited resources, and life is about choices and priorities. We ask that those able to afford full Annual Commitment work this obligation into their family budgets and make temple membership a priority investment in your Jewish lives. Through this personal commitment to sustain the Jewish community, we can ensure Congregation Shalom exists for future generations.
Why should I be a member of Congregation Shalom? Can I pray without paying?
You do not have to be a member of Congregation Shalom in order to worship here. If, however, you plan to worship here regularly and you feel connected to our community, we hope you will join our congregation and cover your fair share of the temple’s costs. Congregation Shalom wants to be there for you and your family for your spiritual needs, your life cycle events, your educational needs and your social needs. We want to be an important part of your life, and we ask you to contribute to temple life with your time, energy, talent, and financial support.
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