Posts Tagged: finance

Five Lessons Learned: How the URJ’s Communities of Practice Strengthen Congregations



by Amy Asin and Lisa Lieberman Barzilai Two years ago, the Union for Reform Judaism launched its Communities of Practice (CoP) initiative. We began with five separate cohorts, comprising lay and professional leaders from congregations throughout North America: Pursuing Excellence in Your Early Childhood Centers Engaging Families with Young Children Engaging Young Adults Reimagining Financial […]

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Twenty Becomes One: Seeing Our Congregations as Family, Especially During Hardship



In the fall of 2008, I was the executive director of a 1,000-household synagogue. We had recently finished a major sanctuary renovation, and our membership numbers were on an encouraging upward trend. Our finances were sound, and we had big plans for the year ahead. The new president of our board was writing her first […]

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Internet Round-Up: The Best Jewish Stories on the Web



Here are just a few of the recent stories from across the webosphere that speak directly to (and about) Reform Jews. What Jewish stories have you been reading recently? Leave a comment and let us know! “Reform and Conservative Camping Movements’ will Engage Synagogue Youth Year Round,” eJewish Philanthropy This week, the camping movements of […]

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Reimagining Financial Support and Relational Engagement for Congregations



At a three-day conference held this week at the Intercontinental Chicago O’Hare Hotel, the Union for Reform Judaism officially launched our fourth “community of practice” – congregational networking group – focused on Reimagining Financial Support for Your 21st Century Congregation. The Chicago gathering allowed congregational staff and lay leadership from 17 participating congregations that are […]

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Ten Commandments for Talking About Dues



by Rob Berkovitz If we examine carefully the ways in which we discuss dues with prospective members and respond to requests for dues adjustments, we discover that many times we do not act in ways that truly reflect the Jewish values we prize so dearly. The following “ten commandments” were created to engender discussion among […]

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Inviting You to Explore URJ Communities of Practice



The Union for Reform Judaism is thrilled to announce the launch of three URJ Communities of Practice. Jewish tradition places great emphasis on learning and what it brings to both individuals and the community-at-large. With that in mind, the URJ’s soon-to-be launched Communities of Practice will provide opportunities for congregations with shared concerns and interests […]

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Explaining Synagogue Dues to Those Who Are New



Synagogue dues can be difficult to understand if you weren’t raised in a family that maintained a synagogue membership. Without knowledge of the variety of mechanisms that all religious institutions use to sustain themselves financially, some charge that synagogues require you to “pay to pray.” What follows is one way that you might explain synagogue […]

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Fair Share Dues: Mishugas or Mitzvah?



by Lindsey Sadler This summer I experienced my first membership commitment recertification at Temple Sinai, Atlanta. As we operate on a fair share dues model, this is the time of year when we send our membership materials to congregants and ask them to strive towards contributing 2% of their annual gross household income minus costs […]

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I Have a Modest Proposal: Let Us Eliminate Synagogue Dues



by Rabbi Howard Jaffe Okay, it is not so modest. It may be a bit too ambitious. So how about this: can we at least rethink how we fund our synagogues? We need a new financial model in North American Jewish life. Once upon a time, Jews grew up, became young adults, almost always married […]

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A Balanced Synagogue Budget – A Blessing



by Rick RosenbergExecutive Director, Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, TX Why Budget “Men plan; God laughs.”        – Hebrew Saying A budget is nothing more than a plan. A Synagogue budget is a financial plan for the operations of the congregation.  Numbers and statistics can be frightening to some people. But numbers are simply the end product […]

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You Don’t Need to Pass the Hat: You Just Need to Plan!



Twenty-eight years ago, Temple Aleph Bet (TBA), a 120 member congregation in a small city in the Northeast, decided it was through with renting space and was very desirous of a permanent home. TBA purchased its first building, and after a few years, funds were raised to pay off the initial mortgage as well as […]

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What’s the Difference Between a Business and a Sacred Community?



by Rabbi Edwin GoldbergTemple Judea, Coral Gables, FL Especially with the Jewish High Holy Days coming soon, it is appropriate to stop and consider the challenges confronting mainstream religious institutions. Looking at the present, it is not a surprise that American religious institutions are going through a crisis of identity. The old rules no longer apply. […]

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A Perfect Formula for Dues



by Rob BerkovitzURJ Congregational Finance Specialist The truth is… that there is no perfect formula for dues! There are many possibilities for dues models from fixed minimum models to fair share. All the models can be successful and can be unsuccessful. When the topic of dues comes up many congregational leaders struggle with the issue […]

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Planning High Holy Days Fundraising



by David KatowitzURJ Congregational Financial Resource Development Specialist. “It’s like one giant family reunion!” That is how Rabbi Mari Chernow of Temple Chai in Phoenix, Arizona described the High Holy Days in a You Tube video sent to her congregants last year a few weeks before Rosh HaShanah. Congregants at synagogues throughout North America and […]

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