Frequently Asked Questions:

Why did Beth Israel adopt a new financial model? We want to promote engagement and an open and transparent financial culture. We want to eliminate negotiations about dues and any discomfort associated with paying lower amounts. We want our members to feel good about supporting Beth Israel. We are steadfast in our commitment to ensure that no one is turned away for their inability to pay at full sustaining member levels. The membership commitment model makes it even easier for members to make a pledge of support and encourages those who can give more to do so. We are asking you to give as generously as possible and to give to your heart’s content.

How does a personal pledge system work? The amount of your pledge – your investment in Beth Israel’s future – is up to you. We are intentionally building our membership in a manner more aligned with contemporary Jewish culture and values of giving. We are empowering our members to give more freely and increase their support. The commitment does not have a singles/family distinction. Instead, members will be asked to contribute based on what the household determines is consistent with their ability to strengthen, celebrate and grow Jewish life at Beth Israel. Removing barriers and welcoming those of all backgrounds is a key component of Beth Israel’s mission. Allowing members to set their own membership commitment pledge opens the doors even wider. Everyone gives as much as they can comfortably give.

How will I determine my membership commitment pledge? The sustaining commitment pledge per household will run close to our current standard dues amount of $2,830. Those of us who commit more than the sustaining amount – whether through a modest increase or by joining our enhanced membership commitment program, the Ner Tamid Circle – will ensure no one is turned away for their inability to pay at the full sustaining level. We recognize that there are members who cannot afford to pay the sustaining amount. We suggest a minimum of $1,600 a year or $160 per month, but if you need to pay less, know that your gift will be equally valued and appreciated. The annual security surcharge and the building fund commitment required of new members will continue to remain separate.

How else can I help? Your time and skills are precious gifts to our synagogue community. Your participation in activities and committees benefits both you and our congregation. Also, we invite you to join our enhanced membership commitment program, the Ner Tamid Circle, and to name Beth Israel in your estate plans. Financial support and volunteerism both make Beth Israel strong
and ensure its future vibrancy.

If you have questions or want to know more about how you can make a difference, please contact Director of Membership and Engagement. Bethany Eisenberg at 858-900-2554 or