As part of our celebration of 140 years as a congregation, we are offering first-year
membership for $140. This is the first of many aspects of our celebration in what
promises to be an exciting year including a large storytelling event over Sukkot, Legacy
Weekend in the spring and ensuring that it’s easy for people to say YES to Emanuel
We are offering these lower dues this year for three main reasons. The first is as a
celebration. There aren’t many synagogues in North America with our legacy and we
think 140 years is something to celebrate with our current community and those who
choose to join us this year.
The second is that we want to lower barriers for anyone considering synagogue life.
Emanuel Congregation has always opened our doors to all, regardless of ability to pay,
but we understand asking for dues relief can be a barrier to entry. We believe that by
offering membership for $140 this year, we can lower the barrier and welcome more
people to experience our vibrant, diverse and urban Reform congregation.
Finally, we believe in the ROI (return on investment) of synagogue membership which
can feel anachronistic in 2019 when there are so many memberships competing for our
budgets. We believe that membership can offer more than access to High Holy Day
services and we want more people to experience Emanuel Congregation for a year to
see if they agree. In addition to our Hebrew and Religious school for children and
teens, we offer speaker series, social justice activities, opportunities to pray and study
Torah, and a deep connection to the Jewish people through relationships built at
A couple quick details to help you answer your friends’ questions when you share this
1. Is it really $140? It is $140 per adult in the member unit, so membership will
either be $140 or $280.
2. What fees are waived? Security and building fees are waived for the first year
of membership. ARZA dues are optional, as always. Religious School fees are not
3. Who is a new member? New members are people or families who have not
been members of Emanuel in the previous 5 years.
4. What are dues the second year? Dues in year two will be discounted from
full dues by 33%.
5. Does it include High Holy Day tickets? Of course! Every member of Emanuel
Congregation has access to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services. We hope
new members will join us for experiences throughout the year.
We hope that by offering new membership dues at $140, our dynamic, diverse
congregation will grow, and all of our members will be able to deepen their connections
in our 140th year.
Emanuel Board President