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Saying YES to Emanuel Congregation!

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 Congregation.

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 Emanuel Congregation.

A couple quick details to help you answer your friends’ questions when you share this exciting news: 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 waived. 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.

Best wishes,

Leah Jones Emanuel Board President

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