“Take from among you a gift (terumah) for Adonai; everyone
whose heart so moves him shall bring them.” Exodus 35:5
A NEW PROGRAM THAT REPLACES
TRADITIONAL TEMPLE DUES
WHAT IS TERUMAH?
Terumah is the name of Temple Beth-El’s new approach to dues. In the Torah, terumah indicated a “free-will” offering, not a required one. Your terumah will be your annual voluntary financial commitment, pledged when you first join the congregation for that temple fiscal year (which begins each July 1st) and then each spring for the upcoming fiscal year.
Why a Terumah: Voluntary Financial Commitment?
We pride ourselves on removing barriers at Temple Beth-El as we welcome those of all backgrounds. Allowing members to set their own financial commitment opens the doors even wider to all, regardless of financial situation. Everyone may give as much as they are able and no one has to ask for reduced dues.
Terumah has no singles/family dues distinction. It is not based on how many in a household are active at temple, or how often they use it. It is based on how much one’s heart is moved to strengthen, celebrate and grow Jewish life at Temple Beth-El.
How does Beth-El fund its operating budget?
Our operating budget for the fiscal year is just over $300,000. About a third is covered by fundraising, tuition and other income. That leaves about $200,000 to be funded by annual member support: Terumah.
Is there a Yom Kippur Appeal?
Yes. It is especially geared toward guests and non-members who join us at our free High Holy Day services. We prefer that our members include their Yom Kippur donation in their Terumah commitment, but we appreciate additional gifts from those who are moved to give an additional gift at the High Holy Days.
How should I determine my voluntary commitment?
•Give until it feels good.
•Please be realistic.
•Please be generous.
We trust that our members will take the time to understand the Temple’s financial needs. We trust that our members know their own capacity to give.
For the fiscal year 2012-2013, we need an average of $1850 per household, single or family, to fully fund our operating budget. If you need to give less than the average, go right ahead. If you can give more than the average, please share your blessings.
We apply your Terumah to the full July 2012-June 2013 fiscal year. Since you set your own annual amount, we do not pro-rate based on when you join the community.
Can I change my Terumah from one year to the next?
Yes, each spring you will be asked to pledge in advance for the coming year and can adjust your gift in accordance with your financial well-being.
Who will know how much our household pledges?
Your confidential financial information is only accessible on a need to know basis to the rabbi, president, bookkeeper, financial secretary and treasurer.
How do I make my Terumah commitment?
When you fill out our online membership form, there is a page to indicate both the amount of your Terumah for this fiscal year and your preferred payment plan.
Will this annual pledge cover school tuition?
No. Tuition remains at $275 per student for the year and is due by the start of the school year.
What if I have more questions?
You may always contact our president, Kay Magilavy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a phone message for her at the office. She will be happy to speak with you. If you prefer, you may contact Rabbi Hachen.
What our members are saying about our new TERUMAH program:
“Thank you for making the temple so accessible to us as a young couple just starting out!”
“Wait until the word gets out! The whole town will be talking about this….”
“My unaffiliated friends are going to love this. No excuse now not to join!”
“I am proud to belong to a temple on the cutting edge. It made me want to give more. Bold thinking is what we should be all about.”