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In 2021, Temple Sinai eliminated traditional fixed dues and initiated an alternative model of giving that allows congregants to self-determine their annual donation toward operating expenses. We titled our new model "Sustaining Sinai." If you would like to view a recording of the intial meeting where this concept was introduced, you can access that recording here.

We are joining with synagogues across the country who have successfully introduced giving models based on shared commitment and mutual trust. Sustaining Sinai recognizes that due to varying financial circumstances some congregants will be able to give at the sustaining amount or higher and some at lower amounts, and that all gifts are needed and valued. 

Sustaining Sinai is built on trust that each of us will give according to our hearts and means, and that together our congregation will make Sustaining Sinai work as a viable way to continue our religious community for future generations. Your financial commitment ensures that we and future generations continue to have Temple Sinai as our Jewish home, a sukkat shalom, to connect, pray, learn, pursue justice, and lift each other up.

Frequently Asked Questions



Why I Support Sinai

 
Jamie Spiller: "

As children of shtetl immigrants, my parents, who were disinterested in Temple life, nevertheless expected their boys to get formal Jewish education leading to bar mitzvah. It is thus unsurprising that I, too, wanted my children to prepare for bat mitzvot even if I was agnostic about wider involvement in a synagogue.

I frankly did not know what congregational life outside of children’s schooling could entail. That changed when my wife Anne and I visited Temple Sinai...

Read More from Jamie and other congregants.  

How does Sustaining Sinai work?  Sustaining Sinai works by giving every congregant the opportunity to make a commitment to our community in an amount that is meaningful to their household and reflects the value of Temple Sinai in their lives. Temple Sinai leadership will inform the congregation of the cost per household to keep the doors open – the sustaining amount. Using that guidance, all congregants make a financial commitment of their own choosing.

What is the Sustaining Sinai income used for?  These donations cover our operating expenses, including salaries, utilities, supplies, maintenance, insurance, etc.  Your financial commitment ensures that we and future generations continue to have Temple Sinai as our Jewish home, a sukkat shalom, to connect, pray, learn, pursue justice, and lift each other up.

How is the sustaining amount determined?  The sustaining amount is determined by taking the total annual budgeted expenses, subtracting the expected Religious School income and dividing by the number of congregant households.  

What is not included in the Sustaining Sinai donation?  Tuition and fees for religious school are not included. In addition, any voluntary contributions such as High Holy Day Appeal, ARZA, Women’s Chavurah, Men’s Club and special events with an admission fee would not be included in your Sustaining Sinai gift.

Can I give more than the sustaining amount? What if I cannot afford the sustaining amount?  Sustaining Sinai acknowledges that personal circumstances vary among congregants, allowing some to donate at a substantially higher level while some may find it financially difficult to give at the sustaining level. Sustaining Sinai asks that each congregant commit to supporting Temple Sinai at their highest level possible. Please be as generous as your finances allow.    

Will there still be a High Holy Day appeal?
Yes. The High Holy Day Appeal tradition will continue.

Do any other congregations use the donation model?
Yes. The URJ (Union for Reform Judaism) informs us that a steadily increasing number of reform congregations have successfully introduced this model over the past ten years. In our own community, Temple B’rith Kodesh adopted this approach several years ago.

Will each congregant's donation amount be confidential?
Yes. We honor the privacy of each congregant and family.

Why did Temple Sinai adopt this commitment model?
After much research and counsel, Temple Sinai’s Board of Trustees decided to adopt a new commitment model based on shared commitment and mutual trust allowing a relationship between congregants and the temple that is based on connections, not transactions.

How do I join?
If you'd like to become a congregant, please call the Temple office at 585-381-6890 or email office@tsinai.org and we will be glad to assist you.

What if I forget to return my Sustaining Sinai form? If you forget to return your form, we will reach out to remind you. If you are a current member who set up recurring payments to Sustaining Sinai, they will continue as is until you request a change.

What if I have other questions?
Please call Mary Mansfield, our executive director, at 585-381-6890.

Mon, June 17 2024 11 Sivan 5784