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New in 2021, Sustaining Sinai is an alternative model that eliminates traditional fixed dues and replaces them with a self-determined annual donation. Sustaining Sinai was introduced at a congregational meeting held over Zoom in February. View a video recording.

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

Sue Bondy: "Temple Sinai has been my spiritual home for over 25 years. I was raised Roman Catholic but realized many years ago that I was more comfortable at Temple Sinai and converted. When my father died in 2014, we had a Christian memorial service, but I found the custom of saying kaddish during the period of shloshim more meaningful to me during that sorrowful time . . .  
Read More from Sue 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 fees and dividing by the number of congregant households.

What is not included in the Sustaining Sinai donation?
Fees associated with our 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 and we will be glad to assist you.

What if I forget to return my Sustaining Sinai form?
We are anticipating 100% participation in this process. If you forget to return your form, we will reach out to remind you.

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

Sat, January 28 2023 6 Sh'vat 5783