At Temple Sinai, we don't put a price on being a part of the congregation. As the first Reform congregation in Western Pennsylvania to ask for an annual personal pledge in lieu of dues, we ask that, guided by the knowledge of what it takes to sustain Temple Sinai, you determine what you can pay, and give the best you can. What follows is an overview of how and why Temple Sinai decided to make the change to a voluntary pledge model.
The Choice Is Yours
Contact Drew Barkley, Executive Director
(412) 421-9715 ext 111
Driven to Innovate: Recognizing a changing landscape, living up to our values
Temple Sinai’s most recent strategic plan recognized that dues would not be the primary method for supporting the congregation in the medium to long term. Changing cultural patterns meant that synagogue membership was no longer viewed as an obligation, and a large, fixed payment didn't make sense when we were trying to lower barriers to entry. The process of asking for dues adjustments was uncomfortable for everyone, as hard as we tried to approach it with dignity and sensitivity. Finally, fixed dues did not reflect our values of being welcoming and inclusive. After 18 months of rigorous study and evaluation, Temple Sinai’s Board of Trustees voted to make the change to a voluntary dues model, substituting a personal “Pledge” for fixed “Dues.”
We are a sacred community
We believe that belonging to Temple Sinai is a covenantal relationship - as a congregation we are responsible for each other. Each of us has the opportunity and privilege to take part in making Temple Sinai a place where we nourish our spirits, strengthen our ethics and enrich our Jewish education.
We want people to Pledge to Temple Sinai with a full understanding of how much it really costs to provide the type of community we are and want to deliver
Each year we will publish the Sustaining Amount, our estimate of the amount required, on a per household basis, to cover all of our costs. This includes salaries, facilities management, programming and administration, and excludes religious school tuition, B’nei Mitzvah fees, confirmation, and our building fund. The Sustaining Amount for fiscal year 2019 is $2,645.
The Pledge amount is up to you, but we ask congregants to give generously so that we can continue our excellent programming, maintain the facility and compensate our staff appropriately. Not all households are able to give the full Sustaining Amount, so Temple Sinai must continue to fundraise during the year, and to charge fees for some activities.
We believe that congregants will honor our past and invest in our future by pledging to the best of their abilities, for the benefit of the community.