Support our Temple family with your 2020 Calendar Year Annual Commitment. Please assist us in keeping our records current by completing all sections of the form, even if we have your information on file from previous years, and kindly return by December 31, 2019.
Should we not receive your form, we will assume no changes in your pledge payments for the coming year, and will continue to process your Annual Commitment payments for 2020 accordingly and will add the new Security Assessment as indicated..
- To make your 2020 Annual Financial Commitment online, click here
- To mail your 2020 Annual Financial Commitment, click here for a printable form
New Security Assessment
With an increasingly violent world and the recent anti-Semitic activities occurring across our country, unfortunately, we have had to respond with additional security measures to ensure that every person who enters our building is safe from harm. To cover these increased costs, we are introducing a new “Security Assessment” of $100 per family or $50 per individual congregant, which you will see on the enclosed 2020 Financial Commitment Form. This assessment is in addition to our customary Annual Financial Commitment, and will provide the additional armed guards at our entry ways during weekly worship services, Religious School, and special events throughout the year.
What is our Temple’s vision?
This year begins a new chapter in the life of Temple Emanu-El with a dynamic new Rabbi. With our “New Beginnings” vision and plan, this coming year will see our membership ranks increasing, our congregants growing closer, and our chidren building their Jewish identities. We will continue to be steadfast leaders in the Birmingham faith community, and we will make significant strides in repairing the world. Our future is bright and with your support, we are excited about our journey…. continued
- New Beginnings 2020 Vision & Plans (PDF), click here.
Why am I required to make an Annual Commitment in order to belong to the Temple?
Membership at a religious institution should not be evaluated with the same criteria as membership at a health club; it is about supporting our warm and embracing environment, which provides engaging spiritual and meaningful life-cycle experiences for a diverse population. While Endowment allocations, tuition and other fees provide a substantial portion of our income, we are still dependent on our Annual Financial Commitments / Dues as a significant source of revenue (63%) to pay the salaries to attract and retain high caliber clergy and staff, cover our day-to-date operating expenses, care for our facilities, and underwrite many of our programs.
Is there a minimum requirement?
Your leadership is committed to keeping membership affiliation accessible to all, and therefore maintained our sustaining (or minimum) level at $2,500 per family or $1,250 per individual this year. Our ability to make synagogue life accessible to all is critical as we aspire to never lose anyone from our circle of worship, religious education or cultural enrichment due to an inability to afford annual membership. Temple Emanu-El currently provides financial accommodation to those who demonstrate financial hardship, therefore we appreciate those who financial able to contribute more to do so.
As you consider your Commitment, please know it is our desire and expectation to increase our dues income by $200,000 (or by 20%) over the next three years to be able to fully sustain our vision for the future. Also as this new year begins, we want to be sure that every member is apprised of our collective hopes, dreams, and plans for the future. We also want to share information about the financial resources necessary to reach our goals. To this end, we have assembled a “Temple Outreach Team” to speak individually to every member in our congregation. The purpose of these conversations will be to share the realities of the need for increased financial support, as well as to hear how the Temple might play a more meaningful role in the lives of our membership.
What is the Torah Circle?
As mentioned above, the sustaining Membership Commitment covers only a portion of the Temple’s total operating expenses. It is through the additional contributions of our Torah Circle donors that we are able to fully meet our financial obligations. Because of our Torah Circle, Temple Emanu-El takes pride in never turning an adult away from membership or a child away from a Jewish education due to financial hardship or inability to meet sustaining membership. If you are financially able, we greatly appreciate your thoughtful consideration to contribute at one of our Torah Circle levels, which is key to ensuring that we remain a caring and inclusive community.
What is the timeframe of my Annual Commitment payments?
Our Annual Financial Commitment cycle follows the calendar – January through December. We hope to receive all 2019 commitments or pledges by December 31, 2019 so that we can plan accordingly. We request that payments are received as follows:
- All one-time gifts be received no later than June 2020.
- Quarterly gifts will be spread between January, March, June and October
- Monthly payments will be scheduled on the 15th of the month for 12 months, beginning in January through December 2020.
Do I have to pay a full year’s Annual Commitment if I join after the start of the new year?
Our membership is on a calendar year, therefore, we will pro-rate your commitment based upon the month you join after January 1st.
Are Religious School and Hebrew School fees included in our Annual Membership Commitment?
No, these fees are separate and cover the expenses related to teachers, supplies and snacks/meals for your child/children. Even so, these fees do not completely cover school operating expenses, which are subsidized from the congregation’s operating budget and our Grafman Endowment Fund.
High Holy Day Tickets and Congregational Meetings — In order to receive tickets to the High Holy Days or to vote at a congregational meeting, congregants must be in good standing.
Religious School Fees / Bar & Bat Mitzvah – In registering for Religious School or for your child to become Bar/Bat Mitzvah, again, all Membership Commitments must be current.