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Voluntary Dues and Tuition

Belonging to our community at Shir Hadash is simple--Volunteer your time to help us grow and give what you can financially. It is that simple. 


We ask that everyone also commit volunteer time and expertise to Shir Hadash. There are many volunteer opportunities, including joining a standing committee, a single project task force, or participating in Oneg set-up and clean-up. Shir Hadash has a small professional staff and much of what we accomplish is done by members. As a volunteer you can become a leader at Shir Hadash and can help shape our future path.

The voluntary commitment model is designed to make membership and religious school at our synagogue affordable and accessible to everyone! There is no minimum contribution for dues or a set amount for religious school tuition. Instead, the synagogue provides transparent financial information, breaks down the costs of meeting its financial obligations by household, and trusts its members to self-assess their contribution. The voluntary commitment of each household is kept confidential. Members do not need to ask for consideration if they can't afford dues or religious school tuition.


 A New Trend Across America

In recent years, an ever-increasing number of U.S. synagogues have adopted a voluntary commitment model. This model is not simply a financial model, but a reflection of the values of community and transparency. 


From a historical standpoint, synagogue dues were a 20th century invention. Dues came into existence after World War I. Prior to that, synagogue members purchased a seat at the beginning of the year, and the people who could afford better seats sat up front, and everyone else was in the back. Jews at the time felt that the system created a class system and wasn't egalitarian, so they invented the practice of synagogue dues instead. But for more than 5,700 years, Jews paid for their institutions without having traditional dues. So, we are again reconstructing the system. 

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