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Covenantal: CRS Board President David Rudnick on Membership

06/03/2021 11:17:42 AM


I’ve never liked the word “membership" to describe why we financially support the synagogue. To me, membership connotes exclusivity, and a menu of services and benefits that your “dues” buy you. Being part of Congregation Rodef Sholom does not feel this way to me — it’s simply not consistent with our values and mission. Allow me to explain clearly what membership means in my eyes.

The relationship we have as members of Congregation Rodef Sholom is a covenantal relationship, not a contractual one. This means that we have a mutual commitment to each other based on shared values, mutual trust, and concern for the welfare of each other. At its purest expression, this is seen in our clergy’s pastoral care for us — the spiritual care and comfort offered during times of great meaning in our lives, both happy and sad. It extends to our staff who work closely with the clergy to implement their vision, to the teachers who educate and inspire our children, and to the work we do together to bring social justice to our world. 

We are blessed to have amazing clergy and staff. And the truth is, running this organization takes money. The Executive Director and Board have endeavored to hold expenses down without compromising the mission of the synagogue. To that end, this year we will hold the Annual Financial Commitment unchanged, as we have for the last three years. Please know that about 80% of the synagogue’s budget goes to paying our clergy, staff, and teachers.

We all have different financial resources, and no one who wants to count themselves as part of our community is asked to pay more than what they can afford, or to demonstrate need with financial documentation. Part of our covenantal relationship is that we trust each other. Your choice to be part of this community means that you place high value in the work we do together, and one way to demonstrate your commitment to this work and this community is to prioritize its financial support in your family’s budget. 

We are grateful to you as we continue to build together, and we are grateful for the hard earned resources you offer to allow Rodef Sholom to be a source of light, learning, healing, and spiritual inspiration.

Tue, March 28 2023 6 Nisan 5783