Join the Board of Rabbi’s at Temple Emanu-El this Saturday (3/1/14) for “Drash and Dessert” at 7:30pm.
Come to one of these Town Hall Meetings to learn more about “Gift of the Heart”, our new membership model. By attending, you’ll be entered to WIN a $70 gift card for a massage from Harmony on Hope.
Sunday, February 23 from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Sunday, March 2 from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Monday, March 3 from 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm
By: Carol Nulman
Temple Emanu-El defies Tom Wolfe- you can go home again.
The doors are always open and Temple Emanu-El welcomes all of us for any reason.
By: Deborah Siegel
When I first came to Temple Emanu-El I sensed the community’s warmth and inclusiveness, but was not sure if I would fit in or ever feel that I was truly a part of things. However, over time in attending Shabbat services, joining committees, participating in the Adult Institute, attending social programs and chatting with other members it became clear to me that I had found my community.
While I was raised in a home that strongly identified as Jewish (we belonged to Reform congregations and I went to religious school two days a week from preschool through high school), I came to Temple Emanu-El unfamiliar with Conservative services and practices. As a new member, it all felt a bit alien to me. No longer! At Temple Emanu-El it is perfectly fine for me to say, “I don’t know this. Please explain it. Show me how to do it.” I have been welcome to make mistakes and stumble while trying to master knowledge and skills. It is fine for anyone to plug in only to those activities that have appeal. That openness to individual differences and diversity warms my heart.
By: Rebecca Kislak Brown
Over the last few years, the Temple Emanu El membership committee has been tasked with studying best ways to support our wonderful synagogue. The membership committee recommended moving towards a sustaining model of membership support, where dues and annual fund solicitations are combined into one annual request for voluntary contributions. These contributions will be solicited based on prior commitments to the synagogue, and with the information regarding how much it costs to run the synagogue and all of our vibrant, diverse programming.
We all know that our synagogue costs money to run- the building that hosts most of our activities, the staff that run and attend them, Shabbat services, Arts Emanu-El, family programming, joyous lifecycle events like baby namings, b’nai mitzvot and weddings, and more somber occasions like funerals and shiva minyanim. To run this synagogue it costs about $2,300 per household. We will be asking households that can contribute this or more to do so, and we will be asking every family to commit to supporting the synagogue at the highest level that is comfortable for them.
The Board of Directors voted last spring to proceed with plans to implement the new sustaining membership model, and will have one last vote in April before we fully implement this change. Between now and then, there will be many opportunities to learn more, ask questions, give feedback, and give meaningful and important information to the membership committee.
We have begun a series of small house meetings hosted by members for people to learn more about what we are doing with membership and why. We know not all 800+ households will be able to attend house meetings in the next few months, but we are trying to reach as many people as possible. If you want to be invited, or would like to host a meeting, please contact Meital Cafri at (401) 331-1616, or email@example.com.
In February you will receive a letter explaining our new membership model. With it, you will receive your 2015 Commitment Form to fill out and return to Temple Emanu-El. It is important that we receive your 2015 Commitment Form soon as we move forward with this new membership model.
If you would like to read a little more about what the membership committee was reading and thinking last year as we made these decisions, please check out some of these interesting blog posts, particularly Amanda Palmer’s TED talks video (below).
Finally, if you want to talk about these improvements, please feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also speak with our Temple President, Judy Greenblatt, our Executive Director, Gershon Levine, or any member of the clergy.
*Rebecca Kislak Brown is Vice President for Membership at Temple Emanu-El.
By: Judy Rosenberg
As a new member of Temple Emanu-El, I can honestly say that I am having a blast here!
It all started a few days after my move from West Hartford, Connecticut. Laura Nevel, a Temple member and friend of mine, invited me to join her for a special Hava Nagila event and dance party at the Temple. I met so many wonderful people, the food was delicious, and the spirit of those who joined in Israeli folk dancing was unbelievable!
I knew that there had to be a nice Jewish community wherever I was moving. After dancing the night away at the Hava Nagila party, I decided that I did not need any prodding to become a member. Everybody I have been interacting with is so incredibly warm and welcoming!
The temple I belonged to in West Hartford was also called Emanuel (just spelled differently), so it is been hard not to compare it. Here, at Temple Emanu-El, the main sanctuary is beautifully designed so you do not feel overwhelmed. I love the participative spirit of the congregation, and the lively discussions have a very natural feel. I prefer the even simplicity of Temple Emanu-El Kiddushes, where the food takes a backseat to wonderful conversations and rejoicing in the true spirit of Shabbat.
In the first month of becoming a Temple Emanu-El member, I joined Rabbi Kaunfer’s fabulous Hebrew study group. It’s a great learning group and I really enjoy deciphering the texts that are brought to each lesson.
The clergy and staff here at Temple Emanu-El are very kind, welcoming, and helpful. I am so happy that I was able to quickly find a nice, active community like Temple Emanu-El.