Membership at Kol Tzedek: The Sustaining Shares model
Kol Tzedek welcomes all members who wish to join our community. Following our values of kehillah (community), tzedek (justice), and nediv lev (generosity of heart), it is important to us to make Kol Tzedek accessible to everyone, be transparent about our finances, and value all of the contributions of time and talents from our members. It is our first priority that money not be a barrier or barometer of membership at Kol Tzedek.
The Sustaining Shares model gives members information about the cost per household of actually running the synagogue (total budget ÷ number of households). We expect a range of contributions that are below, at, and above the Sustaining Share amount. We ask each household to consider what is a meaningful, significant, and affordable contribution for you. Our collective contributions will sustain our synagogue as a diverse, welcoming community. Identifying the amount of your annual gift is a personal decision, and should be considered carefully, keeping in mind the actual cost per household to run the synagogue.
For 5779 (2018-2019), the actual cost of running the synagogue is $1,400 per year or $117 per month for each household. This amount is what we will refer to as a Sustaining Share. (For reference, typical household dues for other synagogues in Philadelphia are around $3,000/year.) Our doors are open to everyone, whether you give $18 or $18,000 per year.
Research shows that to meet our goals, we need 40% of our congregation to contribute at or above the Sustaining Share ($1,400/year). If you have access to substantial financial resources, we ask you to contribute significantly above this amount. This will make it possible for members with access to fewer financial resources to contribute at a level that is affordable to them. Whatever you contribute, we value your membership.
For more information about the sustaining shares model, please visit our membership page.