Sign In Forgot Password

 

Click here to join!

As of July 2021, Woodlands Community Temple has moved to a new and improved dues system, a program that we call Supporting Woodlands, Together. Instead of a traditional fixed dues structure, each member’s annual financial contribution to Woodlands will be their own personal, informed decision.

In Exodus chapter 25, God instructs Moses and the Israelites to all bring forth terumah, voluntary gifts. These gifts, precious in nature, are used to build a sanctuary in the wilderness. Torah reads: “let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.” Every Israelite was expected to contribute something to the communal project of creating a central Jewish meeting place.

Please reach out to wct@wct.org with any questions.

How does it work?

In the spring you will receive a commitment form asking you to indicate how much you are planning to contribute for the fiscal year that starts in July. We will provide you with information about what you have contributed in the past, and we will define a “sustaining level” contribution as a benchmark representing the average contribution needed to meet our financial obligations. You will be able to return your pledge, and the temple will then bill you that amount, starting in July.

How will members determine what they can contribute?

This will be a personal decision. We expect that most members will consider what they’ve contributed in the past (through dues, fees, and philanthropic contributions), what their current financial circumstances are, what other financial obligations they have, and balance those as they consider the temple’s financial needs and their eagerness to help the temple meet them. The guidelines we will provide are intended to help with that decision. What’s most important is that your annual commitment be at a level that is both meaningful and appropriate for your family.

How will the “sustaining level” be determined?

Quite simply, this is calculated by taking our annual operating expenses and dividing that amount by the number of member households in the temple. If every membership unit contributes the sustaining level, we will meet our budget. Those able to contribute more will help Woodlands open its doors to those who cannot, as the Woodlands community has done for decades.

What if I want to contribute more than the sustaining level?

Additional contributions will be appreciated, encouraged, and recognized.

What about school fees, building fees,  and security fees?

Building and security fees will be absorbed into the Supporting Woodlands, Together program. School fees, which are also being revamped, will be billed separately as a fee-for-service. Families who need financial assistance to send their children to religious school may seek help from the Financial Secretary (financialsecretary@wct.org).

What about High Holy Day “tickets”?

The Woodlands tent has always been “open” for the High Holy Days. There are no “tickets” or additional High Holy Day costs for members. Non-members who wish to attend High Holy Day services are asked to make a contribution. Contact wct@wct.org about non-member attendance.

This is different from other “temple dues models.” What’s up?

The way that dues were calculated and collected was effective for many decades, but in recent years it has become increasingly clear that our dues structure put temple membership out of reach for many congregants, forced many members to make special arrangements with the temple’s Financial Secretary, and discouraged many potential members from joining. We realized there is a new and better way to approach our financial obligations. We are excited to adopt a new model that has been successful elsewhere, and one that, we believe, will be attractive for all our members. We are embracing the future.

How do you know this will work?

The UJA-Federation of New York studied more than 60 congregations around the country that have adopted this model, and we have spoken with many about their experiences. The UJA found that within three years of adopting this program, temples reported that both membership and revenue had increased. More than that, membership engagement had risen to new heights. Of all the congregations that made this switch, almost no one reported a desire to revert to their previous dues model.

Thu, December 2 2021 28 Kislev 5782