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Dues: A Fee or an Investment?

01/31/2022 10:49:06 AM

Jan31

Robert Jobrack

Why do we each make a dues commitment to a congregation and why bother?

For years in the Reform Movement membership implied certain privileges, like invitations for upcoming events, Religious School eligibility, and tickets for High Holy Day services (though tickets for HHDs are no longer done at BST).  This membership model implies fee for service, not unlike a country club.   

Maybe we’d be better off thinking of our dues as an investment:  we are underwriting the presence of an organized Jewish congregation in the Fredericksburg area.   The congregation, in turn, uses this investment to do good things, starting with primary Jewish activities, like prayer, study, and acts of loving kindness. 

When each of us makes a dues commitment we shouldn’t be distracted by what we individually receive from our fees.  We should, instead, be focused on how BST is using our investment to advance its mission and goals.  

This raises some obvious questions:

1)      Is our congregation doing things to realize the purpose of the investment?  What are the purposes and goals of the congregation?  What, exactly, is the mission?

2)      Is it important to have an organized Jewish congregation to do this?  Or would we be better off investing our money elsewhere and doing these things on our own?

These are important questions that should be revisited periodically, even if we think we know the answers.   Help us address these at our Mid-year meeting on Feb 5, 2022 at 6:30 p.m.

Wed, July 6 2022 7 Tammuz 5782