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Membership Information

“And Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Speak to the Israelites that they may take for me a contribution; from everyone whose heart so moves him, take my contribution … and let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:1-2,8). 

Shir Hadash is committed to excellence - in programming, education, staffing, and service. Excellence includes meeting our budget. Shir Hadash exists because members recognize and fulfill their responsibility toward its preservation. When you become a part of Shir Hadash, your commitment of financial support helps assure the ongoing vitality of our community.

This page provides the links and instructions on how to become a new member or renew your membership, register for religious school and youth programming, and  how to access your account in ShulCloud. If you prefer to join or renew with paper forms, just let us  know  and we will provide them to you. 


 Links to Membership and School Forms

Before You Begin Checklist

1.  Please be ready with ALL the information necessary before you begin (particularly including how many students will be enrolled in either Religious School or the Madrichim program, as well as having payment method ready).

2.  In order to correctly view and submit most of these forms, you need to be logged in to your existing Shir Hadash account. If you are an existing member, please return to the top of this page and confirm that you are logged in. Please visit the Account Login Help section at the bottom of this page for more information.

3.  Fill out these forms from a browser on a computer. These forms do not work on cell phones and other mobile devices.

4.  If you need help deciding which forms to fill out, please visit the section entitled Which Forms Do I Need to Fill Out ?

 

Form Links

Membership Renewal Form - Requires household information, voluntary commitment for membership, building fund obligation, voluntary religious school commitment, madrichim tuition, volunteering skills, and payment

New Membership Form - Requires household information, voluntary commitment for membership, building fund obligation, voluntary religious school commitment, madrichim tuition, volunteering skills, and payment

Religious School Registration Form - Requires information about students enrolling in either Religious School or the Madrichim program, emergency contact information, and special-needs disclosures that are only seen by Religious School staff

Madrichim Application Form - Links to the application for our Madrichim program (each applicant should apply separately)

 

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 Which Forms Do I Need to Fill Out ?

If you are a new member, then you need to fill out the New Membership Form.

If you are renewing your membership for the 2022-2023 calendar year or you are a returning member and you already have an account login, then you need to log in and then fill out the Membership Renewal Form.

If you are registering one or more students in our Religious School or the Madrichim program, then you need to log in and additionally fill out the Religious School Registration Form.

For each teenager applying to the Madrichim program, they need to fill out the Madrichim Application Form (no login required).

If you have trouble logging in, please visit the Account Login Help section at the bottom of this page for more information.

 

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Membership Categories

There are 5 membership categories:

2 Adult Household,  1 Adult Household,  2 Senior Household,  1 Senior Household,  and Lifetime Member

 

In a Senior Household, the oldest member of the family must have been born on or before July 1, 1957.

Any member of your family aged 26 and older should commit to their own membership. All other children should be registered under your household account. This helps us to predict service attendence and print the correct number of High Holiday tickets, etc.

Since Shir Hadash has adopted a voluntary commitment model for membership, these categories are for tracking/reporting purposes only, and the Lifetime Member category is no longer available as an option for new members.

 

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Voluntary Commitment for Membership (Dues)

Shir Hadash uses a financial model called "Voluntary Commitment," which is designed to make membership and religious school at our synagogue affordable and accessible to everyone! ​ 

Under the voluntary commitment model, there is no longer a minimum contribution for dues or a set amount for religious school tuition. Instead, the synagogue provides transparent financial information, breaks down the costs of meeting its financial obligations by adult member, and trusts its members to self-assess their dues. The voluntary commitment of each household is kept confidential. At our synagogue, members do not need to ask for consideration if they can't afford dues or religious school tuition. 

Information for Our Current Fiscal Year (2022-2023) 

For 2022-2023, the break-even (the total expenses divided by the total number of households) is $2,738. This break-even is the total of the voluntary commitment and other contributions, such as the High Holidays appeal, made to the synagogue. It does not include religious school voluntary commitment or the building fund, which is becoming increasingly important in our 46-year-old building. We want you to become or remain a member, to decide what you can afford to be a member, and to remember that no one will ever second guess your commitment amount. The more members we have, the lower our break even becomes. 

A New Trend Across America

In recent years, at least 60 U.S. synagogues have adopted a voluntary commitment model. This model is not simply a financial model, but a reflection of the values of community and transparency. Since the start of the recession in the late 2000s, membership and revenue in non-Orthodox synagogues has steadily declined. In addition to the economic downturn, other factors affecting synagogue affiliation rates include the changing generational attitudes toward synagogue membership; the transactional practice of finance in synagogues; the lack of inclusion; and synagogues' fear of change. As a result, many synagogues are turning toward voluntary commitment to increase membership.

Shir Hadash meets a number of the criteria that tend to make voluntary commitment successful. Our geographical location near a large city, our smaller size, the long tenure of our Rabbi, and our strong lay leadership means we fit the profile of synagogues who do well with voluntary commitment, according to a 2017 national study conducted by UJA Federation of New York.  

According to the 2017 UJA study, synagogues that have adopted voluntary commitment experience rising membership rates, recruiting and retaining members is easier, level of membership engagement increases, perceived value of membership is heightened, and revenue increases. None of the synagogues report problems with "free riders"; i.e., people taking advantage by paying no dues at all. Synagogues find the most significant membership growth occurs during the second year after adopting this model. No congregation reports a decline in financial stability after the dues model change.

From a historical standpoint, synagogue dues were a 20th century invention. Dues came into existence after World War I. At the time, synagogue members purchased a seat at the beginning of the year, and the people who could afford better seats had the seats up front, and everyone else was in the back. Jews at the time felt that the system created a class system and wasn't egalitarian, so they invented the practice of synagogue dues instead. But for more than 5,700 years, Jews paid for their institutions without having traditional dues. 

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Building Fund

Shir Hadash is much more than an organization: It is a congregational home. Just like your home, our facilities need upkeep and maintenance, but this can only be done through the generous support of congregants and members of the community.

In order to preserve our congregational home and keep it secure for future generations, we must keep it on a solid financial basis. Through the expected payment of the building fund, in addition to voluntary commitment, all members of the community help achieve this goal.

A Building Fund commitment of $350 a year for your first seven years of membership is a necessary charge. If you choose to pay your Building Fund commitment all at once, you receive a 20% discount from the total of $2,450, which is a lump sum of $1,960.

If you have fulfilled your building fund commitment at Shir Hadash, that's awesome!  If you fulfilled it at another congregation, we will adjust your account appropriately after we receive written documentation from that synagogue.

 

Volunteering Your Skills and Time

In addition to this economic contribution, we ask that everyone also commit volunteer time and expertise to Shir Hadash.

There are many volunteer opportunitiesincluding joining a standing committee, a single project task force, or participating in Oneg set-up and clean-up. Shir Hadash has a small professional staff and much of what we accomplish is done by members.

As a volunteer you can become a leader at Shir Hadash and can help shape our future path.The volunteer time commitment and payment information is embedded in the renewal form.

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Religious School Voluntary Tuition (Grades K-7)
 

For this school year, Shir Hadash will continue to use a voluntary commitment model for school tuition for all students in Kindergarten through Seventh grade. This model is identical to our membership structure which allows families to place a monetary amount on how much they value their membership to the congregation and then commit to paying that amount over the course of the year (or all at once depending on preference).

For reference, the per-student break-even amount (i.e. the total Religious School annual expense budget divided by the expected number of students = ${VALUE} / ${NUMBER} students) is ${VALUE} per student.


Also for reference, tuition structure in previous years, based upon grade, was as follows:
  K-1   $200 per year
  2-4   $500 per year
  5-7   $1,000 per year

While we certainly encourage you to contribute the per-student break-even amount of ${VALUE} per student, or alternatively, the amounts from previous tuition structures, we understand that some of you have been economically impacted by the pandemic.  We do not want to have anyone in our community to feel as though they have to choose between everyday life and whether or not have your children participate in religious school.

 

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Madrichim Program Application, Tuition and Compensation (Grades 8-12)

Learn about our exciting opportunity for students entering grades eight through twelve by clicking on this link that describes our Madrichim Program

Application

Each student that wishes to participate in the Madrichim program must submit an application. Please refer to the Form Links section above to find the application.

Tuition

Tuition for all Madrachim entering grades 8-12 is $200 for the year.

Compensation

For this year, as in other years, Eighth grade Madrichim will not be compensated for their time.
However, Madrachim entering grades 9-12 grades are eligible for compensation as follows: 

  • Once they attended sixty percent (60%) of the sessions for the year, they will be eligible to receive payment of $250.  
  • Once they have attended eighty percent (80%) of the sessions for the year, they will be eligible to receive an additional payment of $100.
The maximum payment will be $350 for any Ninth grade or older Madrichim. 
 
 

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Religious School Registration (Grades K-12)

Every child enrolled in either Religious School (Grades K-7) or the Madrichim Program (Grades 8-12) needs to be registered for school using the Religious School Registration Form. This form should be filled out by an adult (logged in to an account). Multiple children can be registered using the same form.

The form will capture important information related to legal guardians, emergency contact information, special medical or learning needs, authorization for medical treatment, and prior camping experience.

Please refer to the Religious School web pages for more information about the religious school and to contact the educational director.

 

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Payment

 

New Membership Registration as well as Membership Renewal requires payment at the time of submission.

Your membership will not be considered submitted/renewed unless you continue and complete the payment forms.

Payment Methods

Please have one of the following forms of payment available when you sit down to fill out the form:

​​​​​​o    Credit Card

o    ACH (a checking account number and a routing number)

Payment Plans

Shir Hadash is happy to offer the following payment plans

​​​​​​o    Full Payment, paid immediately when completing the form

​​​​​​o    Monthly installments billed starting from the month when you register until and including May, with the first payment occurring immediately when completing the form

Payment Visibility

Your payment method will be either charged once in full or once per month for an amount that includes all of your voluntary commitment for membership, building fund charges, voluntary commitment for religious school, and madrichim tuition.

However, our internal database maintains records each of the separate charges for those areas, and you can view the breakdown of your charges by logging into your account and viewing your Transactions. The Type column there will indicate different charge codes such as "Voluntary Commitment", "Religious School Voluntary Commitment", "Building Fund Installment", and others.

 

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Account Login Help

You must be signed in to use these forms.

There is a "Forgot Password" button in the upper right-hand corner under Login tab if you need it.

 

Once you have renewed your membership, you will be able to enter your account and check and update your yahrzeits, as well as any other information.

If you have any issues or have trouble, please contact the Administrative office at admin@shir-hadash.org
or call 847-498-8218. We will respond as soon as we possible.

 

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Thu, June 30 2022 1 Tammuz 5782