Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Many US Synagogues End Annual Binding Dues; Congregants Pay by Ability,Synagogues Thriving

According to a new study by the UJA-Federation of New York, the number of non-Orthodox synagogues nationwide that have eliminated fixed annual dues has more than doubled in the past two years, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (May 30, 2017).

Instead of charging a set membership fee, these synagogues are telling congregants to pay what they want -- and they're succeeding.

The nearly 60 Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist synagogues that have stopped charging mandatory dues are just a minor percentage of the country's 1,500 or so Conservative and Reform synagogues.

On average, the synagogues reported increases in both membership and total revenue since they switched to the voluntary model. They join nearly 1,000 Chabad centers in North America that have always worked on the voluntary model.

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