From membership to ownership

Shares in our Shul 1000As we all know, it costs a whack of money just to keep the lights on in any building. This is particularly the case for a heritage building like part of ours. With a great deal of help from our treasurer Ellen and Yossi Boeno, (thank you guys) we’ve drawn up an itemized list (see the attached graph) of several of our annual operational expenses, some small, some significant.

Donations to our ‘general shul fund’ cover some of these expenses, some of the time. However, such funding is arbitrary and can feel a bit like giving to a black hole, we don’t really know what we’re contributing to. ‘Shares in our Shul’ will give us the opportunity to donate regularly an amount with which we are comfortable—monthly, quarterly or annually—to a specific expense of our choosing.

It is my hope that knowing what some of these annual expenses are, seeing them illustrated in a graph like this, will help us all understand our finances better and thus feel more connected and engaged with our Congregation when we contribute to one of those specific expenses; that an enhanced sense of engagement may help change our mind set moving us from the idea of ‘membership’ (i.e., I pay my dues so everything is covered) towards a concept of ‘ownership’, generating a sense of responsibility, a feeling of belonging and pride in our community and in our buildings. After all, we will be contributing to ‘Keeping the Lights On’.

Our office team is still coming to grips with the new synagogue management software, ShulCloud. Once that system is up and running fully we will work on the logistics of implementing ‘Shares in our Shul’. Watch this space…

Ruthi Wicks
President, Congregation Emanu-El

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An inclusive, warm, and progressive Conservative synagogue in Victoria, B.C.

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