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Money for Values: Rethinking Synagogue Engagement and Finance


Our synagogues all rely on the same membership model.  As culture and society changes, so do our communities, one of the effects is on our financial sustainability. Is this model still fit for purpose?

This initiative will help synagogue teams discover what the other options are, what the future may look like with our current model and interrogate the world of synagogue finance which includes mission driven budgeting, alternative models for membership fees and fundraising.

We are delighted to be joined by Rabbi Lou Feldstein from the Reform Movement in the USA and an expert in synagogue finance.

Changing How We Think – Positioning Giving as a Pathway to Engagement with Charlotte Fischer (Citizens UK) & Lou Feldstein
Membership fees: a fee for service or a charitable donation? Tzedaka, giving money to charity, is at the core of Judaism so how have we created a culture in our communities whereby giving to sustain our synagogues is not thought of as such? Celebrate the centenary of the Membership Fee model (yes, only 100 years!) by exploring what it is we need to change to rethink engagement and finance in our communities for the 21st Century. How can we reinstate a culture of giving and put relationships back at the core of what we do?

The Power of Telling Your Financial Story with Rabbi Mark Goldsmith (Alyth) & Lou Feldstein
Judaism has an incredible tradition of telling stories, of oral history that has spanned 5000 years. How can we use our heritage and this skill to articulate our financial stories? In this session we will identify what we need to know and what type of relationships we need to build in order to both develop our financial story and identify the storyteller.

The battle of the Membership Fee Models with Amit Handelsman (RJ) & Lou Feldstein
Recent research shows that the 21st Century raised some serious challenges to the model we are so familiar with- the membership fee model. In this session we will learn about the other fee models out there and examine their pros and cons. Be inspired by case studies of communities who explored different ways of raising money through fees, invested in engaging with their members and building strong relationships with them.

Putting Mission at the Heart of your Budgeting Process with Sarita Robinson (RJ) & Lou Feldstein
A major way we can tell our financial story is through a budgeting system that reflects our values and our mission rather than one whose sole purpose is to break even. This practical session encourages communities to engage visionaries as well as accountants in the budgeting process ensuring your budget not only balances the books but is aligned with your communities values. Learn the tools to put theory into practice and discover how your budgeting process can increase engagement, transparency and a shared sense of accountability.

Who should be on the team?: clergy, visionaries, financially savvy people, paid staff, council members, people with hunger for change and track record of achievements, people who can network and create relationships.

Strengthening communities begins with strong leaders, leaders who engage with a vision and build a strategy whilst nurturing and empowering both current and future leaders. Those who make leadership a natural and appealing path in our communities.

Book Here!

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