Churches rely on offerings to meet their financial needs. Jewish synagogues, on the other hand, charge their members dues. Lisa Miller tells how this works and how some synagogues are trying to change this practice to attract more members:
Traditionally, when an American Jew couldn’t manage to pay his annual synagogue dues, he had to apply for relief. This often meant a shameful conversation with the temple’s financial secretary, a plea for mercy and sometimes even a revealing of personal financial documents. It’s not surprising that many people in such circumstances would rather walk away than submit to judgment. . . .
Across the country, young Jews are rebelling against the old, dues-paying model of synagogue membership. [Read more…]