Sunday, September 06, 2009

A shul that pays its members to belong

Looking to attract new members to your community? A shul in a NY suburb - which apparently once had a substantial Jewish community but is now in decline - has come up with an unusual scheme.They are offering $30,000 to two couples who are willing to join the shul for 10 years, and $25,000 to couples after that.

The couples must go through a selection process.

The money, says the shul,

can be used toward the purchase of your home,
or its renovation, or tuition for your children’s
education. It’s yours. In exchange for the money you
agree to be full dues paying members of the synagogue and remain living
in the community for ten years. When that’s been completed,
you’re done – no need to repay a penny. If, for some
reason you are unable to complete the ten years, you’ll need to
repay the $30,000, but you will not pay any interest. The loan
will be secured, just as a mortgage is.

So basically a portion of the money is ploughed straight back into the community in the form of shul fees. And a few thousand dollars a year isn't that much to spend in order to gain active new members - not to mention all the publicity they've just bought themselves.

Still, for $2,000+ a year I think I would at least be asking my new members for a commitment to turn up to shul once in a while, and maybe do some volunteering, as well....

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