You don’t have to be a member to participate in the life of Congregation Beth Israel. You may come to services, even high holiday services, without paying any fees. Just come.
But, we hope that you will join us. As a member, you become a part of the community of people who will share your Jewish values, celebrate your joys, and support you in times of sorrow.
We depend on our members. We have served the Berkshires for more than 125 years. We are here because of the people who came before us. And we need you and people like you to join to continue to be a vibrant, thriving community, now and into the future.
Congregation Beth Israel is a community where all are welcome and included – young families and old, teens and empty-nesters. Our membership is made up of Jewish families and interfaith families, gay and straight, singles and non-traditional families. At CBI all are accepted and valued just as they are.
Our congregation offers educational opportunities for learners of all ages, bar and bat mitzvah, lifecycle events, pastoral care, social action efforts to benefit the community and the world, social events, as well as worship that is song-filled, intimate and lively, innovative, and authentic.
The financial commitment structure is designed to provide the foundation for our operating expenses so that together we can share this extensive range of spiritual nourishment in a fair and fiscally responsible manner. We know that membership is a major commitment for all of our members. We are serious about the importance of maintaining a rich Jewish life for our community and our level of financial commitment reflects that. We need the support of all members to ensure the financial health of the congregation. The financial commitment is a set amount for each membership category, but no one is ever turned away from Congregation Beth Israel for financial reasons. For a full list of current membership rates, please refer to our membership application.
Members who are able to make a greater financial commitment to the congregation voluntarily become sponsor members. Sponsor levels begin at $1,300 for individuals and $2,650 for families. In appreciation for their contribution, members at these levels are eligible to receive additional benefits (see membership application for full details).
New CBI members contribute to the congregation’s Building Fund, which is used solely for building maintenance and for any expansion that may be necessary for the future growth of our congregation. The assessment is $1,500, payable over three years. Extensions may be granted in cases of need.
Education Enrollment Fees
Fees for our education programs are only used to pay for the cost of running these programs. In fact, many of these fees are highly subsidized by grants from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, Jewish Federation of the Berkshires, and community sponsors.
The financial commitment structure is our foundation for meeting the congregation’s basic needs. Some events such as special holiday celebrations, social gatherings, and trips may require additional fees. Underwriting of these events is always welcome.
We welcome and appreciate donations. Many people make gifts to honor people and to recognize life cycle events, birthdays, and yahrzeits of loved ones.
If you are interested in more information about membership, please contact us.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I can’t afford the financial commitment?
We welcome all families and individuals who wish to become members of our congregation regardless of their ability to pay our full fees. Accommodations for individual circumstances are available by having a strictly confidential discussion with the synagogue treasurer or president (contact us).
May I pay my financial commitment and fees over time?
Financial commitment payments, pledged donations, and all fees are invoiced on a single statement four times a year (in January, April, July, and October). One-quarter of the annual amount is due with each statement, but members may, of course, choose to pay the entire amount at once. Families requiring more time to make payments may arrange to do so with our treasurer.
If my spouse does not intend to participate in programs, events, and services at CBI, can I join as an individual member?
An individual membership applies only to a member without a spouse or children living at home. We treat all family members the same, no matter how much or little they attend congregational programs, events, and services. Additionally, life-cycle events and pastoral care are provided for all members of congregational families. The financial commitment structure is designed to ensure that the congregation will be there for all members whenever the need arises.