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 the costs 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. Member families pay $1,420 per year and individual members pay $700. Seasonal memberships are available for part-time residents of the Berkshires. There is a separate fee for the Hebrew School (see Education Enrollment Fees below).
Members who are able to make a greater financial commitment to the congregation can voluntarily become sponsor members. Levels of sponsor membership begin at $2,440 for families and $1,220 for individuals. Sponsor members do not receive any additional membership benefits.
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 – Aleph Bet, Ne’arim, B-Mitzvah, and adult education programs – are only used to pay for the actual cost of running these programs. In fact, many of these fees are highly subsidized by grants from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and Jewish Federation of the Berkshires.
The financial commitment structure provides the foundation to meet the congregation’s basic needs. Some events, such as special holiday celebrations, social gatherings, and congregational 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?
Yes, financial commitment payments, pledged donations, and fees may be paid over the course of the year. Specifics are available upon request. Families requiring more time to make payments may arrange to do so with the Congregation’s treasurer or president.