Becoming a Member
Sinai Temple Membership
Although Sinai is a member of the Union for Reform Judaism and subscribes to the tenets of Reform Judaism, its membership includes all Jews: Reform, Conservative, Traditional, Secular, Cultural, etc. One of the strengths of Sinai Temple is the way in which people with these diverse views join together to create a Temple Family. The purpose of Sinai is to foster important values in Judaism such as learning, prayer, and community service.
Sinai not only serves the religious needs of the Jewish community, it also provides a setting for the many Jewish social and cultural activities which take place in Champaign-Urbana. Sinai Temple provides a worship community and an educational center for its members, as well as for all the Jews of Champaign-Urbana. In addition to regular worship services, Sinai provides a center for extensive artistic, cultural, and social events. Sinai often joins with B’nai B’rith, the Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation, the University of Illinois Hillel Foundation, and the University of Illinois Program in Jewish Culture and Society to bring to our community many important scholars, artists, speakers, politicians and performers.
Interested in becoming a member? You can download and fill out a membership application and pledge form below.
In 2011, Sinai Temple switched from a mandatory membership fee structure to a voluntary pledge system. Under our new process, each member sets his or her own level of support on a (insert link) pledge form, based on a target support level of 1.5% of household income. We estimate that if families self-assess 1.5% of their income as their support of the Temple, we will have adequate funds to operate without a deficit.
In order to adequately finance the many and varied activities at Sinai, we need to take in an average of $1900 per family over the congregation as a whole each year. Many of our members, even if they are able to pledge 1.5% of their income, will not be able to contribute this average amount. We hope that those with more substantial resources will support the Temple at a high enough level so that we achieve the average over the congregation as a whole. This proposal is based on our deep conviction that the vast majority of our members will be guided by their sense of responsibility to support the Jewish community in a spirit of generosity and good will, regardless of financial status.
However, we do not want finances to prohibit anyone from joining Sinai Temple. If your family is unable to contribute at the 1.5% level, please pledge an amount that is feasible and meaningful for your family. We do not request or require proof of income.
We urge you to think of your obligation to Sinai Temple as your contribution to the health of our Jewish Community. The Board believes that a strong and vital Temple benefits all of us, regardless of whether you are actively or only occasionally involved in Temple activities. All of us, together, must see to it that the Temple is both financially and spiritually healthy in order to serve the Jewish community of the greater Champaign-Urbana area.
BUILDING FUND COMMITMENT
Sinai Temple maintains a Building Fund, which is used for capital repairs of our building and grounds. We request that each member family contribute $1,500.00 towards the building fund over the course of their memberships. Many families choose to do this by contributing $150.00 annually for 10 years, but this schedule is not mandatory. In recent years, our Building Fund has covered the cost of replacing two of our boilers, which was a significant cost. Having a robust Building Fund allows for these one-time, large expenditures without affecting our operating budget.