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Join the Community

Thank you for your interest in becoming a member of Temple Beth-El, one of the Chicago area’s most historic and progressive Reform Jewish congregations and a center for spiritual fulfillment and cultural fellowship for almost 150 years.

When you join the Temple Beth-El community you receive many benefits. Every member is invited to become active and involved with our many programs, teams and groups. There is something for everyone.

When you make your Community Commitment you then have access to:

  • Weekly worship
  • High holidays worship, programs and special events
  • Sisterhood
  • Men’s Club
  • Religious & Hebrew School
  • Preschool
  • Social justice programs and engagement activities
  • Community service opportunities
  • Social events
  • Spiritual events
  • Travel opportunities
  • Pastoral care from our clergy

Thank you for considering Temple Beth-El, we look forward to connecting with you. Please contact Laurie Orenstein, Executive Director, (847) 205-9982, ext. 211,

Temple Beth-El Community Commitment

 To make your Community Commitment please click here

Through most of Temple Beth-El’s 150 year history, we relied on a traditional dues based model along with Free Will donations. In 2021–22, we replaced this fixed dues model with Community Commitment based on Gifts from the Heart — T’rumot Halev. Members determine their own level of financial commitment.

We are pleased to report that Community Commitment has been successful! Our members are able to give from the heart with a commitment which is affordable and meaningful. This new membership model better aligns with TBE’s core values of diversity, accessibility, and appreciation of giving and receiving.

The Community Commitment model streamlines member giving and improves
the Temple’s financial planning. For our 2022–23 budget, Temple Beth-El
must secure $1.1 Million from Community Commitment to enable the Temple to
provide the level of services and connections to our temple community that we
strive to achieve.

We trust that each household will make a meaningful commitment.

At Temple Beth-El, your heartfelt generosity is needed and our appreciation
is beyond measure. Let’s work together to support and sustain our vibrant
Temple Beth-El community now and for the next 150 years.

Our 2022–2023 Budget

Financial transparency is essential so that our Temple Beth-El community can make an informed commitment decision that balances our budgetary needs with what is comfortable for each family. Temple Beth-El’s 2022–2023 annual operating budget expenses (excluding school expenses) divided by the number of families in our congregation results in a sustaining amount of $3000. This sustaining amount is the average needed per family commitment to fund the portion of our operating budget which was traditionally funded through dues and our Free Will donations. We hope that this past generosity continues and that our members commit to contributing as close to or exceeding this sustaining amount. 

Tiers of Commitment

Frequently asked questions

Q: Does Temple Beth-El require annual dues in addition to a Community Commitment?

A: No, our congregation does not charge dues, but instead has a community commitment
program which is a self-directed giving model enabling each of our members to give from their
heart an amount that is meaningful and affordable. For our congregation to meet its annual
operating expenses, we require an average of $3,000 per household. We ask each member
of our community to consider a commitment as close to or above this sustaining level. Temple
Beth-El Community Commitment is essential for our Temple to meet its annual operating needs.

Q: How will members know the amount to commit for the upcoming year?

A: A “Sustaining Amount” has been determined based upon our budgeted expenses for the
year, divided by the number of member families. Members will be provided the amount of their
giving from the prior year. We will request giving at the Sustaining Amount or an increased
amount over their last year’s giving, whichever the member is most able to commit and is most
generous. We anticipate that our members will continue their past generosity by committing
equal to or greater than their previous giving.

Q: Does the TBE Community Commitment replace all fees and donations?

A: This commitment will streamline our giving requests. The Community Commitment includes
our previous membership dues, Free Will donations, building fund, and security fee. Religious
school, B’nei mitzvah, Men’s Club, Sisterhood, memorial giving, and other gifts would be paid
separately when applicable.

Q: Is the TBE Community Commitment optional?

A: No. We expect that every member will continue to participate in financially supporting our
temple. We depend upon our entire community to ensure that our temple has the financial
resources to meet our annual budgetary needs.

Q: Was the Community Commitment successful last year:

A: Yes. 2021/22 was the first year that Temple Beth-El introduced our Community
Commitment program. Our members generously contributed. We are confident that our
members will continue, and hopefully increase, their commitment from last year.

► To make your Community Commitment please click here

Wed, February 1 2023 10 Sh'vat 5783