At our Annual General Meeting on June 5, we answered that question, sharing key highlights from 2015/2016 (5776), including an update on our finances. A version of this summary has also been mailed with your High Holy Day invitation. In light of our situation, we hope you’ll consider a donation to the DJC when you register for the High Holy Days. You can register ONLINE.
What are some highlights from 2015/2016?
The nine Community Conversations in our Year of Wrestling Together culminated in a stronger, clearer brit (covenant) between our community and our extraordinary rabbi, as well as a courageous, radically inclusive, and innovative new policy concerning ritual leadership roles. Visit JEWS & NON-JEWS IN RITUAL LEADERSHIP ROLES to read our decision.
We’ve seen continued growth in programs, including Shabbat UNServices, at the same time that Rabbi Miriam is shepherding more and more of us through life-cycle events, from brit/bris milah to funerals. Meanwhile, the Board remains focused on navigating the difficult government process required to enable Cantor Lisa able to perform inter-faith marriages for our community.
In 2015/2016 (5776), our weekly DJC Jewish Studies Program was as vibrant as ever, with 87 students from JK-Grade 6, while ten extraordinary young men and women celebrated their B’nei Mitzvah together on May 28 as part of our year-long program. We also had individual bar and bat mitzvahs throughout the year.
Meanwhile, efforts within our community have been nothing less than inspiring: from the Accessibility Initiative, whose efforts contributed to Eastminster United’s decision to undertake renovations this summer to make the church accessible; to the Social Justice Committee, who led the charge in raising $57,000 for the DJC’s Syrian refugee response, and is spearheading our community’s efforts to sponsor a Syrian family of seven expected in the fall of 2015. Visit DJC Sponsors a Syrian Refugee Family for regular updates. And there is much else happening, from the bold outreach of our Multi-Faith Committee, to the rich discussions of our Movie Night and Reading Circle, to the essential contributions of our Chesed Committee, to the launch of a new Pride Committee.
Financially, the DJC remains healthy, but only because fundraising fills the gap. In 2015, we earned nearly $283,000 in membership dues, High Holy Day ticket sales, and tuition fees, against more than $312,00 in expenses, the majority of which are comprised of salaries for our Rabbi, Cantor, administrative staff, and school teachers. It’s only with nearly $48,000 in donations that we posted a surplus. As a result, for the coming High Holy Days, we’re raising membership fees for the first time since 2013. Our new fees remain highly competitive when compared to other communities; this new fee increase only partially fill our expected funding gap next year. We remain committed to ensuring that no one is turned away for financial reasons; simply email to learn more.
For more about the items mentioned here, you’ll find the materials shared at our recent Annual General Meeting 2016 State of Our Community.
Wishing you all a glorious summer,
The DJC Board, in partnership with Rabbi Miriam
Hilla, Josh, Ken, Lis, Margaret, Marlee, Michael, Nadya, Shari