Membership

Membership Q&As

Welcome to B’nai Sholom!  We’re really glad you’re checking out the membership page and hope you will choose to join us as a member. 

Here are some common questions about membership.  Please click on the category to see the answers. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact the B’nai Sholom office.  Our office manager can answer most questions, and she can refer you to our rabbi or our membership committee chair as needed.

Membership, in General

  • What does it mean to be a “member”?
  • What benefits do I get as a member?
  • What are my obligations as a member?

Financial Obligations – the Details

  • How much are the dues?
  • If I’m under 35, then I can join with no financial obligation?
  • What if I’m under 35 but my partner is older?
  • If I turn 36 in the middle of the year, when do my dues increase?

If I join in the middle of your fiscal year, how is my first free year measured?

Eligibility for Membership; Inter-faith and Non-traditional Families

  • Do I have to be Jewish to join?
  • I’m Jewish, but my partner is not. If we get a family membership, what is the status of my partner?
  • I’m the father of two children. I’m Jewish, but my wife, their mother, is not.  We’ve agreed to raise our children as Jewish.  Can our kids attend B’nai Sholom’s religious school?  Will they be considered Jews?
  • I’m technically Jewish, but I don’t know very much about the religion. I never had a bar mitzvah or anything.  Can I be a member?
  • My grandparents were Jewish, but my parents did not consider themselves Jewish and did not raise me with any faith. Am I Jewish for purposes of membership?
  • My partner and I live together, but we’re not married. Can we get a family membership?
  • My partner and I are a same-sex couple. Can we get a family membership?

Learning More About B’nai Sholom

  • What if I don’t want to join right away? Can I come to services regularly?
  • What about Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur? Don’t most synagogues require you to pay to attend those services?
  • Are there other ways I can explore B’nai Sholom’s offerings without becoming a member?
  • How do I find out what’s going on at B’nai Sholom, so I can try out some things before I decide to join?

Membership Application Process

  • I’m ready to join! How do I sign up?
  • After I send in my membership application, what happens next?

I’d really like to talk to someone about B’nai Sholom. Contact the office by phone (518-482-5283) or email (office@bnaisholom.albany.ny.us). The office manager can arrange for you to talk to our rabbi, the chair of our membership committee, our president, or a congregant who shares a particular interest or concern you may have.