Membership

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

B’nai Sholom welcomes newcomers to our congregation, including people in interfaith marriages and of all races, abilities, sexual orientations and gender identities. We are a warm, welcoming community in an active Reform temple that provides opportunities for spiritual growth, continuous learning and social action. We work to introduce and orient new members to our vibrant community, and we create programs to deepen and broaden the engagement of both current and prospective members in Jewish life and service, such as Music Bridge, which brings our teen musicians to entertain nursing home residents, and Tot Shabbat, a Friday night worship service for families with young children.

Learn more about us by signing up for our monthly bulletin and/or joining us for Friday night services  or one of our many educational, social action or just-for-fun activities. We have adult education classes, weekly Torah study on Saturday mornings, an annual fair trade market, wine and cheese tastings, a chili-making contest, and periodic open-mic coffeehouses, among other things, all open to the public. Or perhaps you’d like to join us when we help at the soup kitchen or our program with Family Promise of the Capital Region, collect clothes at our clothing drives or put together our Books for Babies packages. There is always a lot going on. Many of our congregants have come to a few activities and gotten to know us a bit before deciding to join. You can too.

Below are some common questions about membership. Please click on the category to see the answers. If you have additional questions or want to sign up to receive our monthly bulletin, feel free to contact the B’nai Sholom office at 518-482-5283 or via email at office@bnaisholom.albany.ny.us. Our office manager can answer most questions, and she can refer you to our rabbi or our Membership Committee chair as needed.

We look forward to welcoming you!

Benefits of Membership

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

Dues on a Sliding Scale

  • How much are the dues?
  • 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 does the 10 percent rate work?

Membership Eligibility

  • 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.

 

B'nai Sholom Albany NY