Thank you for your interest in our synagogue. Below are some common questions that you may have about becoming a member of our congregation. Please do not hesitate to contact Rabbi Asch if you have other questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where is Temple Beth El?
Temple Beth El is a small, vibrant synagogue located on a quiet side street just a few blocks from the Maine State Capitol Building in Augusta. We are the only Reform Jewish congregation in Central Maine.
How many members does TBE have?
TBE is the center of Jewish activity for more than 100 member households living within a 50-mile radius of Augusta. Our membership spans a broad spectrum of ages, professions, interests, and backgrounds.
What kind of activities does TBE offer?
TBE offers a range of religious, cultural, and social activities that belie our small size. Our congregation encompasses all age groups; we have a robust and growing Hebrew School program (Pre-K through a teen group), an active adult community, and a significant group of seniors, many of whom live in Maine year-round. We hold regular services and study sessions for Shabbat and holidays, and host numerous adult education programs, including adult B’nai Mitzvah classes, conversions groups, a chavurah, visiting scholars, Torah study, lectures, annual Ice Storm Wine Tasting, and theater trips. Through the temple, our rabbi and congregants also engage in community and social justice activities.
How much are dues?
TBE does not charge our members “dues.” Beginning in 2017, Temple Beth El changed our financial structure. We no longer require members to pay “dues” or a set fee established by the Board. Instead, members make a self-defined financial commitment to TBE called a “terumah,” or offering. We believe that this terumah approach will help meet TBE’s annual budget and reduce the need for additional appeals througout the year. Most importantly, it sends a powerful message about our welcoming community.
How much should my “terumah” be?
The amount of your terumah is up to you. For guidance, you may read the following documents:
• Factors to consider when setting your terumah
• Suggested giving levels based on income
What are the future plans for TBE?
To meet the growing needs of our community, we recently completed an expansion that culminated in the opening of 5 Woodlawn Avenue adjacent to our sanctuary at 3 Woodlawn. Our new building includes classroom space for our Hebrew School, an extensive Jewish library, a kitchen, expanded office and storage space, and a play area for our children. We now are raising funds for a renovation of our sanctuary. With the addition of prospective new members, we feel that such expansion and renovation projects are imperative.
How can I apply to become a member?
Please contact Rabbi Asch and fill out our Membership Application. We look forward to meeting you!