Saturday, October 24, 2009

Philanthropy-phobic :(

See the comments.


Blogger Shira Salamone said...

See next comment.

Tue Nov 24, 07:39:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Keep going, please.

Tue Nov 24, 07:40:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Sorry, but please be patient and keep going.

Tue Nov 24, 07:40:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Just one more.

Tue Nov 24, 07:41:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

This is another of my (in)famous hidden posts, published in the comments section so as to be invisible to my co-workers, who would have to click to see it.

Last spring, my poor husband, chair of the Ritual Committee of our local Conservative synagogue, got repeated phone calls from our High Holiday cantor complaining that he was still owed half of his fee despite repeated requests to the shul president. He never left a call-back number, clearly uninterested in hearing any excuses. We finally got fed up with nagging the president ourselves, and paid part of the balance out of our own pockets. (Lets just say that our check, paid directly into the cantor's US investment account because we didn't trust the president not to spend the money on other shul bills, was for well over $1,000, and leave it mercifully at that.) Imagine our shock when we got another call from the HH cantor about a month and a half later saying that the remaining balance still hadn't been paid! Fortunately, the dues were coming in at that point, and the balance was paid within two weeks.

But our deal with the shul was that we'd paid *everything* for 2009--dues, shul seder, HH seats, HH pledge, the shul's annual catered dinner in the sukkah, lulav & etrog, Chanukah luncheon, etc. So you can imagine how disgusted I was when my husband informed me that, a few days ago, the president asked to borrow several hundred dollars to help cover the payroll. Thus far, he's paid back most of it. But I have no delusions that this will be his last request, especially since the rabbi's contract doesn't end 'til Aug. 31, we have only 60 members left, and we expect the Mal'ach HaMavet/Angel of Death to continue making his appointed rounds among the mostly-elderly members. Nor do I believe that all of our loans will be repaid. Methinks we'll be paying next year's dues & fees the same way we paid this year's--by bailing out the shul when bills come due.

So our donations to secular, and, for that matter, other Jewish, charities are going to be very limited for the foreseeable future. Welcome to the joys of being members of a literally-dying synagogue.

Tue Nov 24, 08:04:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Note: As you can see from the date stamps on the comments, this post was actually published on Nov. 24, 2009, but was "hidden" here.

Tue Nov 24, 08:09:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Larry Lennhoff said...

I'm not in a position to help out as much as I like, but I recently heard that my shteibel is actually in foreclosure. I don't know what is going to happen - I hear the legal situation is actually rather messy.

I appreciate that you consider support for your shul as among your top priorities - I think that is a great thing and I wish more people did.

Not to sound crass, but is anyone at the shul talking with the elderly memberss about the possibility of leaving a bequest to the shul?

Tue Nov 24, 12:14:00 PM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Larry, the shul has received several bequests in recent years and has spent its way through every penny of them. We simply don't have enough members, or, frankly, high enough dues, to cover our payroll, utility bills, and building-maintenance expenses. And, due to the fact that the majority of the congregants are retirees on fixed incomes, no one's proposing a dues increase.

We recently rented our basement to another cash-strapped Jewish non-profit organization. The rent money may tide us over in the short run. But sooner or later, we'll have to sell this building, too--we built this one less than a decade ago after selling our much-larger former synagogue building--and move into a house. Conservative shtiebl, anyone?

Wed Nov 25, 08:21:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Larry, good luck to your own shtiebl, may it live and be well, financially.

Wed Nov 25, 08:43:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"I'm not in a position to help out as much as I like," Neither are we. For the record, we don't normally just happen to have over a $1,000 lying around. The money with which we paid the HH cantor came from our retirement savings. We're not nearly wealthy enough to be able to afford to dip into our savings, and hope the shul never puts us in that position again.

Sun Nov 29, 08:17:00 PM 2009  

Post a Comment

<< Home

<< List
Jewish Bloggers
Join >>