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Reducing Your Dues Burden

Dear Friends:

We are pleased to tell you that we are going to reduce your dues burden in fiscal year 2012 by introducing a five-percent early payment discount in dues.

This discount is the first step in our plan to restructure our dues formula entirely. Rethinking the way we assess and collect dues is in response to hearing your concerns about dues is a major component of United Synagogue's recently approved strategic plan.

Here's how it works:

  • Pay your MRF assessed dues in full by December 31, 2011 and have no outstanding balance, and you will get a 5% dues discount. (Click here to download an MRF.) Or
  • Stay current with your prearranged monthly or quarterly dues payment schedule, usually approved annually, and you will get a 5% dues discount with your final payment(s).

Even with a five-percent reduction in dues, we recognize that some kehillot still will struggle with their dues. As always, we will continue to grant variances on an annual basis after careful review and analysis of the required financial information submitted to us by affiliated kehilllot.

To qualify for the early payment discount you also must submit up-to-date contact lists for your kehillot  We know that most kehillot already send us their lists, and we thank you gratefully, but we would like to get a list from each one of you. Once we have your contact list, we can continue to send each of your member households our quarterly magazine, CJ: Voices of Conservative/Masorti Judaism, so they know what's going on in the Conservative movement (and get a great recipe or two while they're at it).

We also can send you the United Synagogue calendar, return address labels, greeting cards, and more. Please note that these direct mail programs are a significant revenue source. The more we are able to expand this program the more we will be able to reduce the dues burden on your kehilla. United Synagogue and its member kehillot are a partnership; we need you to help us to be the best organization we can be for our kehillot across North America.

We want to assure you that when we calculate dues we look only at your MRF, not at your mailing list. Also, we pledge that we will use this list only for the purpose intended and that we will not share or forward the list to others without your knowledge and consent. We also recognize that some kehillot will prefer just one annual mailing of these items or to distribute them themselves. We are committed to working with you to maximize our contacts with you and to respect your policies and procedures at the same time. Barry Mael, our chief resource development and marketing officer, will be happy to discuss with you how you might best participate in this early payment discount. He can be reached at or 646 519-1022.

Over the next year, with the help of focus groups representing an array of congregations of all sizes and from across the continent, United Synagogue will develop an entirely revamped dues payment structure, which we'll introduce in 2012 for fiscal year 2013. This new structure will be easier to understand, and it will better meet the evolving needs of both our affiliated kehillot and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. If you are interested in participating in this study of dues please call or email Barry Mael..

Our progress in dues management is but one priority of several that were ratified at our May 22 board and general assembly meetings. We look forward to sharing those decisions with you over the next weeks, and in general to continue working with you as we revitalize United Synagogue and revolutionize our partnership with you.


Richard Skolnik
International President

Rabbi Steven C. Wernick
Executive Vice President and CEO

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