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Annual Membership Voluntary Contribution

An important part of being a member at Temple Beth El is to give your share of what is needed to provide everything we create together. Each summer, we ask you to renew your membership. The amount is up to you–we recognize that your financial situations can vary dramatically, and priorities can shift over time, as families move through the stages of life.

All we ask is that you take a moment to reflect on everything we create together, some of which you’ll see described below, and be as generous as possible! Questions?  Contact
Melissa Sunberg



Progress Toward Our Goal!

Blue is how much we have collected

Orange is how much we have left to go

Jewish Values and the Broader Community

One of the most important things we create together is a more just community to live in. As part of Tikkun Olam, our rabbis and members are engaged with virtually every social justice initiative in the County. You’ve seen TBE members carrying our banner at the Women’s March, Black Lives Matter, the Pride Parade, and other community events. Our rabbis are often asked to speak at events like MLK day, Out in Our Faith, and other movements throughout the County. 

At a time when antisemitism is up 40% nationally, some of what Temple Beth El creates together makes this a safer, more welcoming place for Jews. For example, TBE helped found Tent of Abraham, for better interfaith understanding. And when a hundred of us show up at the town clock to light a giant menorah and sing Hanukkah songs, we put a human face to the Jewish people. In the true spirit of Tikkun Olam, TBE makes this a better place to live for everyone.


Foundation for the Next Generation

In summertime there are kids all over the place at TBE.  Simcha is going strong with 40-50 kids, and Kamp Kayetz is in full swing, with over 70 campers, youth counselors and staff ranging from kinder through college and beyond. 

If you were to walk around the Temple you would see our adorable Simcha tots parading through the building trying their best to be quiet; you would see kids having fun in the kitchen making pita and other Jewish soul foods; you would hear groups of kids busting out your favorite Jewish camp songs of yore as a single youth chorus, arms around each other, little ones idolizing the bigger ones. The kids are making friends, learning about Jewish culture and values, trusting each other, and making Jewish community. So, yes, we are successfully passing the torch and sustaining Jewish culture.  This is our legacy, and our parents and grandparents would be so pleased. 


Figuring Out Your Fair Share

How much is the right amount to give? Whatever you can! When we started this approach, membership revenue went up! But recently, the pandemic, bouts of high unemployment, and economic uncertainty reversed that trend.

While your annual letter shows prior giving, your resources and income can vary--sometimes dramatically–year to year. So TBE just asks you to be as generous as you can. One approach is to look at your total charitable contributions. In the US, charitable giving ranges from 2% to 11% of income, with the higher percentages coming at lower incomes.

It also helps to think equivalencies. The average American spends over $5,000 per year on gasoline. If you make every gallon count by driving a hybrid or carpooling, you could give that savings to TBE, rather than Chevron. Or consider what you spend on lattes, or wine, or vacations, or clothes. Where does Temple Beth El fit, in comparison? All we ask is that you give it some thought, and be as generous as you can.

Sustain Jewish Traditions

A place to worship, absolutely! 

We are also much, much more. Choose from the many experiences that we offer:

Rock Shabbat, choir service, traditional, contemporary, and special themes like social justice, LGBTQIA pride, etc.  Participate with your community in the celebration and observance of Jewish holidays.

When your child is born, when they reach points of transition, and when they choose their special person to spend the rest of their lives with, you have a community to join with you in your joyous time.

You are supported and cared for when a family member is ill and at times of passing.

Learn, play, schmooze, and connect with your welcoming Jewish community, one that includes everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual preference, physical abilities, or even religion.

Center for Community

Our Temple Beth El community shares a passion for creating a Jewish environment where all can feel that they belong. We stand together to make a difference and take action that represents our Jewish values.

Members of our community often say that Temple Beth El is a special place. We feel that we can make a positive impact in our Jewish community and also in the broader Santa Cruz area. When action is needed we come together to provide support for those in need and advocate for diversity and inclusion.

We care for each other, celebrate together, and are with each other in difficult times. The relationships that we continue to build, starting with our children through our seniors, bring us meaning and the opportunity to work together to do good for our community.

Many Ways to Support Temple Beth El

Your financial support is critical to everything we create together, and this is by far the largest share of our budget. This year, there will be no capital campaign for building updates, but beyond your membership donation, you can make a gift any time, for nearly any purpose, at

There are many non-financial ways to support Temple Beth El. The Mazon Project has been feeding unhoused people every Sunday since 1988, and always appreciates your help. Volunteers gather to maintain our two cemeteries periodically, which ends up being a great way to meet other members. It could be as simple as offering a ride to another member who might not have viable transportation options. Or bringing a non-member to a service or event, to help grow the congregation. Keep any eye out for these opportunities and more, in the weekly TBE newsletter.

Mon, February 26 2024 17 Adar I 5784