Yom Kippur Appeal 5777
by Marc Mangel
When we travel and visit synagogues, we often meet people who think of Santa Cruz as the galut (if they know where Santa Cruz is at all) and they are very curious about Jewish life in SC.
We tell them about Beth El and Chadeish Yameinu and that we belong to a lay lead synagogue – which is why we can drop in at new places and contribute by reading Torah and Haftorah, give an occasional drash, and otherwise help with davenning.
We could also tell them that we are not only lay lead, but lay financed.
Wait, you are thinking, all synagogues are lay financed. Well, yes and no.
Look around you: where is our big donor board? We don’t have one. Why not? Because we don’t have big donors who underwrite KT. We are truly lay financed – kind of a Bernie Sanders campaign of synagogues.
For the fiscal year that ended in June, 86% of the KT budget was used for the facility or the Kiddush – with the vast majority for the facility. And we are exactly covering costs, with very little leeway.
It is the wrong question to ask “what do I get for my support of KT”.
The right question is “Do I consider it important that we have this congregation in town – not for me, but because of me, to be here when others need KT”. I hope that you answer yes.
You might think “Oh but I can only make a small donation, or a small increase to what I already donate”. Perhaps, but recognize that there are many ways that small donations can make a difference – from mailing the geniza box back to its repository to sharing in sponsoring the Kiddush.
The only donation that is too small is one that does not fill your heart.
As we enter this day of introspection, Teshuvah, and commitments for the new year – including financial commitments — remember that Rav Assi taught “Tzedaka is equivalent to all the mitzvoth together”.