Now that the holidays are behind us, Tzedek Chicago is gearing up once again for our annual membership drive. I'm genuinely excited to continue the sacred work of community-building!
As we begin our fifth year, we have currently reached 180 individual dues paying members, a number we have reached with a part-time rabbi and a largely volunteer leadership. Over the past four years, it's become abundantly clear to me that there is a real constituency in our community for a Jewish congregation such as ours: one based in core values of liberation, justice and solidarity with the oppressed. We've been so gratified at what we've able to create such a short amount of time. And it's clear to us that we've only just begun to scratch the surface of our potential.
Now that I will soon be working for Tzedek Chicago full-time, we have set the goal of 250 members in the coming year. In truth, however, I personally think we are capable of much more than this. Rarely does a day go by without hearing from folks around the country (in some cases around the world) asking if there is a congregation such as ours in their community. I'm reminded constantly that we are creating a congregation of conscience - one that ultimately transcends geographic location.
Like most congregations, we most immediately serve those who happen to live in a specific place - in our case, the greater Chicago area. But - as our growing ranks of members from around the country attest - we've found that this is not the only way people connect to Tzedek Chicago. We are currently working on ways we can serve our "remote membership" through various online means such as more live streaming and other internet-based means. You will be receiving more information about these opportunities in the coming months.
In short: we value you participation in our congregation no matter where you happen to live. If you are currently a member of Tzedek Chicago, we hope you will renew your membership during our membership drive. If you aren't formally a member but have joined us for any of our services or programs - or if you have heard about us and dig what we do - we invite you to become a member as well.
Practically speaking, our board has set the "annual sustaining dues" at $500.00 - an amount based on what is needed from each adult member to sustain our congregation for a year. We feel strongly, however, that all our members pay dues at a level that is affordable and doable for them with no questions asked. Every single membership (whether below or above the sustaining level) is deeply valued and appreciated.
You can re/join us by clicking here. Again: to our returning members, thank you for your presence, your participation and your ongoing support. And if you are a member-yet-to-be, welcome to Tzedek Chicago! It means so much to us that you are stepping forward to be counted in this very special community.
Rabbi Brant Rosen