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President's Message

Elliot Miller

On March 1st we sent an informational email on Voluntary Community Support to the entire congregation. Those of you who were members of Kol Ami last year are probably wondering how successful was the transition from fixed membership dues to Voluntary Community Support.

Those of you who are new to Kol Ami this year are probably wondering about the Sustainer level, how it was calculated and what does it reflect. This President’s Message will attempt to address both those questions.

In general, we were very pleased with the results. Among returning Kol Ami members, 40% contributed a higher amount and overall contributions were up 8%. However, with 26% contributing the same, that means that 34% contributed less than the year before. We were fortunate that those that gave more gave twice as much as those who contributed less, hence the overall increase.

For all our new members, plus the 34% who contributed less than the previous year, it is critical that everyone understand the importance of “sustaining” the congregation. The Kol Ami sustainer level was calculated by looking at the total cost of salaries, office expense, school expense, occupancy cost, High Holy Days etc, divided by the number of membership units.

The sustainer level for 2019-2020 is $3,100, the same as this year. While that, at first glance, can seem like a significant amount, remember that it includes the cost of running the religious school. Therefore, if you are paying religious school tuition, you are already contributing toward the sustainer cost.

We know that not everyone is capable of contributing at the sustainer level. This year, 40 members contributed at or above the sustainer level, helping to offset those who couldn’t. But only by supporting Kol Ami to the best of our ability (tax deductible and available in monthly instalments) can we ensure the long-term viability of our congregation, meeting its members’ needs for simchas (e.g. B’nai Mitzvah), Chesed, lifelong education (school, Adult Ed, Rabbi’s learning series), ritual observance, and an overall feeling of community.



Sat, September 18 2021 12 Tishrei 5782