What if I cannot afford membership dues?
We appreciate each family’s interest in becoming part of the Temple Israel community and recognize that there are circumstances that are unique to each family. We also appreciate that your decision to join a synagogue is a powerful statement of commitment to Jewish life and are proud that you wish to affiliate with Temple Israel. We will make every effort to assure that no one is turned away for financial reasons. Please fill out our membership application and indicate that you would like to discuss financial arrangements and we will be in touch for a confidential conversation. These arrangements are private and all congregants receive the same honor and respect of our congergation.
What if my spouse is not Jewish?
Temple Israel has many families where one spouse is not Jewish. We embrace every family that chooses to be part of a Jewish community. Although there are a few ritual limits for non-Jewish members, the rest of our vibrant community is open to them. Many non-Jewish people actively volunteer, study and join us for services. If they are interested in becoming Jewish, Rabbi Neely is always available to meet and discuss this special journey.
Does Temple Israel sell tickets for High Holidays?
The short answer is yes, but we hope you will continue reading. If you are asking perhaps it is because there is a need within you to come together with other Jews and mark these important days on the Jewish calendar. We are glad to provide the venue for you to do that, but ask that you consider affiliation with Temple Israel as well. Why? Because becoming a member changes the dynamic of the High Holiday season – buying a “ticket” to attend makes you a consumer; joining Temple Israel makes you a member of a community. So, yes, we will sell you a ticket, but consider it a first step; the ticket amount can be applied to membership. Become a member and make a statement in support for the continuation of the Jewish community. If you feel you can only afford a ticket instead of membership, please contact our office for a confidential meeting to discuss alternative financial arrangements.
What is the Building Maintenance Fund?
The Building Maintenance Fund is payable by all new members to Temple Israel. This fund is used to help pay for the ongoing maintenance and renovation of our physical plant which our longer term members helped to create. Thus all members share in providing the home for our congregation. The Building Maintenance Fund does not begin until age 30 and is deferred for the first year for all new members.
Can my child attend the Meitin Religious School if my family is not a member of Temple Israel?
We are glad to afford you the opportunity to experience our education program and our congregation for a year without joining the synagogue. There is a differential in tuition for members and non-members. Click here for the registration packet and tuition schedule.
Can my child participate in the Youth Programs at Temple Israel if my family is not a member?
Yes, our Youth Programs are open to all Jewish youth who wish to participate. We are a member congregation of the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism and participate in our region’s Kadima (grades 6-8) and USY (grades 9-12). Additionally we have a program for children in grades 2-5 called L’Dor V’Dor. For more information and the Youth program registration form click here.
How do I get involved at Temple Israel?
It is very easy to get involved at Temple Israel! We are a highly participatory congregation. First, ask yourself, what are my interests? Once you know what you want it is easy to find like-minded people to engage with. Here is a list (with contact information) of some the common interests:
- Helping in the office?
- Volunteer opportunities in the community?
- Men’s Club?
- Synagogue Committees?
- Leading services?
- Reading Torah/Haftorah?
- Becoming familiar with melodies used in services?
Is Rabbi Neely available for life cycle events of non-members?
We want nothing more than to help you celebrate your life cycle events with our community. There are many ways we can help you be a part of our Temple Israel family. Brit Milah and baby namings for the first child are possible for a small donation to the congregation. Bar/Bat Mitzvahs require a multiple year commitment by families and students; please contact Rabbi Neely to discuss how we can help your child get the most out of this special milestone. Weddings are also possible for those looking to start their new home together with a congregational family. The Orlando Community Rabbi handles all funerals for the unaffiliated.