We've put together a sample best practice membership application. This application may be downloaded and personalized for your congregation. It may be adjusted to fit your congregation's needs. The sample was designed to reflect a warm, welcoming and diversity-sensitive community.
Instructions: The sections in red are intended to be modified to fit your congregation's needs. However, you may keep the text if applicable.
Top of the Application:
Insert your temple's logo or graphic into the the spot on the upper left hand corner that reads: "This is a Graphic Box. Paste or Insert Your Temple's Logo Here." If your congregation does not have a logo, now is a good time to consider making one and using it on all of your publications. Having a logo or brand on your literature is an essential marketing tool that allows your congregation to be clearly identified and stand out.
Fill in your congregation's name and address in the allotted space. You might also consider putting your congregation's email address here as well.
The opening paragraph is for you to use or adjust. It is an excellent example of a warm and welcoming introduction to the membership application and entrance into your synagogue community. Fill in the appropriate information for your synagogue.
Personal Information: You may adjust this section. Particular adjustments might be needed in the "Special Accomodations needed" section, if your community does not offer the listed accomodations. Remove or adjust the information accordingly.
Contact Information: You may adjust this section to fit the needs of your congregation.
Religious Background: You may adjust this section to fit the needs of your congregation. The blank spaces are left to fill in the name of your congregation.
Business Information: You may adjust this section to fit the needs of your congregation.
Yarzheit Information: You may adjust this section to fit the needs of your congregation. The space after "Request information on memorial plaque at" is for the name of your congregation.
Children's Information: You may adjust this section to fit the needs of your congregation. The section for the "Hebrew name (if known)" is highlighted because here you have the opportunity to think about how you want to present this issue. If your congregation has a ceremony where Hebrew names are given, this is a good opportunity to make applicants aware of this ceremony. You could write "Hebrew Name (if your child does not have a hebrew name, our congregation has a naming ceremony)" This section is a fantastic opportunity to learn whether there are children in your congregation who do not have a Hebrew name. However, like all information like this, if you ask, make sure that you follow up and use the information to build community!
Emergency Contact Information: You may adjust this section to fit the needs of your congregation.
Opportunity for Participation: You may adjust this section to fit the needs of your congregation. This section is an opportunity for your affinity groups to reach out and engage new members. Only include the groups that your congregation has, and make sure that someone follows up with these new members within a short time of them joining. If not, they will wonder why they checked off the boxes in the first place.
Talent and Interest Survey: You may adjust this section to fit the needs of your congregation. You may use the boxes, or not. Again, if you are putting this on your application, make sure there is a reason and make sure that someone follows up with your new members. It is a best practice to have new members fill out information about themselves that will be followed up and used by the community.
Statement of Philosophy: Consider using this space for a Mission Statement, Vision Statement or Core Values statement or a Covenant of Membership. For examples, please see the Best Practice Guide section of the website. Including this information on a membership application is an excellent way to build community and establish a commitment to lifelong synagogue membership!