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October 1, 2014 | 7th Tishrei 5775
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Best Practice Membership Kit

Listed below are examples of membership kit essential items from congregations exhibiting best practices. They are listed in the order they should appear in the membership folder. Use the Shopping List as a guide.

1. Welcome Letter

The first thing that prospective members should see when they open your membership packet is a warm welcome letter from the Rabbi, President or the Membership Committee describing what is unique about the congregation and what the community offers its members. Below are some examples of warm welcome letters inviting new members into vibrant synagogue communities.

2. Mission Statement

When prospective members open your membership packet, they should get an impression about your community and get a taste of what being a member is all about. Placing a mission statement, a history of your synagogue and a list of interesting facts about your synagogue in your membership packet will help your new members learn about your community and understand why membership is sacred.

3. History of Synagogue

The history of a synagogue should not only focus on the past but also on the future.  Make sure your historical description explains how your community became the vibrant one it is today!

4. Interesting Facts About the Synagogue
Listing interesting facts about your synagogue is a creative and fun way to tell new members what makes your community unique! Below is one example that describes a community in an interesting and fun way. Remember there are many ways to do this!
5. Shabbat Worship Schedule

Your membership packet is a great opportunity to share information about your congregation's shabbat and holiday worship. Consider creating a chart that new members can post on their refrigerator with service times. If you have different types of services, this is your opportunity to describe the different styles to new members and pique their interest.

6. Biographies and Pictures of Clergy
Use your membership packet as a way to show off your clergy and staff! Inspirational and informative biographies of each clergy person and staff member will help new members get to know them.  Place a photo next to the biographies to make them identifiable to prospective congregants.
7. Diversity Statement
Your membership application should include a statement or a brochure that sends a clear message that the congregation welcomes interfaith families, Jews by choice, singles, 20s/30s, LGBT and all members of the community!
8. Diversity Sensitive Membership Application

It is important that your membership packet includes a diversity sensitive membership application.  You can download our examples and use them to create your own.

9. Covenant of Membership
Including a covenant of membership explaining the committment between the congregation and the individual member is a way to build a sacred relationship and a culture of lifelong synagogue membership.
10. Brochures from the Union
Include the following brochures from the Union for Reform Judaism's Department of Outreach and Membership in your membership packet:
11. Religious School Mission Statement or Philosophy

You may find it helpful to share all that your religious school has to offer your community. Include a mission statement or philosophy statement, which clearly outlines the Jewish values that your religious school program will pass on to your students.

12. Contact and Website Information
 It is helpful to your prospective members to include a contact sheet with either your website prominently displayed or a list that includes important contact information. 
13. Dues Information
Your dues information -- if you choose to include it -- should include a clear statement that “no one will be excluded from membership because of financial concerns.”  Dues information should not be near the front of the folder.
Extra Tips

*In the front of the folder include the business card and contact information of the Membership Director or other contact for questions regarding membership

*Always include a copy of your synagogue's most recent monthly bulletin in your membership packet. 

 
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