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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.