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August 31, 2015 | 16th Elul 5775
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Money Collecting; Sales; Fundraisers
See also Tzedakah

  1. What policies do you observe regarding sales at temple gift shops on Shabbat? How about collecting money on Shabbat for Shabbat dinner reservations. It's a question of equity that has come up at my temple: No money can be collected at the gift shop on Shabbat although we do take money if there's a Shabbat dinner at the temple.

  2. We do not collect money on Shabbat (or open the gift shop, so you can't buy on credit either). We require advance reservations for Shabbat dinners. I think we let members of the congregation (but not others) make verbal reservations (and we'll bill them), but I'm not sure.

    We will be having a visiting scholar over Shabbat next month and we want to make it easy for people to buy his books (and perhaps buy other things from our gift shop while they're at it). So we're planning to include a Havdalah service, after which the shop will open, and [there will be] a Sunday morning brunch.

    855 families

  3. Our gift shop, which is run by Sisterhood (WRJ), is open on Friday night, both before and after services, and collects money. We also collect money at Shabbat family dinners (we use baskets on the tables). Occasionally, we will have an author as guest speaker at Friday night services and will have a book signing at which the author's book is sold and money collected. This is a longstanding practice and, as far as I know, we have not had any significant objection from members or clergy.
    approximately 1200 families

  4. We do not typically sell on Shabbat or open our gift shop, but we will sell the product of a guest performer or scholar. We try our best to obtain advance payment for dinners, but do occasionally find ourselves collecting payment from those who didn't quite get their "act together" to get the check in.
    680 member units

  5. Our gift shop is not open on Shabbat, and I know at least once in the past the guest speaker's books were given out on the honor system. (I presume that worked OK--I never heard any static about deadbeats, but I suppose that people who want a book of Yehuda Amichai's poetry are likely to be willing to pay for it.)

    As far as collecting for dinner on site--how about the same kind of sophistry that the Orthodox use all the time? Just consider it's not Shabbat until the candles have been lit, and the problem goes away


  6. Our gift shop is closed on Shabbat.

    We do not accept payment at Shabbat dinners. Reservations must be made in advance--even if it is just a call to the office with a promise to pay the next week.

    We just completed our Scholar in Residence weekend. Books were available on the honor system. We scheduled book signing for after Havdalah. Much to our surprise, our scholar said she had no problem signing books after Shabbat morning Torah study (of course, no one had their book with them).

    We recently began what we call our "Call to Action" table. After services on Shabbat Tzedek (Social Action Sabbath--second Friday of the month) committee members are available in the library with appropriate materials which may include letters to write, or petitions to sign. The decision by our board was to allow writing on Shabbat, but in the library (so as not to offend others).

    Of course, our religious school students write on Shabbat morning.

    As a Reform Jew, I enjoy the freedom/responsibility to make informed decisions about observance.

    1,000 member families

  7. We prefer not to collect money for Shabbat dinners on Friday nights, but occasionally we have to, rather than turn latecomers away. Our gift shop is not open during Shabbat.

  8. Dec 2006 Digest 196

                …We (in the Reform Movement) make such a point of not handling money on Shabbat that I wonder why that and so few other things? I mean--we won't handle the cash, but we'll write a note to ourselves to pay later, turn on the light so we can see enough to do it, play and listen to instruments in the sanctuary during Shabbat services, turn on the microphones, light matches for the candles well after sunset... and even drive to the synagogue to be there. What is it about money which has us suddenly concerned where other things do not?


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