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The Four Hineini Questions


Question 1: Why Hineini and why did we move to this model?

Answer:     Today and as used in our Torah, hineinimeansI am here.Making a Hineini pledge allows you to stand up and be counted as a member of our religious community. It allows you to demonstrate your commitment to sustain and grow our community.

       Beth Chaim moved to the Hineini model last year for two important reasons — our traditional dues model was no longer proving to be sustainable, and we wanted to better embrace our Jewish values by opening our doors wider to all who wished to join us. Our traditional dues model, which assessed dues without regard to ability to pay, resulted in years of declines in membership by making it harder to retain existing members and recruit new members. In introducing the Hineini pledge, we aligned our funding model with our values by making space for every person who wants to be a part of our religious community.


Question 2: How successful was Hineini last year?

Answer:     The Hineini program was very successful in bringing in more than 90 new member households, far surpassing expectations.  That has led to larger crowds and increased engagement at community gatherings of all kind throughout the year.  However, Hineini pledges from our community members failed to meet our budget requirements, and we reached only 90% of our goal.  While we were able to cover the cash shortfall from available reserves, we need to meet our goal in the coming year to ensure that Beth Chaim remains vibrant, welcoming to all and financially sound.  That is why we are asking all members to consider increasing their Hineini pledges this year.


Question 3: What should I consider when choosing the amount I pledge for 2023-24?

Answer:     If every household were to pledge $2,200 this year, we would meet our goal for contributions.  We know, however, that $2,200 is not feasible for all of our community members.  If that amount is not within reach, please consider increasing your pledge over last year’s if you can.  A $200 increase in pledges by all households last year would have allowed us to meet our goal for Hineini pledges.

       If you are able to contribute $2,200 or more, please do so because not all of our member households can.  Also, if possible, please consider increasing your Hineini gift over last year’s pledge. This will help us to keep Beth Chaim vibrant, welcoming to all and financially sound.


Question 4: Where does my Hineini pledge go? What does it support?

Answer:     Everything that Beth Chaim needs to be an open and welcoming community, everything you see when you visit the campus, and so much you dont see these are all things our Hineini pledges make possible. Family programs, adult education, Shabbat and holiday services, lifecycle events, pastoral care, A/C when its hot, heat when its cold, electricity, water — these are all included in Beth Chaims budget. Basically, your Hineini pledge helps Beth Chaim keep our lights on, doors open and community alive. The exceptions to this are paid services like Preschool and the Religious School. The Hineini pledge also does not include the required $50 security fee for each member household. 

Tue, November 28 2023 15 Kislev 5784