Baltimore Hebrew Congregation announced earlier this month that it would be adopting a new dues structure for congregants following a year-long study of both its own and other congregations’ membership requirements.
The biggest change is that BHC will make dues voluntary as opposed to compulsory for first-year members of any age and for congregants under the age of 30. Dues during the second year after joining will be only 50 percent of what is required for the category under the new structure.
“Voluntary dues are not free dues,” Rabbi Andrew Busch said. “It recognizes that people will set their own realities. This initiative stems from a congregational desire to acknowledge the realities of congregational membership in our day and make it more simple and rational in terms of joining the congregation. We are specifically focused on giving those new members of our congregation time to acclimate with as little financial burden as possible.”
BHC’s revised dues structure is one of many initiatives across Baltimore in an effort to involve more young professionals and families in congregational life.
“We are hoping that this will make Baltimore Hebrew Congregation a place that is affordable and accessible for the community,” said Jo Ann Windman, BHC’s executive director. “You have no excuse not to try us out if you’ve never been a member. Now is the time.”