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Throughout most of Jewish history, synagogues were loosely organized units that were strengthened and sustained by the dedication of a few individuals. Synagogue affiliation, as the conscious and voluntary act of a person who wishes to participate in the support and maintenance of a congregation, is actually a recent innovation in Jewish life.
In many ways, it is a consequence of the separation of church and state. It is no longer the responsibility of others to sustain our cultural and spiritual heritage, a heritage that is the cornerstone of western civilization. That task now falls to us.
Active synagogue affiliation is critical to the life and continued vitality of the Jewish community. Through all the trials and vicissitudes of the Jewish people, it has been the synagogue that stands ever ready to respond to the needs of each and every soul, strengthening our commitment to the task of tikkun middot — the perfection of our inner selves — and tikkun olam — the perfection of God’s world.
As a practical matter, a supportive membership is the only means by which Temple Beth Shalom can hope to keep its doors open 365 days a year, offering comfort in times of need and community in times of joy. We cannot be here for you, unless you are here for us. We hope you will decide to join in the sacred task of ensuring the survival of Judaism in the modern world.