Since I joined the Board last July as a Member-At-Large, I have heard a lot of talk about a lack of transparency in the finances of the synagogue. I was asked to step into the role of Financial Officer (CFO) in late October, and I reluctantly accepted. Although I have been on the Boards of several other temples prior to joining Temple Sinai and I have a background in Internal Audit, I didn’t feel I knew the membership well enough to step into such an important role this quickly after joining the Board. On the other hand, if I said no, then who would take on this role at this important time in Sinai’s existence?
I very quickly realized that our current financial situation was not sustainable. It costs about $265,000 to run the Temple each year and there is no fat in the budget to cut. We have lost about $60,000 in the last three years and are on track to lose another $20,000 this year. The main reason for the deficit is that we don’t collect enough in dues each year to meet 75-80% of our operating expenses.
Although we shared this very important information at a congregational forum in January, there was not a large turnout. Every member of our congregation needs to know where we stand financially.
The Board will be making some changes to our dues categories for next year that we hope will better align with our membership. You will receive more information on these changes in the coming weeks.
We recognize that not everyone is in a financial position to give at their respective dues level. We have had people who stepped up financially in the past, and the Board and the congregation appreciate their generosity. However, if Temple Sinai is going to exist as the center of Reform Jewish life in Northern Nevada for years and decades to come, we need everyone to pay as much as they can in dues next year (including giving at a level above your dues category). And just as importantly, we need everyone to contribute.
Financial Officer (CFO)