Dear CSI Family,
The New Year is upon us. It is imbued with excitement at the prospects of new opportunities for renewal, love, family, and peace. As we reach for, and hopefully realize, all our dreams and hopes for ourselves and loved ones, I wish you, your family, and our CSI community a year filled with plentiful health, happiness and success.
Success for CSI depends on having the necessary funds to maintain the programming, staff, and outreach that make CSI a thriving center of Conservative Judaism in Northern Westchester. A large part of our funding is derived annually through our most important fund raiser, the Kol Nidre Appeal. At Kol Nidre services I spoke about the many ways in which CSI thrives and the immediate challenges we face to continue to flourish as a warm community that is inclusive of all. In this letter, I want to discuss our financial goal for CSI.
Our Kol Nidre Appeal is budgeted for $75,000, approximately 5% of our operating budget. This fiscal year, as we did last year, the Board of Trustees took a courageous step in adopting a budget that saw no increase in membership dues. While we still budget for a continuing decrease in membership as is the national trend, the decline evident in years past may now be beginning to stabilize, and perhaps, decrease. Hopefully the numbers will turn the corner to show an increase.
Maintaining our membership dues at last year’s levels makes it critically important for us to achieve our Kol Nidre Appeal goal and, hopefully to surpass it, as we did last year. Last year, members participated in great numbers. Many members helped for the first time and others increased their giving – some significantly.
Every donation, no matter the amount, makes a difference.
As I emphasized at Kol Nidre services, I appreciate all of the volunteer work done by our members; it makes us thrive! And your financial contributions will allow us to continue to thrive. Again, my best wishes to you and your family for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
Steven A. Bender