In 2018, a new Jewish community launched in D.C. to complement the rich Jewish ecosystem of our city—a community that strives to be spiritually vibrant, radically inclusive, and reflect our vision for a world of justice, equity, and liberation.
The New Synogouge Project was founded and continues to be built by and for families with kids, couples and single people, queer and trans people, interfaith families, Jews of color and white Jews, religious, secular, and atheist Jews, and anyone interested in exploring and experiencing Jewish life.
We are building a pluralistic and egalitarian community where people know and care for one another, whether in times of celebration, struggle, or mourning.
We are working to develop deep relationships with other faith communities and alongside existing movements to build a more just and equitable city. We stand for environmental, racial, and economic justice, and oppose the Israeli military occupation of Palestine.
We are building a spiritual and political home where ritual, prayer, and learning are relevant, meaningful, transformative, and accessible. We are creating a community that draws on a multiplicity of Jewish traditions and teachings, grounding the work we do to advance justice and liberation.
In our first year together, NSP’s founding members contributed time, talent, and financial resources to get our new community off the ground. Collectively, these contributions have enabled the hiring of Rabbi Joseph Berman as our spiritual leader. In our second year, we are looking forward to an even more ambitious expansion of our programming and offerings, including the design of a formal kids’ education program.
But we can’t do it without you.
Now is a special moment in our trajectory. Signing up as a member now - in 2019 - means that you will help shape our community in its second year and beyond. Members will have a vote in major decisions. You’ll have a say in our programs, our social justice plans, and our direction as a community.
While everyone is of course welcome at services and social gatherings, members will have first claim on our learning programs, such as Rabbi Joseph’s Introduction to Jewish Practice course. Membership also includes guaranteed seats at High Holidays services.
Becoming a member is a spiritual and political act. In Jewish terms, membership is a brit (a covenant) in which we enter into sacred relationship. And as our community’s membership grows, our collective ability to create meaningful change in our city and the world grows too.
Now is a special moment in our trajectory. Members will have a vote in major decisions.
In our second year, we will learn, pray, and eat together (as a community and in our homes) over the High Holidays; hold three Shabbat services each month (a combination of Friday nights and Saturday mornings) and other holiday gatherings; launch several learning, arts, and justice programs; and create chesed/community care structures (e.g. meal trains and other support for people going through times of need).
We ask each member household to make an annual or monthly contribution that is meaningful, significant, and affordable to you. Our doors are open to everyone, whether you give $18 or $18,000 per year, or donate your time and energy. We also invite all members to join one of our teams to contribute ideas, talent, and leadership. We ask all members to fill a few volunteer shifts per season to sustain our Shabbat and community programming. And lastly, we invite members, friends, and family who are able to contribute seed gifts at $10,800, $5,400, $3,600, or $1,800.
How much should you give? See below for a sliding scale table based on income. It is a guide, as only you know the level of giving that is possible and right for you.
One tool that might help is a sliding scale based on a percentage of your income. The table below is only a guide; only you know the level of giving that is possible and right for you. Income is only one (imperfect) measure of our financial capacity. You should make a decision that is right for you based on all your financial obligations, needs, and access.
In addition to a financial commitment according to your means, we encourage all members to take on a volunteer role or join one of our teams.
We also ask members to participate in our Shabbat Co-Op, a volunteer system that allows us to run our Shabbat programs.
Some of us have capacity to give more to help get this community off the ground. And some of us are fellow travelers and supporters, who don’t plan to participate regularly or live elsewhere, but care deeply about fostering spiritually vibrant, liberation-focused, radically inclusive Jewish community. To create a strong foundation for this new community, we invite members, friends, and family who are able to contribute seed gifts at $10,800, $5,400, $3,600, or $1,800. So that we can lay a strong foundation we hope donors will consider making a multi-year pledge. We welcome gifts of any amount to help us launch this community - and if you know anyone who’d want to chip in, let us know!