Tzedakah Pledge FAQ

What is the “Tzedakah Pledge”? 

The Tzedakah Pledge is the annual contribution you give to CBINT to formalize your commitment as a member of  our synagogue community and to ensure we can cover our essential budgeted expenses for the current year  (clergy and staff salaries, programs, services, and operation/upkeep of our facilities).  

How does this differ from “dues”? 

The Tzedakah model allows you to decide how much to contribute each year to support CBINT’s operations.  Unlike traditional models based on income or age, there is no specific fee for membership, nor is there a dues  committee that reviews and approves your pledge. 

Why does CBINT take this approach? 

Our Tzedakah Pledge model eliminates any financial barrier to synagogue engagement and affiliation; it allows our  members to give as much as they are able to meet CBINT’s essential needs, rather than feeling like there is a fee  for attendance and participation in synagogue life.  

How do I know how much to pledge? 

Each year, synagogue leadership calculates the actual cost per member household to maintain our programs and  facilities. This amount is indicated on the Tzedakah Pledge form as the GUARDIAN level ($3,100 for 2022-23). If each member household donated at this level or above, that would cover our 2022-23 budget. If you can give at  or above this level, please do so. If you are unable to give at this level, we ask you to contribute at your greatest ability to support and strengthen CBINT. This does not mean that you give what you want to give, but that you  give a meaningful gift to help meet our operational needs and sustain our kehillah. It is especially important for  those who can to give as generously as possible so we can help members who have experienced financial hardship, and so we can continue to offer and grow the many services and activities that are vital to our CBINT community. 

Why do you have Leadership Recognition Levels?  

Leadership levels recognize the generosity of congregants who support our kehillah beyond the $3,100 actual  annual cost per member household to cover our budgeted expenses. Gifts at all the leadership levels are essential to providing the programs and services we all enjoy. 

What does my Tzedakah Pledge cover? 

Your pledge, regardless of the amount, means full membership in the synagogue, including High Holiday tickets  for all family members included in your membership. Specific fees such as religious school activity fees, bar/bat  mitzvah and confirmation fees, contributions for celebrations, etc., remain separate obligations.

What is the deadline to return my pledge form? 

August 19, 2023. Please communicate with the office in a timely manner if you anticipate problems with  committing by the deadline, or if you would like to discuss your ongoing affiliation with staff or our leadership  team.

Two Opportunities for Making Your CBINT Membership Contribution:

Potential Tax Benefit to Using Your IRA 

Members who are age 70½ or older can contribute up to $100,000 from their IRA directly to a charity (including  CBINT) and avoid paying income taxes on the distribution. This is known as a QCD (Qualified Charitable  Distribution). This contribution may count as a required minimum distribution once you turn 72 and may also help  you accomplish other tax goals. This benefit is limited to IRAs, and there are other exclusions and considerations  as well. Please contact your accountant/financial adviser to find out if this is a good option for you. If it is, they will  provide you with instructions on how to make a Qualified Charitable Distribution to CBINT. 

Donor Advised Funds at the Milwaukee Jewish Community Foundation 

Do you have a donor advised fund at the Jewish Community Foundation? If so, you can recommend a gift from  your fund to be used for your annual CBINT membership contribution.