Growing Our Membership

Bulletin Article, May 2014

One of our goals this year is to build our membership.   At the annual meeting, I mentioned our goal of 60-65 memberships.   As I mentioned, going beyond that goal would strain our building capacity, but that would be a happy worry to have.

This is an achievable goal.   According to a study made a dozen years ago by the Jewish federation of Rhode Island (, there are 404 Jewish Households in Bristol, Warren, Portsmouth and Tiverton.     Although our membership comes from a much broader region, these four towns are the most natural area for us to draw new members.  But the fact is, only half our members come from these towns, so our “market share” is only around 7%.

Obviously, this is a big opportunity for us.

But, there are two other equally important elements to growing membership.   The first is that we must work hard to integrate new members and secondly we must work even harder to retain existing members.

Membership growth will be one of the board’s priorities this year but I want it to be a congregational priority.   Here is how you can help:

  • Get involved.  Encourage others to get involved.   Come to services, join a committee, sponsor an oneg.   The more this happens, the more vibrant we become.
  • Recruit new members.   Encourage your friends to come to our events and services.
  • When you see someone new at services, say hello to them.  Deuteronomy states, “You too must befriend the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

Although it might be somewhat crass to talk about the synagogue in marketing terms, we do have a great product.   We are a warm, hamische and loving congregation that has a tradition of welcoming all to worship with us.

Let’s get the word out.

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