Become Nefesh Kin

What does it mean to become Kin?

When you become Kin, Nefesh becomes your spiritual home. You sustain and support the community, participate in Nefesh High Holy Day services, Shabbat, celebrations, classes, and events throughout the year. You also have the community and Rabbi Susan available to you for life cycle events, spiritual counseling, and times of need. You help to hold, support, and sustain the community and the community holds and supports you.

What is a Kinship Contribution?

We spent time figuring out a financial model to sustain our community that is loving, fair, and equitable. The funds we receive from Kinship contributions allow us to compensate clergy, musicians, staff, teachers, and interpreters with a living wage. They also provide for space rentals, supplies, and all the other many logistics that come along with active community gathering and engagement.

The Kinship model is based on the teachings of our rabbis that asks everyone to make a contribution to the community based on the resources (financial and beyond) that you have access to. There are two models that our ancients gifted us with that can help you to figure out your kinship contribution. One is based on a percentage of your income (which will be different for each home) and the other is to think of the total needed to sustain the community and what we need from each person to meet those needs.

The donation is for the year, and if you like you can make your tax deductible donation on automatic monthly or quarterly payments.

  1. Percentage

    In this model you are encouraged to donate 10% of your yearly household income to tzedakah (righteous giving). This tzedakah can be to a number of different places that need your support. We are asking that you donate in the range of 1–7% of your yearly household income to the Nefesh community as your offering, your contribution. And we hope that you will donate the remaining percentage—up to 10%—to other needs and causes that are important to you.

    We know that for everyone that amount is different. We are asking you to make a choice of what works for you. The percentage is based on your total after-tax income. If there are multiple earners in your family household, add them together for the total. To help find your percentage to donate, you will find a calculator at the bottom of the page. Please know all information you enter into the calculator is private to you only. The donation is for the year, and if you like, you can make your tax deductible donation on automatic monthly or quarterly payments.

  2. A Piece of the Total

    For some, having a set number rather than a percentage helps to figure out what to give.

    For financial sustainability, we have a goal of supporting 60% of our annual budget with Kinship contributions - this year, that comes to $560,000. If that amount were distributed evenly between all Kinship households, each would give approximately $2,500. If you are able to give more, know that you will be helping others who can give less to contribute to the total.

Giving of your time

We ask you also to consider how you can be of service with your time, talent, and expertise in support of this growing community. This can look like volunteering at a service, hosting a Shabbat Community Dinner, participating in a Community Safety training, offering your skills for community needs like planning, fundraising, or marketing. We ask that in becoming Kin you make a commitment of time in at least one area of the community.

Balance of Commitment

At Nefesh, we don’t make assumptions about your resource capacity. Because we don’t set a Kinship rate, we know some will donate more and some will donate less, based on your income and your circumstances. We trust that each of you will make the contribution of funds and time that you feel is meaningful to you.

If you are already a member of another congregation, that’s wonderful, and we welcome your support of Nefesh and suggest a $500 donation.

To talk more about the right balance of commitment for you, please reach out to Jordana Fraider, Executive Director, for a conversation at jfraider@nefeshla.org.

And if you find that you are not ready to become Nefesh Kin, we welcome you to continue to support Nefesh with a donation here.

Thank you again for becoming Nefesh Kin!