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Bnai Israel Membership Application


We are happy that you are interested in our congregation. You are invited to share with us in our worship service on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings as well as our festivals, celebrations and events. We hope you will visit our Temple, tour the facilities and chat with our members, Rabbi Block, Eileen Hamilton, our Director of Administation, Education, and Youth Engagement, and our warm and efficient office personnel.

A representative from the Board of Trustees will contact you upon completing and submitting your application. We hope that you will join our congregation. However, whether or not you choose to join at this time, you are welcome to join us in worship, learning, and community engagement. To learn more about our events, please see our website: www.bnai-israel.us.

Shalom, Annabelle Imber Tuck, President, and Laurie Arnold, Membership Committee Chair


Congregation B'nai Israel was founded in 1866 and is a Reform Congregation active in the Reform movement. We are affiiated with the URJ, which is the North American Association of Reform temples, and we are a patron of Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, the seminary for Reform Rabbis. Our Temple membership consists of approximately 315 family units.

Our congregation strives to serve Judaism and our members through worship services, Jewish education for children and adults, social and cultural activities, special experiences for all ages, and ceremonies involved in the life cycle. Coming of age ceremonies such as Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and Confirmation are an integral part of our Temple life. Members may purchase lots for the purpose of burial in consecrated grounds in the Temple cemetery.

We cordially invite you to make Congregation B'nai Israel your religious home and to become part of our congregational family. Please feel welcome to become engaged in congregational life before becoming an official member! We hope that our religious and cultural atmosphere, philosophy, rituals, programs, organization, and our staff are what you desire to make you want to come a part of the B'nai Israel family.


Rabbi Barry Block join the congregation as spiritual leader in 2013. He brings energy, scholarship, and caring to his leadership of our worship services, his care for our congregants, and his efforts in the wider community of Central Arkansas.

Eileen Hamilton, Director of Administation, Education, and Youth Engagement joined our staff in the summer of 2016. Religious School teachers include Temple members who give their time and talent to the pusuit of Jewish education. Temple members volunteer in more capacities that we can count, from leading services when the rabbi is away to provding the beautiful worship music week in and week out, to answering phones in the office.

Our staff includes an administrative assistant, bookkeeper, and building staff maintenance.


Cell phone
Home phone
Email address



To add additional yahrzeit observances, please contact the office. Please note Yahrzeit letters are sent on the gregorian calendar. Hebrew dates can be requested.


Lives at home
attends religious school
will attend religious school when of age
requires special accomodations to attend religious school
attends/live at college
Lives at home
attends religious school
will attend religious school when of age
requires special accomodations to attend religious school
attends/lives at college
Lives at home
attends religious school
will attend religious school when of age
requires special accomodations to attend religious school
attends/lives at college


GIFT OF THE HEART - financial commitment


Each family unit of Congregation B'nai Israel receives an annual commitment form in the spring. Members use the form to pledge the amount of financial support they are able to commit to the congregation for the coming fiscal year. The commitment form also requests that members pledge to participate in the activities of our communal life. Additional space will be provided on the form for members to share ideas, hopes, wishes, and dreams for our spiritual community as well as any concerns. All informaiton on the Annual Commitment Form is confidential.

The 'cost' amount that appears on the form is the financial contribution per member unit needed in order for the congregation to meet the expenses outlines in the annual budget. The 'cost' amount is a calculated firgure that takes into account income available to the congregation from other sources.

We recognize that many members of our congregational family are not able to pledge at the 'cost' amount. We provide the 'cost' amount for informational purposes. We ask that our members be thoughtful, realisitic, and generous. We hope to send the message tht all of our members are valued as part of our sacred community regardless of financial means.

Our congregation is blessed to be the custodian of a number of funds established for the support and enhancement of the congregation and its programs. Most of these funds are restricted so that the income derived is available only for the specific purposes outlined in the fund documents. Therefore, most of our funds do not assist with meeting our annual budget expenses.

Each of our congregants is a precious member of our sacred community regardless of the amount of financial support one is able to provide. We would like to express, as a community, our deep gratitude to those who give at a level that allows our congregation to provide a welcoming home for everyone. We would like to recognize as 'pillars' all those members who give at the 'cost' level or above and as 'builders' all those members who increase their level of Annual Membership Commitment by 10% over the preceding year.

And the people continued to bring farewell offerings morning after morning. So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left what they are doing and said to Moses,'The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work Adonai commanded to be done." - Exodus 36: 3-5

$2200.00 - cost per member family unit needed to meet annual expenses
Other amount: $____________ (fill in your annual commitment here)
I am an out of state member. $180.00 pledge set by Board
I am an out of state member and woul like to pledge an additional gift of $ _____
I am an Arkansas Distance Member. Pledge set by Board at $600.00
I am an Arkansas Distance Member and woule like to pledge an addtional gift of $_____
I am a Full-time Student. I pledge $_____
I have special circumstances. Please call me to discuss my Gift of the Heart pledge.
check here for NO

For those who pledge at the 'cost' amount of above will be recognized in the annual meeting materials as Pillars, while those who increase their annual pledge by 20% or more will be recognized as Builders. I (we) do NOT want to be recognized as Pillar or Builder



Shortly after our congregation occupied our present facilities in 1975, payment was completed for our building and property. All of our facilities, together with our rolling and wooded grounds are mortgage free, thanks to the generosity of our members who contributed so whole-heartedly. In order to preserve our place of worship, it deserves our ultimate care. It is also sound business practice to plan for emergencies in maintaining the grounds and building. Those funds contributed and pledged by our membership to the Sustaining Fund, money is being set aside and invested to assure preservation of the facilities during and beyond our lifetime.

As new members, you are asked to make a pledge to the Sustaining Fund in the amount of $1200.00 to be paid over a five year period. In this way, you will share in the preservation of our Temple, which will enable it to fulfill the spiritual, educational, cultural, and social needs of our children, and in turn, their children. Pledges to the Temple Sustaining Fund are billed and payments are due monthly, quarterly, or annually as desired. The first installment is to be paid at the time of membership.

There is no need to make any payments at this time. Upon approval of your membership, you will receive instructions to log on to our Rakefet portal.

GIFT OF THE HAND - volunteerism

HISTORY AND ARCHIVES - organizing, research, filing
HOUSE AND GROUNDS - maintenance and improvement of building/grounds
SECURITY - emergency, action plans, planning
FINANCIAL OVERSIGHT AND BUDGET - budget prep, financial priorities, investment
BOARD OF TRUSTEES - serve on board, committee chariperson
OFFICE - mailing, phones, special projects
LEAD SERVICES - Friday, Saturday, sermon
LEAD TEMPLE TOURS - training required
ADULT EDUCATION - plan, organize, support, market
RELIGIOUS SCHOOL - teacher, subsititute, committee, policies
YOUTH GROUP - support, advise, teen initiatives
YOUNG CHILDREN/FAMILY EVENTS - plan, market, create experiences for young families with children
CARING AND SHARING - outreach initiatives, visiting, memorial receptions
COMMUNITY OUTREACH/SOCIAL ACTION - Our House, social action drives, new projects
WELCOME AND MEMBERSHIP - greet visitors, outreach to prospective members, Membership Shabbat
ONEG SHABBAT AND DINNERS - shop and prepare for weekly and other events
SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT - support, plan, and recruit for social events


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