Thank you for your interest in becoming a member of the Beth Zion Congregation (Synagogue). The following is some information regarding the Synagogue and the services and programs that are available. These include membership, Hebrew School, sanctuary services, cemetery privileges, adult education and social functions.
The day-to-day operations of the Synagogue are the responsibility of the Board of Directors. Each member of the board is elected for a two-year term, with executive members and non-executive members elected by the general membership in alternate years. Any member in good standing may run for a Board position. General membership meetings are held at least once a year and the general membership is responsible for ratifying annual dues, approving the hiring of a Rabbi/Spiritual Leader and the extension of his contract. All memberships are approved by the Board of Directors and are subject to change. There is a five-tier annual dues structure, based on family income. Please contact us for the current year’s dues levels.There is also an expectation that all new members pay into the Synagogue Building Fund. This is a set amount of $1,000 per member unit, payable at $200 per year for five years. Tax receipts are issued at the end of each calendar year for all payments received during the year. We understand that every family/individual is different and finanical considerations may be required. We will not turn down anyone for lack of financial means.
There is a Hebrew School tuition fee as follows: First Child $175.
Subsequent children, per child $125.
Sunday morning kindergarten, per child $75.
Kindergarten meets for two hours on Sunday mornings and is generally for children ages five to seven (Senior Kindergarten and Grade 1 in public school).
Children usually commence Hebrew School at the age of seven. The Hebrew School classes are held two times a week: Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Tuesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Please note the days and times are subject to change. Hebrew School children organize celebrations for most of the holidays as well as the year-end party at the close of the school year.
The Beth Zion Congregation has its own cemetery section of the Bathurst Lawn Cemetery, located in Toronto on Bathurst Street, south of Steeles Avenue. Synagogue membership in good standing includes burial privileges for members, with some conditions. These conditions will be discussed at the time of the membership application process. Please note that given the limited number of plots at Bathurst Lawn, alternative locations may be used in the future.
There are currently regular Saturday morning Shabbat services that commence at 9:30 a.m. Services are also held for the High Holidays and other Festivals and religious days. These are scheduled in keeping with the Jewish calendar and times and dates are set out in the Synagogue Bulletin, which is mailed to all members several times a year. Guests are always welcome for Shabbat services. However, there will be a specific fee for all working children and guests of members in good standing who attend Rosh Hashanah and/or Yom Kippur services. Such fees shall be determined and set by the Board of Directors and payment in advance is appreciated. Presently the fee is $55 per guest. The Program and Planning Committee of the Board of Directors is responsible, in consultation with the Spiritual Leader, for organizing meaningful adult education, teen programming and other social events that will enhance the Jewish experience of our members.The Synagogue’s kitchen, while small and limited, is sufficient to allow for the preparation and serving of food for small and medium functions. The kitchen is strictly kosher and is for meat or pareve food and food preparation only. The Synagogue does not have its own catering service and food brought in from the outside must be purchased from Canadian Jewish Congress-approved bakeries, butcher shops, food stores and caterers. All planning is to be done well in advance of any community event or private function.The Synagogue social hall is for the use of congregation members only and the Board of Directors must approve, in advance, any function that is being planned. There are certain conditions regarding the setting up for an affair and clean-up afterwards, as well as a fee for rental of the hall. A letter containing the details is available upon request. We hope that this information is helpful as you consider joining our Synagogue. We do hope that you will join Beth Zion Congregation and become an active member in the Synagogue and in the overall Jewish community.
President, Beth Zion Congregation