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For more than one hundred years, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue has been a center of Jewish communal and spiritual life.

Your gift to Stephen Wise expresses your commitment to provide a sacred place for inspirational worship, educational programs, innovative social action projects, and cultural programming. Your gifts to Stephen Wise are a wonderful way to celebrate lifecycle milestones, honor a special occasion, express sympathy, remember a loved one, or simply to say “thank you.”

Your thoughtfulness will be acknowledged with a tribute card to the honoree(s) informing them that you have made a gift to our synagogue in their honor or memory. We welcome gifts of any size, whether one-time gifts or monthly donations. Your generosity and kindness will help ensure that we meet the needs of our community – now and generations to come.

General Support

Gifts for general support supplement the operating income of the synagogue, which is primarily comprised of membership dues, tuitions, and fees. The support of members covers one third of our expenses. Throughout our history, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue has benefited from generous General Support donations.

 

Education

Religious School Scholarships

Every Jewish child is entitled to a Jewish education and our policy is to never turn away families in need. Gifts of any amount are deeply appreciated.  

Early Childhood Center

At the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue Early Childhood Center, play is at the heart of the learning process. Classroom experiences are infused with Jewish values and rituals. Gifts to the Early Childhood Center enable the school to undertake a variety of programmatic and physical improvement projects. 

Social Action

Shelter

The shelter in our building, the Next Step Men’s Shelter, provides shelter for up to ten men, five nights a week, nine months of the year. Our goal is to provide a warm, caring, and safe environment for men who are in a transitional period in their lives.

Emergency Food Program

Every Saturday morning, year-round, our volunteers prepare bags of non-perishable food items and give them guests in need.

Community

High Holy Day Appeal

Gifts to the High Holy Day Appeal help contribute meaningfully to our programs, clergy, and staff that make our community so special. Gifts to the appeal help bridge the 25 percent gap between membership dues and actual operating costs. These gifts also ensure that the synagogue never has to refuse membership to anyone who wants to be a part of our community, whatever their financial means. Every year we seek 100 percent participation in supporting the welfare of the entire congregation.

Family Experiences

Gifts to Family Experiences make it possible for us to offer a variety of vibrant Shabbat, holiday, cultural, and educational opportunities for families with children. From our exuberant Shabbat Dinner and Learning series, which features creative prayer, crafts, and stories, to our warm and interactive Tot Shabbat Together serives, these events build community and foster a love of Judaism. Your support goes towards the program staff, musicians, special guests, supplies, and food needed for these events.

Meals and Onegs

Jewish tradition recognizes a meal as a time for intimacy, fellowship, and significant conversation. Sharing meals is a very important part of Jewish family and community life because eating creates intimacy among people. Join your community at our weekly kiddush or oneg following services. Members can mark special occasions by sponsoring either of these special gatherings.

Congregational Passover Seder

Our congregational Seder reflects our diverse and broad community with young families, singles, senior citizens, members, and non-members. We often have unexpected guests who are visitors in our city. Your gift will help underwrite the synagogue’s expenses that are always over and above the revenue from paying guests. Your gift will also help cover the costs of guests from nearby senior center who are unable to pay.

Lifecycle

Memorial

Stephen Wise offers several ways to commemorate a loved ones passing.

  • Yahrzeit
    On the anniversary of a loved one’s death, congregants are sent a reminder that their name will be read at services. It is traditional to make a charitable donation on the anniversary or yahrzeit of a loved one.  By giving tzedakah in a person’s memory, we make their memory a blessing.

  • Yahrzeit Plaques
    Stephen Wise has a tradition of offering memorial plaques to members who wish to remember loved ones in this customary manner. During  the week of yahrzeit, a light is lit next to the name of the departed. The lights beside all the memorial plaques in the sanctuary are also lit for Yizkor services during the holidays (Yom Kippur, Shemeni Atzeret/Simchat Torah, Passover, and Shavuot).

Planned Giving

Help us ensure and safeguard Jewish life into the future. By remembering Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in your will or estate plan, your great congregation will continue for many generations to come. Learn more about planned giving.