Download our membership application now!
Also, feel free to call the office at (309)691-3323
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WILL I FEEL COMFORTABLE AT CONGREGATION ANSHAI EMETH?
Our members reflect the diversity of the area, coming from all walks of life and many different religious backgrounds and ethnicities. We welcome Jewish singles and single parents, interfaith families, Jews of color, and Jewish families in all their diversity, including LGBTQ couples with or without children. Our programs are designed to meet the diverse spiritual, religious, educational, and social needs of our members.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
There are many ways to become involved at Anshai Emeth and to become acquainted with other congregants. During your membership process, we hope to get to know you personally so that we can connect you with programs, groups and classes that complement your interests. We offer a warm and inviting atmosphere in which you can expand and explore your Jewish life.
I DON’T READ HEBREW. HOW CAN I POSSIBLY FOLLOW THE SHABBAT/WORSHIP SERVICE?
Our prayer books are written for all levels of understanding. The text is written in three types of wording: Hebrew, English transliteration, and English all on the same page. (A transliteration is a phonetically written version of Hebrew.) Because of our musical atmosphere and our culture of learning, there are all sorts of people at all sorts of levels of observance and knowledge, so don’t be worried! In addition, if you want to learn Hebrew, we have many opportunities to do just that.
HOW DO I MEET THE PROFESSIONALS WHO SERVE ANSHAI EMETH?
We encourage you to get to know Rabbi Milkow, Religious School Principal Chuck Mitchell and the Religious School staff, Youth Group Director Rachel Downs, Musical Director Doug McQueen, and others by attending Shabbat services and by your involvement in our programs and activities. You may also request a private meeting with any of our staff.
HOW DO I BECOME A MEMBER? WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
We’d love to have you join us. Just e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 309-691-3323 for more information and a membership packet. Or, if you wish, leave your name and contact information with Sally, our Temple secretary, and a member of the membership committee will call or meet with you.
WHY SHOULD I JOIN ANSHAI EMETH?
Anshai Emeth Congregation is home to the nicest group of people in town. We support one another with a caring community and a culture of inclusiveness. We have weekly services, adult education, religious school for children in grades K – 8 and confirmation class for grades 9-10, youth groups, a congregational choir, many committees such as our Caring Committee and our Social Action Committee, and other volunteer opportunities to meet and connect with people. In addition, there is an environment of warmth that makes us not only a special congregation, but a true community.
I’D LIKE TO JOIN, BUT I DON’T KNOW ANYONE AT ANSHAI EMETH.
We have many opportunities for getting involved and meeting people, starting as soon as you join. Probably the best way to get to know people is to get involved.
WHY SHOULD I JOIN NOW? MY CHILD IS ONLY TWO YEARS OLD.
It is never too soon to be a part of the Jewish community. While we often think that Temples are around to “teach Judaism” to our children, the Temple’s greatest purpose is to support and to enrich each of us so that our own confidence as Jews can become the example from which our children will learn. Temples provide ongoing opportunities to study, experience, and enjoy being connected to a Jewish community.
MY CHILDREN ARE GROWN. WHAT DO I NEED A TEMPLE FOR?
While we offer many family-oriented programs, that does not mean that we are only open to families with younger children. In fact, the majority of our programs are for adults, as we seek to nurture a mature development of spirituality and Jewish connection for people at every stage of their lives. We focus on education, community building, social action programs, and, of course, our regular prayer experiences. The Temple endeavors to enhance your connection with other Jews and your personal search for connection and meaning.
WHAT ABOUT MY MEMBERSHIP COMMITMENT?
At Anshai Emeth we ask you to pay your “fair share self assessment.” The membership application has a schedule for you to use a guideline. No one will be denied membership due to financial circumstances. All Jews, or those with Jewish spouses or partners, are welcome to become members.
We hope you will choose to become part of the present and future of our congregation, and invite you to request a membership packet by calling 309-691-3323 or sending an e-mail to email@example.com. Or if you choose, a member of the membership committee will be happy to meet with you to answer any questions and provide you with a membership packet.
MY SPOUSE/PARTNER IS JEWISH AND I AM NOT. IF WE JOIN WILL I BE WELCOME AT CONGREGATION ANSHAI EMETH?
Yes, all family members are warmly welcomed at Anshai Emeth. We encourage members to attend as a family so that the family unit can become closer and understand Jewish history, traditions, and culture. We have many non-Jewish partners at Anshai Emeth who are extraordinarily active and important members of our community.
WHEN WE JOIN, WILL MY NON-JEWISH SPOUSE BE EXPECTED TO CONVERT?
No. We are grateful for the support given to the Jewish spouse/partner and to participation at Anshai Emeth as well as within the home. We believe that conversion is a personal decision made only after heartfelt consideration. Such a decision needs to begin within an individual and we would not ask anyone to seek that path or push them in that direction. If however, someone did want to inquire about conversion, our Rabbi will guide you through the conversion process and the congregation will joyfully celebrate if and when the decision is made to convert to Judaism. We do encourage non-Jewish members to try out our “Judaism 101” classes, to give them a better understanding of our community and our tradition.
WHEN WE JOIN, WILL MY NON-JEWISH SPOUSE BE CONSIDERED A MEMBER?
Yes. When a family/couple joins all immediate family members/partners are considered full members. All non-Jewish spouses/partners are welcomed and encouraged to participate on all levels including our committees, attend classes and holiday events.
DO YOU HAVE OTHER INTERFAITH FAMILIES AT ANSHAI EMETH TEMPLE?
Yes. We have many interfaith couples/families. Our goal is to welcome and include all members regardless of their religious upbringing.
WHAT WILL BE THE STATUS OF MY CHILDREN IN THE JEWISH COMMUNITY?
Since 1983, the Reform Movement has recognized the children of either Jewish parent (mother or father) as Jewish if they are raised and educated as Jews.
There are many children in our congregation’s Religious School who have other religions in their extended families and our teachers are sensitive to this.
WE ARE CONSIDERING ENROLLING OUR CHILD IN RELIGIOUS SCHOOL. ARE PARENTS WHO ARE NOT JEWISH WELCOME TO PARTICIPATE IN RELIGIOUS SCHOOL PROGRAMS?
Jewish tradition places a high value on family life. We encourage both parents to be involved in their child’s Religious School experience and we welcome their participation. In addition, we have family programs and Shabbat dinners designed for students and their parents.
WILL MY NON-JEWISH SPOUSE BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR CHILDREN’S BAR/BAT MITZVAH?
Yes. At Anshai Emeth we include the entire family. Both parents are welcome on the bimah, and there many opportunities for both parents to participate as a concrete symbol of their support for Jewish education and in raising their child to the age of Jewish responsibility. At Anshai Emeth, non-Jewish parents who help to raise Jewish children are treated as the heroes that they are.