Pre­pare for a shock: shul fees are slashed

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY LIFE - BY JAY GRENBY

A PLEAS­ANT sur­prise awaits the 813 mem­bers of the West­ern Mar­ble Arch Syn­a­gogue — their subscriptions have been slashed.

Al­most 25 per cent has been knocked off full fees for male con­gre­gants at the West End shul, which range be­tween £330 and £1,165 ac­cord­ing to a com­plex pric­ing struc­ture de­ter­mined largely by seat po­si­tion. Younger mem­bers do even bet­ter, with dis­counts of 85 per cent for un­der-21s and a half-price of­fer for those be­tween 21 and 35.

In ad­di­tion, new mem­bers will re­ceive a 50 per cent dis­count on the first year’s sub­scrip­tion, while levies for se­cu­rity, ed­u­ca­tion and build­ing are to be abol­ished.

Syn­a­gogue trea­surer Henry Ejdel­baum at­trib­uted the price cuts to pru­dent man­age­ment which has trimmed £120,000 off ex­pen­di­ture.

“We have al­ways suf­fered from the rep­u­ta­tion of be­ing an ex­pen­sive syn­a­gogue to join,” he told the JC. “But the new fee struc­ture, and es­pe­cially the sup­port we are of­fer­ing to younger mem­bers, shows that this is no longer the case.

“Al­though this is pre­dom­i­nantly an age­ing con­gre­ga­tion, about a quar­ter of our mem­bers are un­der the age of 35 and they will ben­e­fit con­sid­er­ably from the new sys­tem.”

Economies had started “with small things, like send­ing an email in­stead of a let­ter, mov­ing on to larger sav­ings — en­sur­ing we dealt with the right sup­pli­ers, pay­ing bills promptly to se­cure big­ger dis­counts, deal­ing with our mem­bers more ef­fi­ciently and pur­chas­ing only what we needed in­stead of what we wanted.”

Mr Ejdel­baum runs a large ac­coun­tancy, fi­nance and prop­erty busi­ness “and sim­ply trans­lated the man­age­ment skills I em­ploy, with­out ever for­get­ting, of course, that it is a mem­ber­ship or­gan­i­sa­tion.”

The board hopes the cuts will at­tract some of the young pro­fes­sion­als liv­ing in and around the West End.

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