Questions On Affiliation
We know you may have questions about affiliation. Typically, there are two. Why and how much does it cost.
Let’s start with the easy one: How much does it cost to affiliate? Short answer, easy answer, it doesn’t cost, it pays.
We know that isn’t the answer you really want to hear though, so let’s do a deep dive. There is no secret handshake, and no formal application process.
Going back a decade, we recognized numerous shifts in the Jewish landscape, especially in many suburban areas. Mergers took a toll, and an aging population did as well, and this influenced our affiliates. We reacted by, amongst other shifts, eliminating our “dues” structure. At that time “dues” were $18.00 per member.
While we do have a few, mostly larger urban affiliates that maintain the $18.00 per member, for many it became unsustainable and thus it was a barrier to affiliation.
Our Constitution states: “MRJ requires only that each Affiliate contribute a fair share toward MRJ’s administrative costs as determined by each affiliate.”
MRJ requires two commitments for affiliation:
A desire on behalf on your Brotherhood/Men’s Club, and
Annual financial “fair share” support
Many of our affiliate’s support MRJ at $11.00 per member, others choose to make that “good faith” support a flat $500.00 or $360.00. It is up to you what you choose as a support. “Fair share.”
The second question – “why” is a bit more complex.
Men of Reform Judaism (MRJ) is an affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism, the URJ. The President of MRJ is automatically a voting member of the North American Board (NAB) of the URJ.
The religious Action Center (RAC) is a “joint instrumentality” of the URJ and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR.) Within the RAC there is a body known as the Commission on Social Action (CSA) and it is where policy, in the form of resolutions (which when passed by CSA members are voted upon by the NAB. If passed they then become policy. MRJ has four seats on the CSA.
Additionally, we have a representative on the amicus curiae committee of the CSA.
In English, we sit at the table representing Reform Jewish males and those that identify with us. We are your voice.
Reform On Campus, which grew out of an earlier program, began in 1995. It’s mission: "To assist students in creating meaningful Reform Jewish experiences on campus that will lead them to being active and involved Reform Jews for life.” ROC, as we know it, has awarded grants globally for programs reflecting our values. Since it’s inception, ROC has awarded well in excess of $600,000.00 to further that mission.
HUC-JIR for more than 20 years we have purchased “Marcus Jastrow’s Dictionary of the Targumim, Talmud Babli, Yerushalmi, and Midrashic Literature” for the incoming class of rabbinical and cantorial students in Jerusalem.
The Men’s Seder, originally released in 2007, the same year as the original iPhone, is one of our most popular programs. It has been rewritten for the contemporary man; it is – “A HAGGADAH BASED EXPLORATION OF CONTEMPORARY MEN’S ISSUES.”
The Men’s Shabbat is a guide for celebrating Shabbat.
We support our affiliates with sample documents, programming ideas and concepts.
WHAT CAN WE DO FOR YOU?