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Annual Campaign 2021

July 1, 2020
Dear AAC Community,
We look forward to the start of the 2021 fiscal year with our new shlichah, new members on the board, exciting offerings by our committees and new learning opportunities. I’m grateful for the messages you have shared with us since March: you have told us how you find comfort in our strong, vibrant community. In community gatherings, I hear your encouragement for clergy and leaders. Thank you for the belief you have expressed in us – your community’s leadership.
As I mentioned in April, our first financial consideration was to ensure our staff continues to work and to meet the financial needs of our community. One constant from year to year is the need to ensure we balance our annual operating budget. Annual commitments and tuition payments cover about 85% of our annual operating expenses. In the past few years, members of our community have donated nearly $300,000 a year to address the gap between our annual anticipated income and expenses through the (a) Kol Nidre appeal, (b) dedicating prayer books, reserved seating, memorial plaques, tributes, etc., and (c) participating in social events, such as the upcoming 20th anniversary concert and dinner for Hazzan Dienstfrey.
Based on feedback from our strategic planning process, we are streamlining all fundraising for our community through a newly established Fundraising and Development Committee (FDC). We will now have one annual campaign with a financial goal consistent with our philosophy: we do not turn away people desiring to be part of our kehillah kedosha (sacred congregation), regardless of their ability to contribute financially. Donations to this campaign are unrestricted—they will be used as needed for budgeted expenses that annual commitments and tuition do not cover—and support the vibrant life of our congregation. Congregants will continue, as in the past, to balance the budget by contributing approximately 15%, or $350,000, through additional donations.
You can earmark your additional contributions as you have done previously for areas like Kol Nidre and the anniversary event. Whether you contribute $18 or $10,000 or something in between, you express your desire for Agudas Achim to continue providing to you and our community religious, social, emotional, educational and spiritual value.
To reach our goal of $350,000, I am establishing some benchmarks.
Benchmark No. 1: Raise $200,000, by September 30, 2020. To achieve this benchmark we have been offered a $50,000 dollar-for-dollar match and a board of directors’ leadership gift of $15,000. I encourage those who do give for the Kol Nidre appeal to boost their contributions this year to achieve the $200,000 benchmark. Please donate now. Don’t wait for the holidays.
Benchmark No. 2: Raise $275,000 by December 31, encompassing contributions related to Hazzan Elisheva Dienstfrey’s 20th anniversary celebration.
Success: Achieve our target of $350,000 by March 31, 2021. Spring event planning, which has been a hallmark of our member engagement programs over many years, could help us achieve this benchmark.
Please contact Barry Nove, executive director, for donation information or click on this link for the Annual Campaign, Progress will be reported regularly.
While our priority is to raise the $350,000 in unrestricted funds to balance the AAC budget, congregants may also wish to contribute additional amounts to specific restricted funds (listed here). However, these restricted contributions cannot be counted towards the $350,000 annual campaign target that is needed to fund the congregation’s regular operations. Please contact any member of the fundraising committee or Barry Nove for information on contributing to these programs.
Thank you for digging deep and supporting our beloved community. I look forward to receiving your contribution.

Meredith Ludwig, Congregation President

Fund Raising and Development Committee: Stan Blacker, co-chair; Marc Wilson, co-chair; Les Edelman, Ben Kasoff, Meredith Ludwig, Barry Nove, Sam Ozeck, Jonathan Saiger, Nancy Siegal
Sat, July 31 2021 22 Av 5781