As I briefly mentioned last week, I’ve been knee-deep in budgeting. Thank you to Sue, our finance officer, for your hard work, and our finance committee and board of directors for your oversight. We now have an approved budget for 2022!

Sue and I have degrees in accounting and can budget with the best of them. We understand revenues, expenses, and fund balances. We can calculate future values and depreciation. Give us a spreadsheet and we can “tick and tie” it to death.

But, I daresay that for accountants, these are the easy parts of budgeting. The degree that really would be helpful, which neither of us has, would be soothsaying. When will the community be ready to host large gatherings in person again? What’s happening to heating costs? Is this the year that the driveway will need resurfacing?

As Yogi Berra said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

And then, there is visioning and priority setting. As I’ve shared, a couple of my priorities this year are for Israel education for our high schoolers with Unpacked and communal civility education with Resetting the Table, so we need to make sure that the budget will adequately address our wishes and priorities.

There is only one number on the budget about which we need not worry. For 2022 we are budgeting more than $850,000 coming from endowment funds valued at almost $20 million. The $20 million is permanently restricted by donor intent and law. We may not ever spend those dollars, but we will have the income generated from those funds to spend as donor directed and/or in furtherance of our mission, forever. Sitting down to start a budget with an $850,000 income line is a mechaye.

Everyone can ensure that our Jewish community has the resources it needs to support the future. To learn more about legacy giving, for today and tomorrow, please contact our director of planned giving and endowments, Deborah Goldstein.  

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