Gift Cards are a gift to CBE

April 17, 2024
By Keith Satter
Category: Bulletin

Dear Congregants,

As you read this, I hope Passover was a very special memory. And, like so many Jewish traditions, it wouldn’t be a holiday without special foods we have come to enjoy. Cleaning the house, the first taste of matzah, and all the other treats that linger in our minds. Of course, by the seventh day my thoughts start to turn to the pizza I will have soon but that, too, makes the holiday special.

There is an important link between the foods we buy and Beth El. While our Kol Nidre Appeal in the Fall and our gala in the Spring have a great deal of splash, we have an important third fundraiser that goes on all year long. I am speaking about our gift card program.

Harry Morgenthaler, of blessed memory, worked harder than I have ever seen to build this program into a fundraising powerhouse. Who of us doesn’t remember a voice mail message from Harry always starting out with, “This is Harry Morgenthaler…” I always chuckled at this because his voice was so recognizable. I would say, all he needs to say is, “Keith, this is Harry,” but it was always “Harry Morgenthaler” and he would then ask how much we needed in gift cards that month. I always used to tell Harry that his efforts counted for five or six member dues each year. When Harry passed away, Josh Lander took over this program. Josh has replaced most of the voice mails with texts and emails and built up a great delivery crew.

It is no understatement to say that we have been able to hold our dues to the lowest in level in Fairfield County because of the card program. We have food cards—ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Stew Leonard’s—and gift cards of all kinds, too!

Imagine, for a moment, if each member unit spent $250 a month on food cards. That would add a whopping $25,000 plus to our income for the year and that can make the difference between a deficit and breakeven.

Now, some people are reluctant to get involved with the program. I sense a reluctance because people don’t want it to look like they are paying with a government assistance card. However, I can assure you that food cards are so popular, no one ever notices.

So, this coming year I am asking all members to embrace our gift card program. You are spending the money on gifts and at the the grocery store anyway. With our cards you can benefit Beth El as well.



Gift card program explained.