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In 1989, a small group of Jews living in Madison founded Congregation Shaarei Shamayim following several years of attending High Holiday services at Gates of Heaven (Shaarei Shamayim in Hebrew) synagogue in James Madison Park. The group affiliated with the Reconstructionist and Jewish Renewal movements, hired its first resident rabbi in 1996, and eventually welcomed Rabbi Laurie, who has provided leadership to our community for the past 16 years.

For the past several years we received generous support from Madison’s Goodman Foundation to partially fund our operating costs. But the Goodman Foundation has announced a shift in its funding priorities. In the next year, the foundation will stop making annual grants to Shaarei Shamayim and other Madison Jewish congregations and organizations. We are so thankful for all that the Goodman Foundation has provided us over the years – and especially for the substantial time they gave us to prepare for this change. 

With this shift, we have the chance to come together for our own future. Madison needed this congregation in 1989 and it needs it now. Help us sustain this community to provide the next generation of Madison’s Jews an open, pluralistic, and inclusive congregation that values participation from everyone. 


The committee’s plan spans multiple years. By the end of the five years, the committee intends to generate more than $35,000 of additional annual revenue. This level of additional revenue will offset the loss of the Goodman grant and account for limited other program needs and inflation increases that arise over the period. In establishing the multi-year plan, the committee was mindful that no single approach would suffice to replace the Goodman funds. The committee believes, however, that a combination of approaches (modest membership growth, endowment contributions, and voluntary increases in annual dues) could replace the Goodman funds. The multi-year plan relies on all three strategies.

Help us attract new members. 

Increase your annual dues with an additional donation.

Make a long-term investment by giving to our Sustaining Our Future endowment fund.

Please consider supporting our campaign by making a tax-deductible gift today.

Tue, November 28 2023 15 Kislev 5784