The Lewis S. Wiener Annual Fund

Washington Hebrew Congregation is supported in part by The Lewis S. Wiener Annual Fund
(formerly known as Yad B’Yad).

Lew Wiener smiling and talking with someone

In honor of our beloved WHC president, Lew Wiener z”l, The Lewis S. Wiener Annual Fund keeps alive his goal of a vibrant and sustainable Washington Hebrew.

With membership revenues and fees covering 45% of our community’s annual operating costs, the Lewis S. Wiener Annual Fund gives Washington Hebrew the ability to be a strong and resilient congregation — ready to meet the moment while laying the foundation to overcome the challenges ahead.

Your gift to The Lewis S. Wiener Annual Fund is tax-deductible. Please extend your hand in partnership and be counted!

Make a gift to The Lewis S. Wiener Annual Fund

Lew Wiener smiling and talking with someone

The Lewis S. Wiener Annual Fund FAQs

The primary purpose of The Lewis S. Wiener Annual Fund is threefold:

  1. Bridge the Gap: Membership revenues and fees currently cover less than half of our operating expenses. As many synagogues (and most nonprofits) do, we are turning to our members to help close this gap.
  2. Open Tent: In the tradition of our biblical forebears Abraham and Sarah, WHC maintains an “open tent,” opening our doors to all interested members regardless of means. We rely on your generosity to offset the cost of making participation possible for all and ease pressure on membership revenues.
  3. Excellence: WHC offers exceptional programming for all ages and interests, including pioneering social action efforts that have become a national model. With your help, our dynamic community can continue to lead the way.

You may donate to The Lewis S. Wiener Annual Fund by cash, check, stock, credit card, direct deposit, or billing your Temple account.  You may also give through your family foundation, donor-advised fund (DAF), or IRA.  To give online now, click here.  All contributions to The Lewis S. Wiener Annual Fund are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Each gift will be recognized with an acknowledgment letter and in an annual report to be shared with the congregation and our external funders at the end of the year.

An annual fund is a key source of support for many reasons:

  1. It’s annual. It generates a dependable revenue stream available each year.
  2. It’s flexible. As opposed to a targeted grant that restricts funds to one program, it can be used for anything from keeping the lights on to covering unanticipated needs.
  3. It provides stability, supplementing contributions through membership contributions.
  4. It’s voluntary. Put simply, it’s more meaningful to give a gift than pay a bill.
  5. It engages members of all stripes and types. With gifts from $18 to $18,000, it emphasizes that WHC is our shared responsibility.

Annual funds are increasingly the norm among temples, including many local congregations. As you likely know, most nonprofits – including schools, cultural institutions, health causes, issue advocacy groups, and Jewish communal organizations – rely on an annual appeal for general support.

The breakdown of WHC’s budget hasn’t changed much over the years. Membership revenues have always supported about half of our expenses. Once we factor in tuition and fees for the ECCs and Religious School, 60% of operating costs are covered. That still leaves us with a gap. The Lewis S. Wiener Annual Fund will help bridge that gap.

In the past, to fill that gap, WHC has relied on endowments, external payments like facilities rental fees, grants of program support, and the generosity of individual members who have responded to requests with an open heart. We will continue to seek all those sources of support, but to ease pressure on them and on membership revenues, we need to secure unrestricted funds.

We hope you decide to support The Lewis S. Wiener Annual Fund at a level that is comfortable and meaningful to you. Of course, that level is different for everyone and may vary from year to year. For this year, we really just encourage you to participate and convey your support for this effort.

You may direct your gift to one of four areas: Worship & Spirituality, Education, Social Action, or to the Area of Greatest Need, which means WHC will use it wherever it’s needed most.

WHC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so your gift is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Thank you!


Margaret Cohen
Director of Philanthropy