B’not Esh Tamid Process (2018):
The B’not Esh “Tamid” process is our loving agreement to financially support our community and to share many of our expenses. We are each accountable to each other to make this happen each year. (“Tamid” means always and forever.)
As a sacred on-going community that exists throughout the year, we are more than an annual retreat. Therefore, regardless of whether an individual attends a retreat, each of us contributes financially, every year, and to the best of our ability, to the well-being of the whole.
To that end, each Bat Esh is a member of a hevrutah, usually consisting of two members. These groups are set up with the goal of placing each person in a group that feels as safe and comfortable as possible, while recognizing that talking about money can feel difficult even under the best of circumstances. Each year, the members of each hevrutah have a frank and supportive discussion of their finances, and help each other decide an amount for each one’s annual contribution to the group. Questions of generosity, accountability, relative privilege, economic means and questions of how to make this kind of decision, are likely to come up in hevrutah. There is no “right” answer for your decision other than the amount determined by your best wrestling with these issues. Ability to pay is not related to a person’s presence at the retreat. We are committed to bringing our group together each year, whatever that entails. The range of contribution has been from $18.00 to $1,000.00 with $500-$600 being an approximate “average cost.”
Each person needs to trust that appropriate support and challenges are being made within each hevrutah group. Second guessing what someone “should” have paid is not part of the process. This process is based on trust, respect and learning together in community.
The money raised this way is supposed to cover:
* the cost of meals and lodging at the retreat;
* “least cost” transportation expenses for anyone who wants transportation covered;
* childcare at retreat for babies under age two or who are still nursing;
* childcare at home if requested;
* a tzedakah donation toward a Jewish feminist cause.
Some banot will choose to cover their own travel and other expenses, but no one is asked or required to do so. Such a decision may be factored into their Tamid pledge for the year. We ask everyone to be as generous as is comfortable.
A team of three banot oversees the Tamid process by sending out email reminders with a form to complete so that we know how much will be coming in to the treasury. Pledges must be paid before the retreat. The Tamid team also contacts any banot who have not paid their Tamid pledge in a timely fashion. The Tamid process is done in confidence; only you, your hevrutah partner, and the treasurer will know what you have paid, and/or what expenses (if any) you are claiming for reimbursement.