I am a former trustee at a Reform synagogue that had an open-door High Holiday policy. The synagogue merged with another Reform congregation that has an open-door policy for certain services. Though there is no excuse for the treatment given to Francine Klagsbrun’s friend, people need to step up to the plate and remember that for the three days of the year they attend, we as trustees need to find the money to pay the rent, pay salaries, pay for gas and lights, and keep up the facilities year-round.
No one should be turned away, but over the years I have seen my fair share of schnorrers, people who year after year do not pay their fair share even when they can afford do so. And sadly, they are first in line for herring at the break fast.