Members and clergy at Temple Emanu-El in Miami Beach found a unique way to generate publicity for the South Beach synagogue: They initiated an auction on eBay for two lifetime memberships. The package, which included family name engraved front-row seats, admission on all holidays and free parking, had a starting bid of $1.8 million.
No one took the bait, but the hefty price tag did raise plenty of eyebrows — and generated more than a little media attention. According to congregation spokesman Bruce Rubin, the synagogue — which flourished in the 1980s with some 1,000 families but today has only around 200 — had other purposes in mind when it launched the auction. “We were trying to raise awareness of the synagogue in a gentle and productive way, and draw attention to the High Holy Days,” he told The Shmooze. Apparently, it worked.
This story "Miami Shul Auctions Pricey Seats" was written by Sarah Kricheff.