Meeting of the Va’ad Menahel of Kehillat Yedidya,
20 Shevat 5771 / January 25, 2011
Va’ad members – J Rosenberg, Danny G., Esther, E., Penina A., Michael S., Noomi S., Gary H., Gary G., Miriam F., Deborah K., Daniel R., David G., Donna G. (left early and returned later)
Va’adat Bikoret – Debbie G., Carol B-Z
Yedidya members – Linda G., Daniele B., Dennis B., Haim W., Pinchas L., Steven E., Veronika C., Elliot C., Simon C., Debbie W., Jill G., Joanne A., Josh S., Warren, B., Myra N., Bruce R., Hana L., Meir Z., Eudice H., Marc R., Elyssa M-R.
The first half of the meeting was devoted to an open discussion of the recent events at Yedidya (the ad in Ha’aretz, the cancellation of the J Street U event at Yedidya, postings in Deot Yedidya). Before the meeting actually began, a discussion was held regarding the language of discussion, English or Hebrew. It was decided that the meeting would be conducted in English, anyone who felt more comfortable could speak in Hebrew and brief translations of remarks would be provided if necessary.
[Minutes were already posted on the web site through Yediot Yedidya following approval by the Va’ad Menahel - Penina.]
At this point the open meeting was ended and the VM continue meeting to discuss other items on its agenda.
Item 3 – Approval of minutes of previous meeting
Minutes of the previous Va’ad Menahel meeting were approved unanimously.
Item 4 – New acting co-chairperson
Linda Gradstein was voted onto the Va’ad Menahel, with the intention of having her voted as co-chair at the upcoming AGM, probably in June. In the meantime she will work closely with J as a member of the VM.
Linda was voted onto the VM unanimously.
Item 5 – Budget for 2011
Gary presented the proposed budget for 2011 as prepared by Esther Edell. The Finance Committee proposes that dues be raised from NIS 1260 to NIS 1300 – an increase of 3.2% - and that all dues fees be raised accordingly. This will reflect our increased budgetary needs due to price increases in the economy. The FC recommended to the BUC that there by a 15% increase on building usage fees for non-members, to make a profit on NM fees and that members’ fees should just cover costs. FC committee recommended that the BUC discuss this at their next meeting.
Penina Arbit said that the BUC would discuss this and make its proposal regarding fees to the VM.
The amount budgeted for water was raised by 40% - based on price increase + a 10% increase in usage, particularly once the new basement space is used.
Dov Cooper had reported to the FC that the increase in building use after the basement opens would be minimal, as there would be more programming but not necessarily more “events” – i.e., more parties.
Simon Caplan – The budget is incremental. Once the basement is operational programming will increase radically. Basement space is for new programs. There is a budget of NIS 50,000 per year x 4 years for programming. The youth director covers NIS 25,000 of that sum. The budget does not allow for developing a real strategy for programming. The cost of an av bayit will come, in part, from the budget and from BUC fees, and some will come from the NIS 8,000 budgeted for personnel.
Debbie G. remarked that we shouldn't be relying on a volunteer (Eudice) to be in charge of all the maintenance work, which is what happens now. Rather, the volunteer should be in charge of supervising an av bayit. For which purpose the av bayit would have to exist
Linda asked if we could approve the budget as is now and amend it later on as needed?
Esther replied that we could approve the budget provisionally and use the contingency fund to cover any shortfall. We can play with that. Esther suggest we approve the budget now.
Noomi asked if we could take the budget home to study and approve it next month?
Esther replied that it wasn’t necessary to have a final budget in January. But we need to have it in place by April.
Deborah asked about plans for the Yedidyon. She was told there hasn’t been a Yedidyon in years.
Linda suggested that we take the budget home.
Gary G. added that questions could be asked and answered via e-mail.
Item 6 – Programming discussion Simon Caplan presented the “plan to expand and diversity programming.”
Simon stressed the need for a plan. The VM is incredible – very active and vigorous. But there is a huge bottleneck and a different system is needed to allow for programming, to allow for freedom at the committee level.
Four program areas are planned – children and youth, social action, social and cultural activities, education. The head of each group would be a member of the VM, but the VM will not be involved in discussing the details of each committee. We need a mechanism that will create room for people to give bite-sized chunks of voluntary time.
Should also add another item regarding attracting new members, mostly for income. We are striving to expand our community. We also need to appeal to a new and younger generation.
Also need to think about restructuring the membership of the VM. People who want to be active in running the shul can sit on a task force and do action without having to sit on the VM. The direct responsibilities of the VM should relate to policy issues, budgeting and finance, employment.
Deborah said that programs never got put together or discussed through the VM.
Elyssa Moss-Rabinowitz presented the programming by the Youth Committee, including the youth director, special activities, going back to having madrichim for younger kids activities. Youth activities would be divided into 4 age groups: 3-6 years, 7-9/10 years, 11-13 years and teens/noar. Each group would meet in a different space downstairs, with supervision – either paid supervision or parents doing toranut.
Trying to hire a youth coordinator to help with programming. Because of budget constraints it will be a ¼-time position (which is less than hoped for). Salary will be NIS 1,600 per month. They had to redefine the job description, giving it fewer hours with the same responsibilities. This limits the youth committee from the outset. The budget for youth programming is NIS 25,000, but it wasn’t clear whether this was just the coordinator’s salary or does it include other things? The youth committee put together a budget for the year, which didn’t include 1-time costs for setting up the space downstairs, i.e., equipment. It also doesn’t include the issue of supervision. There needs to be a policy from the shul – either to have parent toranut or hire a babysitter.
Regarding the youth director – ads have been posted. There are two people interested who could be suitable. Three other applicants from Nefesh B’Nefesh aren’t really suitable because they don’t yet understand the mentality of Israeli children.
Can we find an extra NIS 1300 for the youth budget? The youth activities budget was presented and discussed ahead of approval.
Daniel R. suggested that it probably wasn’t a problem to spend 12 months’ budget within 10 months and perhaps we could try that. Perhaps children’s events should be paid for by parents of the kids who attend. We can ask for contributions or charge fees
Noomi said we can approve the salary for the youth director. It isn’t such a bad salary relative to the market. She asked the youth committee to come up with a plan of activities that could be translated into budget lines. Not-yet-existing programs cannot be approved.
Simon suggested that Elyssa and Gary G. sit together to discuss programming and budget and to make some budget decisions.
Gary asked where the money would come from.
Linda asked if we could approve a sum and then figure out where it could come from.
Noomi mentioned that some of the NIS 50,000 for programming needed to be saved for other programs.
Elyssa noted that the 50,000 was already claimed and that youth activities would need to be budgeted from somewhere.
Esther said that KY has a reserve in the bank. If the VM feels that we want to draw on funds from the bank we can have a negative contingency fund for this year in order to cover youth programming.
Miriam suggested that NIS 15,000 be allocated for youth activities. Regarding babysitting, this needs to be opened up to a community discussion with a shul-wide procedure so that everyone feels their voice has been heard.
Esther suggested that in addition to dues people be required to contributed X number of hours per year. If you can’t or won’t volunteer you can pay extra dues.
Donna didn’t agree with this suggestion as people already volunteer to do enough stuff around the shul.
Daniel R. also did not agree with trading off money for volunteer work. Volunteer work should be for everyone. It is realistic to ask parents to contribute for programming. It cannot all be done on a volunteer basis. There should not be too many freebies.
Following this discussion a vote was taken on Miriam’s proposal to take NIS 10,000 for youth activities from the contingency fund and donations. This was resolved unanimously.
Youth equipment – Elyssa noted that the equipment proposed is based on the discussion by the youth committee. But the budget is actually less than what is stated on the printed proposal.
Deborah G. suggested that we ask for donated supplies from people. Perhaps this could be done as part of the basement launch event.
Linda – Not old stuff. Every family could purchase 1 book and 1 game to donate.
Simon asked if there was a date for the launch event.
J responded that it depends on the kablan and his schedule. If we’re lucky he could finish by February and then we could use it by March. It was proposed that the date for the Basement Launch Event – çðåëú äáéú be set for March 31. This was approved by the VM. Noomi Stahl will work on the program.
Item 9 – Miscellaneous
Green bags – ecological shopping bags. Noomi gave the price as a minimum of 1,000 bags @ NIS 5.5 each. Could be used for mishloach manot on Purim, then sold and/or used for other occasions. A more detailed proposal will be presented at the next VM meeting.
Ein Gedi Water – Gary H. presented his objections to using bottled water by Ein Gedi because the water is taken from the animals in the nature reserve. Donna described the agreement between Kibbutz Ein Gedi and the nature reserve. The kibbutz gets an allotment of water to use as it wants. If it wants to use it to bottle water for sale, it can, and the water is not taken from the animals. That being the case, Gary removed his proposal that the shul stop using Ein Gedi bottled water.
Va’ani Tefilati siddurim – Israeli siddur, identified with the Conservative (Masorati) movement. As such it was felt that we should not purchase them for use in the shul. However J suggested that we purchase a few for the library.
Social action fellowship – KY has received a proposal to sign up for the Everett Fellows Program for Social Justice (òîéúé àáøè ìöã÷ çáøúé). Do we want to have an intern to be involved in social programming? Consensus among the VM was positive as such an intern could help with the social action committee. The proposal was approved.
David Gleicher announced that he was going to be the new gabbai, replacing Zvi Ariel.
DONM – February 23, 2011.
Recorded by: Penina Arbit