Minutes of Vaad Menahel meeting October 21, 2004



Present:  Penina Arbit, Randi Garber (co-chairs), Orit Elgavi, Debbie Weissman, Jody    Blum, Donna Goldberg, Bobbie Silberklang, Kobi Abelman, Warren Burstein, Neil Pearlman, Yoni Hammer-Kossoy.


Apologies: Esther Edell, Dov Cooper


1.     Treasurer

Jody Blum was unanimously elected.


2.     New Members

The committee welcomed Donna, Jody and Bobbie. Meeting days will be rotated to accommodate members' needs.


3.     Committees

Randi reviewed the present committees (Gabbaiut, Tzedakah, Halacha & Minhag, Children, Finance, Building, Design, Maintenance) There is a need to clarify the authority of these committee vis-à-vis the Vaad Menahel and the procedures required. Proposed that the Vaad chairpeople sit with a committee representative to discuss ideas and then they will be brought to Vaad, if necessary.

 It is not clear if David Wayman wishes to continue to be a member of the Finance Committee. Neil suggested that Marc Render be requested to be chairperson of the Finance Committee.

An Events and Education committee is being set up. Debbie Greiniman has agreed to be the chairperson. They will look at the whole year and offer a comprehensive programme.

Donna suggested they consider tiyulim. Kobi asked to be a member. The committee will be asked to consider the community's 25th anniversary celebration.

Pamela Pearlman will lead the Maase committee.

The Tzedakah committee accounts will be included in the 2004 Auditor's report.

A volunteer is required for arranging group hospitality. Maya Feiner was suggested. Randi will approach her to see if she is willing to assume this position.

Neil suggested that there is a need for a long-term strategic planning process.

Warren reported that some members had indicated on their membership forms their willingness to volunteer. This will be followed-up.

A suggestion was made to prepare a booklet with details and photographs of all members and their children.


4.     Review of Chagim

The following points were raised:


-        the Simchat Torah reading for women went smoothly,

-        the children's service took longer than planned,

-        there was need for another Sefer Torah for the children,

-        good feedback was received on the Yamim Noraim.



-        there was not always a minyan at the womens' Torah reading,

-        the children's reading was excellent, and a way should be found to film something similar, perhaps on Hanukah.



-        some readers did not use the correct 'trop',

-        the downstairs Kol Nidrei was almost empty and there was no Gabbai (caused by last minute problem)

-        assigned seating clearly did not work.



-        the lack of minyan at the womens' reading should be announced,

-        "Kol Hanaarim" was very successful,

-        the children's Torah reading was excellent.



-        the children need two Sifrei Torah.

-        there were scheduling problems, so the timing will need to be checked next year,

-        there is a need for more people for the talk on the second night of Rosh Hashana.

-        new members should be more involved,

-        next year Misgav Watzman's Bat Mitzva will fall on Shabbat Shuva. The question of a speaker will have to be addressed,

-        should there be meditation before Shacharit on Yom Kippur?

-        Baalei tefilah should be careful not to change the nusach hatfilah,

-        there was a problem with the moving of chairs for the Hoshanot.



-        children's reading to be downstairs, the women's in another place (?)

-        more planning is required for Chol Hamoed.



-        on Simchat Torah there were fewer women than in previous years, but it was more manageable,

-        there were young people there,

-        the Succah is too small, ideas are needed.


Thanks were given to Warren for his work on the Succah.



-        there were not enough people for the toraniot, guards etc. This causes a cleanliness problem – toilets etc. – over a 3 day chag.



-        the early minyan on Simchat Torah was very full, and was a drain on the main minyan. There was a problem finding Shlichei Tzibbur,

-        perhaps the scheduling needs to be re-examined (e.g. one minyan only starting early, hakafot at end of service?).



-        the Hoshanot on Succot worked well for the women,

-        the Simchat Torah evening picked up after the third hakafah.



-        there was a problem with the S'lichot minyan from the third night,

-        combining with a shiur was successful.


Problems to be resolved:

1.     Should married children of members pay for guest seats?

2.     Previous members, who did not rejoin, got seats without any kind of contribution.

Yishar Koah to all involved in the organizing of the T'filot.


5.     Maintenance

a.      The downstairs room will be painted, by young people, under the supervision of Debbie Lustig.

b.     Eudice Harris, chairperson of the Maintenance Committee, advised that the following members would be on the committee: Zvi Ariel, Debbie Lustig, Michael Stahl, Haim Watzman.

c.      A schedule of routine upkeep was approved; the main sanctuary to be cleaned on Motzai Shabbat. In addition, all appropriate areas have to be cleaned before events.

d.     The consensus was that there should not be cushions on the wooden benches.

e.      To be taken care of: front door locks, locks on access doors upstairs. Zvi Ariel is checking on the alarm system and whether we can use less air-conditioning.


6.     Use of building

a)     An organization called ArtzinIsrael has approached us for use of the building for a drama group, on Wednesday evenings. Agreed to rent out the hall at a price of 300 NIS per month, providing we have no personnel costs.

b)          Netivot Hatorah

This organization is setting up a one-year college-age co-ed bet midrash program for USA students, and would like the use of our building five days a week from 08:00 until 22:00.

The Vaad agreed to pursue negotiations. The following questions will have to be clarified:

-   what equipment will they bring?

-   will they be prepared to develop at least part of the basement for office and art activity use?

-   their financial base

-   their willingness to be flexible for our internal and members' events.


7.     Upcoming Events

a.      Bat-mitzvah reading upstairs

The Sykes-Zohar family has requested, because of the number of people expected, that the women's reading take place upstairs. After a lengthy discussion the Vaad decided; for – 6, against – 4, abstained – 1.

-        the reading will take place upstairs;

-        this was not to be considered a precedent;

-        the Minhag and Halachah committee will be asked to consider all aspects of the women's reading in depth and report to the Vaad.

b.     Debbie Lustig's Shabbat Kallah

Debbie requested the following:

i – the baal musaph will read the four T'filot usually read by a woman;

ii – the Sefer Torah will be handed to the Gabbai for placing on the reading table;

iii – men will return the Sefer to the Aron.

Items i. and ii. were unanimously approved, item iii. not.


 Because of the late hour the following agenda items were left for discussion at the next meeting, on Nov. 2nd.

Building maintenance – air conditioning

                           kitchen issues.

Administrator's contract.

Use of building – pricing schedule

                            security / staff.

Upcoming events – choir festival

                                25th anniversary

                                educational programs.

Youth programming – implementation of new ideas

                                    update on Noar meeting.

Community issues – alternative Chevra Kadisha

                                  intercongregational council.

Shabbat survey – follow-up.

Yedidya website – posting of membership list.

Financial issues – budget


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