Minutes of Vaad Menahel meeting 05.12.05

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Present: Penina Arbit, Randi Garber (co-chairs), Jody Blum, Warren Burstein, Dov Cooper, Orit Elgavi, Donna Goldberg-Katkoff, Yonni Hammer-Kossoy, Neil Pearlman, Bobbie Silberklang, Debbie Weissman, Philip Yakar (Administrator), Aviva Giron (Israeli Religious Action Centre)


Apologies: Kobi Abelman, Esther Edell


  1. Social Action

Aviva Giron of the Israel Religious Action Centre presented the Centre's social action programme. At present it is a joint programme of Reform and Conservative communities, but they are eager to broaden it to include other denominations.

The Centre aims to help congregations build social action projects, based on empowering and community work. Each synagogue decides its own programme. The groups helped must be external to the synagogue membership. In addition the work has to be based on volunteers aided by a paid worker.

At present the IRAC is offering a brief training course in community work. Synagogues that send participants to the course can benefit from a 2,000 NIS grant for a project.

Also the centre is prepared to receive written projects requesting support up to 10,000 NIS.

The stress is on social justice projects and the ultimate aim is to build a broadly-based coalition which will strive for change through political action.


-        we should advertise the course,

-        this is a good way to broaden our activities,

-        we should be cautious about how our name is used and what issues we should put our name to.


  1. Opening & closing on Shabbat & Chagim

In view of the lack of response for increasing the number of armed guards, we have to examine options.

    1. Should the Kiddush toranim be responsible?
    2. Should there be a separate toranut?

It was felt that there is a need for somebody at the door to greet people and keep an eye on the children outside. Dov and other shomrim are prepared to volunteer, but there is a need to recruit more people. A separate Yediot will be sent to all members asking for volunteers. There is a need for 16 people. Seudah Shlishit is not included at present in these arrangements.

If this appeal fails we will ask members only to open and close, but not be at the door throughout the t'fillot.

This coming Shabbat:

Friday opening: Debbie Weissman

-        closing: Jody Blum

Shabbat opening: Dov Cooper

-        closing: Randi Garber

The alarm mechanism on Shabbat mode needs to be checked.

Those who open/close will still have to do Kiddush duty.

A Shabbat will be earmarked for marking the contribution of the "retiring" armed shomrim.


  1. Budget

The proposed budget for 2006 (attached) was discussed and approved, with the proviso that there be no linkage between the fundraising line and any other line. The children's activity coordinator will work 2 hours per week helping prepare better activities with the madrichim. It should be a student who has been associated with Yedidya in the past. A breakdown of use of building income and expenses was requested and prices may have to be adjusted. Also we must find ways to bring income from the art exhibit openings (e.g. charge a small entrance fee), and from other events (e.g. movies).

The issue of requesting payment for the extra cleaning demanded after big Kiddushim was raised but not resolved..


  1. Future events
    1. A series of movie nights is proposed, with discussions on the subject matter. Debbie Greiniman's committee will be asked to take this on. An entry fee will be charged, final price to be fixed.
    2. Neil volunteered to coordinate the Shabbaton. Either 4th or 11th March is suggested.
    3. A Shabbat Iyun will take place on January 7th. Speaker Andy Flacks, subject "Jewish and Chinese sources on issues pertaining to the antiquity of the world".
    4. The possibility of a Yedidya trip to Poland is being explored for summer 2006. Lori Heller is interested in organizing the trip. The cost will be approximately $1500. David Silberklang has agreed to offer advice on the itinerary.
    5. The issue of the T'filah for wives murdered by their spouses was raised. We did not manage to recite it on the day some 50 other congregations did, so it is suggested we do so next Shabbat Vayishlach. Some members of the Vaad opposed adding extra prayers.In addition it was felt that there is a need for a clear decision-making process as to what prayers are added . Decided by a majority of 8 to 1 that the process of approval will be:

-        Approval by Minhag & Halacha Committee

-        Approval by Gabbaim without referral to the Vaad Hamenahel.


  1. Future meetings

Vaad 02.01.06

Annual General Meeting 21.01.06


  1. Miscellaneous
    1. Orit had received no responses about the Procedures Handbook. This will be followed-up after the A.G.M.
    2. Since the chairpersons will be finishing their term in September it is recommended that the search for replacements begin now.