Minutes of Vaad Menahel Meeting - June 10, 2007

Present: Penina Arbit, Randi Garber (co-chairs), Kobi Ableman (part), Jody Blum, Warren Burstein, Dov Cooper (part), Esther Edell, Donna Goldberg, Daniel Rohrlich, Debbie Greiniman, Miriam Fine (Vaadat Bikoret), Philip Yakar (administrator)

Apologies: Simon Caplan, Neil Pearlman

Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

Building Engineer – Law Suit

An engineer who claims to have worked for us in the year 2000 has submitted a demand through his lawyer for 45,000 NIS for work done. Our answer is that he did no work of any value at all, and that we never received any documents or invoices from him. It is now in the hands of our lawyer, Mark Sherman.

Ishur Nihul Takin – Rasham Haamutot

A meeting took place with the R.H. accountant, our accountant and Philip. The two accountants reached agreement on what we have to submit in order to satisfy their demands. This material is now being prepared by our accountant.

Review of Recent Events

Debbie Greiniman was thanked for her work at Shavuot. Some 100 people attended the Tikun. The issue of clearing up at the end needs to be dealt with in advance, or, at the very least, people be asked before the last Shiur, to help afterwards. Debbie feels there is a need to involve more people in the education committee. Volunteers will be sought.

Future Events

Haim Watzman and Kobi Ableman are in touch with R. Bigman, from Maalei Gilboah, and with Ein Hanatziv, in order to develop a specific proposal for regular Shiurim at Yedidya. Kobi is also in touch with Shomera, a religious group concerned with environmental issues.

The question of charging for entry to Shiurim / events arose. It was agreed that, where there are expenses (e.g. advertising) and the subject and speakers were attractive, then the organizers will have discretion to request a nominal fee. For other public shiurim/events, a voluntary donation will be requested.

Report from Finance Committee

Jody Blum, treasurer, reported on the last FC meeting and budget review. With a projected deficit of over 14,000 NIS the FC recommended:

- raising dues by 50 NIS per membership unit,

- asking for a voluntary donation of at least 100 NIS from members,

- members here for just one year be asked for a special donation before their return home,

- groups that visit the Shul be asked for a donation,

- we create a "yizkor" book where members would buy space,

- there be special fund-raising events,

- the events budget line be cut from 11,000 to 9,000, the books and Sifrei Torah line from 7,000 to 3,500, and the children's coordinator from 3,000 to 1,500.

The Vaad approved the following:

Dues will be 1260 per family, 630 for an individual. The late payment fee will be 100/50 NIS (i.e. 1360 per family, 680 per individual). New members, first and second year will receive a 25% reduction.

Voluntary donations of 100 NIS + will be requested.

Budget cuts will be introduced as requested by the Finance Committee.

Further ideas for income generation will be sought.

Concern was expressed at the lack of a contingency fund and the FC were asked to take this into account when preparing the 2008 budget. In addition it was felt that the Yedidion was important enough to warrant further discussion on whether to subsidize it next year.

Esther agreed to prepare a letter to members explaining how money for donations can be claimed back (35%) from the income tax authorities. This letter will be sent out with the dues notice.

Rules for Events

Recent events led the Vaad to decide to review rules and guidelines for all events. A sub-committee was set up consisting of Eudice Harris, Penina Arbit, Kobi Ableman and Philip Yakar. They were empowered to produce finalised guidelines without further reference back to the Vaad.

Guidelines for Deot

The vaad reviewed the guidelines Bruce and Steven prepared for the renewed Deot, and felt that on the whole, they were well written. New wording was proposed for one section and Debbie Greiniman will work with them on the final draft, after which they will be published. It was agreed that if the moderators, Steven Edell and Bruce Rosen, felt a need for further consideration of content, then they could consult with Debbie Greiniman. It will be left to the three of them to agree on a modus operandi.

The vaad regrets that the events during the last year revolving around Deot, led to the resignation of the previous moderators of Deot as well as hurt and dissatisfaction among members from the "environment of discussion.".In light of these events, Miriam Fine suggested creating a forum to discuss such issues as what creates hurt, and how to achieve "respectful disagreement". This idea was approved by the Vaad. The vaad will also prepare a direct response to Orit and Aharon.

Date of next meeting

Tuesday July 10th at 19:30.

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