July 6th 2010


In attendance: Noomi Stahl (co-Chair), Jay Rosenberg (co Chair), Kobi Ableman,

Daniel Rohrlich, Pnina Arbit, Debora Kalker, Bob Carol, Miriam Fine

Carol Fuchs (Vaad Bikoret), Deborah Greineman (Vaad Bikoret)

Rona Atlas (Staff)

Apologies: David Gleicher, Garry Heller, Garry Ginsberg, Esther Edell, Michael Stahl, Dani Gottlieb

1.      Minutes of previous meeting approved.

2.      Building update: The contract with the kablan should be ready to be signed next week. Mark Sherman will be looking it over and work will hopefully start very soon. There will be an entrance from the back of the shul so that the construction won't interfere with the Chagim.

Debbie requested devoting some room downstairs for Tfilat Yeladim during the Chagim.

3.      Tisha Beav

Maariv 20:15 Eicha and speaker

Shacharit 7:30

Mincha I - 13:30

Mincha II - 19:00

Maariv - 19:55

End of fast: 20:11

4. Tiyul Chaverim

Kobi suggests a tour to the Jewish Quarter and the Hurva. Enterance to the Hurva is around 15 NIS which raised the question, will people pay.

The suggestion for the tiyul: Thursday Evening or Friday morning, 2.5 hour tour.

Some of the suggestions: Siluan/Sheich Garrach

Another suggestion was speaking to people in the Rova. Kobi will find out if Sheila Walenski (??)will agree to guide the tour.

There was a discussion whether the Kehilla can ask a professional from the community to guide for free.

Kobi took it upon himself to arrange the details of the tour.

5. Chagim

Pnina will send Kobi the chart of times from last year.

Noomi requests that the chart be put on Google Docs, as should any docs that exist and can be helpful in the future.

Kobi reminded that it is important to stay up to date on seat requests for Yamim Noraim. Last year some of the information regarding seats fell between the cracks and created inconvenience.

Daniel will write Meir Zalevski and ask him to suggest speakers. Krechmer is lined up to give a shiur for slichot and Rosnak is also a possibility.

Penina noted that Gabaim still need to meet.

Simchat Torah survey analysis - 25 percent of Yedidya members responded. Penina hasnt finished analyzing the forms. She mentioned that the responses were received only after 3 reminders, and even then, those who wanted to responded. Bob points out that data from these surveys is often slightly skewed.

6. Vaad Bikoret

"The balance of authority between the membership, committees and board needs to be addressed. Board and committee members are volunteers and do not receive their position by election. As such they do not necessarily represent the will of the people. A more democratic mechanism for gauging the congregation's desires and concerns should be implemented and taken into consideration when making decisions"

Daniel challenges #3 of the vaad bikoret report and asks if it is more democratic to make people vote. He objects to the statement that volunteerism is less democratic than election

Debbie said most people are not going to join the vaad, especially not new members. People who are less involved and connected usually don't even know who the chair people or vaad members are and therefore dont know who to turn to if they want to change, bring something up etc.

Noomi disagreed and said that there are enough ways for anyone who wants to get involved to do so and anybody who has an idea can find his way to the right people (website, office, Facebook). For many people it is very convenient not to do anything, and for those we dont need to make changes in the system.

Miriam notes that the major issues (Rabbi, Cromer mural) cant and won't be decided by 12 people alone and must be brought to the entire community.

Debbie G. raised the question how to bring issues from Kiddush conversation to community decisions
Deborah K. reminded the vaad of the fact that there are no young members getting involved in shul activity, as was seen at the AGM. And mentioned that Pam's way to get more people involved was for them to arrange just one thing..

Miriam spoke to Yoni Hammer Kosoy and he said that when the issues arise, the young people will find their way of addressing it. As long as someone else is taking care of the Kehilla and they are happy, they wont get involved.

Debbie G. suggested having a phone drive before the big issues (AGM, serious general discussions etc.)

Miriam thinks that if the Rabbi question had been connected to the AGM many more people would have showed up. Deborah K. does not agree and says its always the same core people and writers.

The question remains, how does one know what the community really wants, since the community is split on many issues.

The model that was used for voting for mixed reading (process and learning together, forum via email, telephone poll) was successful - 80 percent answered. People felt strongly about the topic therefore the community made an effort to reach out to all members, even those who are usually less active so that no one would feel his/her opinion was not taken into consideration.

Noomi we need a format for discussing major community issues.

One change suggested is posting the agenda for vaad meeting and making sure people know of meetings and events and topics being discussed.

Penina asked "is the Amuta a democracy?" The finance committee does not have to poll 180 people with every decision. We need to differentiate decisions w/ substantive impact on the shul and more regular decisions.

Finding out better what the will of the people is:

Daniel elections will be needed when we cannot any longer go on consensus decisions.

Debbie the leadership issue has not yet been resolved and wont be until the active core is expanded (??)

One suggestion was to have a general meeting that people can come and hear about the ways to participate in the Kehilla. Probably after kiddush closer to the Chagim.

Also, there is a need to follow the membership forms for volunteers.

Debbie noted that there does not seem to be a lack in educational programming.

7. Process regarding Rabbi decision
Daniel said there is not going to be a consensus.

One option is to ask a Rabbi that is affiliated with tha Beit Midrash.

Debbie as an interim measure we can set up a "Pastoral Committee" with a coordinator that will be the on-call person to direct the traffic to rabbis, to'anot rabbaniot and yo'atzot halakha, psychologists, social workers, etc. The coordinator will also be in charge of taking resources from within the community and adding them to the list.

Deborah there is a problem w/ having someone from the Kehillah.

Bob Carol concern about the panel. However a coordinator can be useful to direct the issues to the correct people.

Noomi some people are not in the position to contact a coordinator. A rabbi can be in the position to call people.

à Put on Deot
à Call in a meeting, Shabbat iyun to represent the different opinions
à Post a proposal on the website with a line in Yediot before a discussion so people can prepare for a meeting. *Lori Rosen should be part of it since she started the ball rolling

Payment issue : Bob says people dont hesitate to call a rabbi even if he is not paid.

àDaniel asked if the list of Yedidya rabbis would include only Orthodox or Conservative as well?

Debbie - It can have anyone who is willing to serve, since they would be referred through a coordinator.

List of Rabbis for website Daniel will contact the appropriate people Bob Carol, Dave Rosen,

Debbie G's corrections:

TWO proposals were put on the table. One, Debbie G's was to set up a 'pastoral committee' with two or three coordinators. The list of resource persons and of resources would be known to the coordinators and would NOT be publicized on the website. It could include rabbis of any stripe, since people would be referred to them according to their own wishes. The committee could be proactive where a need for this is seen. This proposal was left for further consideration.

The second proposal (Daniel R's) was to have a list of three rabbis who agree to make themselves available as religious counselors on request and to have their names made public in this capacity. Since their association with the kehillah would be semi-formal and their names would appear on the website, this list would NOT include non-Orthodox rabbis. This proposal was accepted for immediate implementation (though I don't know whether it has been implemented). Three names were proposed; I think the one missing from the minutes (besides David Rosen and Bob Carroll) is Eytan Kadden.

8. Membership Drive Asher will keep running the membership announcement and the request to split the cheques. The data from forms will be entered so seating arrangements can be arrangement.

9. Overseas membership

Overseas membership remains $180.

Noomi and Rona will rephrase the letter from last year and perhaps reiterate the importance of volunteering even from overseas.

10. Misc.

Yediot Yedidya: Asher Arbit is seeking assistant editor

Website: There should be a Goods and services / Classified section on website.

11. DONM Aug 3rd 2010