Minutes of Kehilat Yedidya Steering Committee meeting 15.2.2012

Present: J Rosenberg (chair), Linda Gradstein (co-chair), Danielle Bernstein, Gary Ginsberg, Kobi Abelman, Dov Rabinowitz, David Gleicher, Penina Arbit, Deborah Kalker, Esther Edell, Noomi Stahl, Daniel Rohrlich

Josh Schoffman (Audit Ctee), Deborah Greniman, Israel Sykes

Moshe Bar-Ze’ev (secretary)

Minutes of previous meeting; Danielle requested some corrections to her statements; Dov pointed out that he was present but that was not listed as attending. With these provisos the minutes were accepted.

Israel Sykes spoke about the experimental program he ran in consultation with Bruce Rosen with regard to moderating  public debate within the community, as described in the attached document “Israel 2012; towards an inclusive consciousness”.  An eight-person group of participants with a broad range of political outlooks was selected to participate in a series of five meetings in which they learnt to listen and respond to one another. The purpose: to see how people of opposing opinions can proceed with open public debate within the community. The next step? Possibly by presenting the project to the wider community during a Shabbat Iyun. Following a prior meeting with J & Linda, it had been suggested that the steering committee undergo a similar group experience.

Participants in the original group: Esther Edell, Bruce Rosen, Tom Harris, Liel Almog, Vered Porat, Dan Katcoff and Alan Greenberg.

Penina asked for further clarification as to the purpose of the group.  Israel responded: to understand and listen to diverse opinions. The primary challenge is to be able to debate issues and identify the triggers which can disrupt cultured debate.

Esther Edell spoke enthusiastically about her experience as a member of the group.

Linda expressed her support for setting up a group which would consist of the Vaad Menahel members. A majority of the members agreed. Linda will organize a group with Yisrael.

J asked when it would be possible to organize a Shabbat Iyun on the subject. Israel will check it out. Kobi suggested that meetings of this type could take place on Shabbat.

Nihul Takin: (proper procedure?)

With regard to the Ishur Nihul Takin, J reported that the original letter from the Rasham had been mislaid, but that the matter was being dealt with.

Esther pointed out that 500 shekels is still the maximum amount that could be spent without the permission of the steering committee. Gary challenged this and pointed to the example of the library’s book budget, which allowed him to OK a few thousand shekels at the end of the year to be spent, without having to go back to the steering committee.

Debbie Greniman added a description of the process of holding the AGM

Debbie G. announced her resignation from the Audit Committee. Josh thanked her for her efforts, and added that Eliezer Feiner had agreed to take her place. J also thanked Debbie for her work on the Audit Committee over an extended period.

Suggestions for re-organization of the Steering Committee:

Penina presented a document which she and Esther had prepared whose aim was to define the role and duties of the committee member. A discussion will be carried out over the e-mail in this respect, and members were invited to add their responses. Penina added that once finalized, this should be added to the community’s takanon (bye-laws/), a process which demands ratification by the AGM.

Payment of Guest Speakers: Gary asked how do we define non-regular expenses? Debbie talked ebout the principles of maintaining a budget.

Josh: any amuta needs to have a written collection of clear decisions in a specific place for reference. Similarly,  the election process of members of the Steering Committee should be designed to protect the nature of the organization and prevent it from a “hostile take-over “ by a non-representative group of members.

Debbie added that the document essentially presented the existing situation.

Noomi said that she thought the document should state the positions held by the different members of the steering committee.

Debbie added that each committee member should represent a sub-committee and report to the Va’ad at regular intervals.

Danny Rohrlich pointed out that he sits on two sub-committees

Penina: we’ll need to continue this discussion at a later meeting in order to prepare proposals for the coming AGM.

Budget for 2012:

Gary presented the budget as proposed by the Finance Committee. He pointed out that the aim of the community is not to maximize its profit, but to provide as many services (religious or cultural) within the budget constraint (i.e keeping expenditure below income). A discussion followed on how the figures were presented and the definition of the “Maintenance contingency and general reserve”. Kobi asked for a clearance byt the Finance Committee. Noomi asked who is authorized to allow large expenditure from within a pre-allowed sum? Meaning that if a certain amount is set aside for a specific expenditure, who can authorize the actual expenditure?

The budget proposal (which keeps membership fees at their current level) was accepted.

Manpower: a definition of the office secretary. J presented the current designation of the position of Administrative Secretary.