SUMMARY OF THE JULY 9, 2013 MEETING
OF THE KEHILLAT YEDIDYA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Executive committee members: Kobi Abelman, Gary Ginsberg, David Gleicher, Donna Goldberg, Adina Golombek, Linda Gradstein (chair), Josh Margo, Avital Ordan, Daniel Rohrlich, Bruce Rosen.
Audit committee member: Joshua Schoffman
Honored guests: Penina Arbit, Marc Render
Each of the participants spoke briefly about how long they had been members of KY and of the Va'ad and about the foci of their efforts to contribute to the community – in the past and for the future.
Summaries of VM (executive committee) meetings
The VM adopted a plan whereby meeting summaries (aka "minutes") will be circulated among the VM members for comments and corrections within the week after the meeting, VM members will be given one week to react, and the corrected summaries – in both Hebrew and in English - will be posted on the KY website within the third week after the meeting. The subsequent Yediot Yedidya will include an announcement that the summary has been posted as well as the relevant link to the website. The official summary will be in Hebrew.
Bruce will be preparing the summaries of the next 3-4 meetings, and will be drafting them in English. Avital agreed to translate them into Hebrew.
The summaries will include any VM decisions made via e-mail or phone subsequent to the previous VM meeting.
The summary of the June 12 meeting was approved.
The Kehillat Yedidya Manual
Penina Arbit presented the new KY manual which includes detailed information, guidance and checklists regarding KY practice for each of the holidays and other key annually recurring events. The VM expressed its appreciation of the enormous contribution that the manual is expected to make to the smooth functioning of kehillah and of the major effort that Penina and others put into assembling it over the past two years.
The manual has been distributed to all VM members by e-mail, and the KY office will maintain and update both a hardcopy and an electronic version. The manual will be translated into Hebrew in the months ahead. Plans need to be developed by the VM regarding the procedure for amending the document; this will be discussed further at one of the autumn meetings.
Building maintenance issues
A. The unstable facing stones
On behalf of the building maintenance committee, Marc Render provided an update on the deliberations with a consortium of those responsible for the faulty design, application and supervision of our building’s stone facing –the architect, the contractor and the construction supervisor. The deliberations with the consortium are focusing on how the facing stones should be repaired and how the payment for the repair should be covered. .
The KY committee has proposed that all the internal and external facing stones be affixed to the building via a metal anchor to be drilled through the center of each stone. The consortium has now proposed a less expensive proposal, whereby the external facing stones would be affixed using only one anchor for each group of four stones, along with putting cement between the stones. The committee is uncertain about the structural and aesthetic adequacy of this new proposal and will be exploring it, with expert input of a consultant engineer just hired by KY, in the weeks ahead. (By the way, in both proposals, silicon will be applied to the external facing stones, to address moisture concerns.)
The two sides also differ regarding how much of the costs will be borne by the consortium. This is expected to be the subject of an intense negotiation, if and when an agreement is reached on the method for fixing the stones. If an agreement is not reached on both issues in the months ahead, KY will proceed with the repair and will sue the consortium in order to recover all expenses as well as legal fees.
Once there is a fuller picture, the building maintenance committee will provide an update to the VM and present a proposal for next steps.
B. Insuring the building against damage from earthquakes
Marc also reported that the building maintenance committee strongly recommends that KY purchase earthquake insurance. The committee recognizes that the cost of such insurance is not negligible (i.e. on the order of 5 to 10 thousand shekels per year), and we all would hope never to need to make an earthquake-related claim. Still the committee feels that purchasing such insurance is the responsible thing to do, as in the event of an earthquake the damages could easily reach into the hundreds of thousands of shekels. While no vote was taken on the matter, as no concrete proposal with a specified cost was put on the table, the sense of the meeting was that the VM is generally supportive
The committee is soliciting and comparing various proposals for building and earthquake insurance, and will continue to do so in the weeks ahead. Kobi who offered to help out by checking out several insurance agents, after receiving the specs.
The plan is for the committee to return to the VM in the coming months with a recommendation regarding a concrete proposal (or proposals) and the VM will be able to vote on the matter at that time. In the meantime barring unforeseen complications, a new policy for general insurance for the building will be taken out through our agent, without earthquake insurance.
C. Possible patio addition
Marc reported that someone has offered to finance the construction of a patio to be built behind the KY building, and which could be used as the base for the KY sukkah as well as additional purposes. He also reported that Yuval Baer has volunteered his time to carry out the relevant architectural work. The initial reactions from the municipality have been promising, and the team is getting close to the point where it can submit an initial written plan to the municipality. In the coming months, the committee will return to the VM with an update and for VM decision making if/when appropriate.
Management of the KY office
On behalf of the personnel committee, Marc updated the KM regarding recent developments with the KY office and staff person. Shai Cohen, who had been managing the KY office, gave notice just before the AGM that he would be ending his work with KY in the very near future. Thus, the resignation took place just before KY's intensive membership renewal period. The personnel committee felt strongly that before initiating a search for a new staff person, it would be appropriate to take some time to assess why KY is having difficulty retaining paid staff, and what changes should be made in the way we recruit and/or manage the staff.
Accordingly, the committee proposed a temporary arrangement whereby Eudice Winer would manage the office during the coming months, with special attention to membership renewals and other pressing matters. It further proposed that KY would pay Eudice for up to 20 hours of work per week.
The committee's proposal was adopted by the VM as a temporary measure until the end of Tishrei. Furthermore, the VM asked the personnel committee to make a fuller presentation at the VM's Tishrei meeting, which would include an analysis of past personnel difficulties and proposed next steps.
Allocation of key responsibilities among VM members and other KY members
Bruce Rosen spoke briefly about two related processes that he will be coordinating:
The VM will develop a document which
specifies who will be responsible for each of the major calendar-year related
tasks mentioned in the new KY manual. One or two VM members will have overall
responsibility for each holiday or other recurring event, while additional KY
members will be asked to continue, or begin, taking responsibility for the more
specific tasks (some large, some small) related to those holidays/events. The
target is to have a good draft ready for distribution by the end of July.
The VM will also develop a document which
specifies, for each of the 20+ KY committees, a specific committee member and a
specific VM member who will be responsible for committee-VM updating and
communication. The target date for a first draft is the end of August.
· The VM's next meeting has been scheduled for Sunday, August 25 at 8 PM. It is expected that much of the meeting will be dedicated to addressing pressing issues related to the upcoming chagim, the membership drive, and the appointment of official signatories.
· One of the subsequent VM meetings will be dedicated to longer-term issues such as the VM's decision making processes, the nature of its interactions with the operating committees, strategies for engaging newer KY members, etc.
· The VM discussed the various tasks related to Tisha B'Av and Slichot, who will be handling some of those tasks, and the process for assigning the other tasks over the coming days.
· The VM noted the decision that had been made recently via e-mail to purchase 10 books, at a cost on NIS 65 apiece, as gifts to our children who graduated high school this year.
Toward the end of June, the VM approved, by
an e-mail vote, a proposal from the building maintenance committee to use NIS
10,000 from the building reserves to pay for a detailed technical plan for
addressing the problem of the unstable facing stones and for an engineer's