SUMMARY OF THE OCTOBER 1, 2013
MEETING OF THE KEHILAT YEDIDYA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
· Committee members: Kobi Abelman, Gary Ginsberg, David Gleicher, Donna Goldberg, Adina Golombek,, Josh Margo, Avital Ordan, Daniel Rohrlich, Bruce Rosen
· Audit committee: Eliezer Finer
· Invited presenters: Marc Render, Eudice Winer, Dov Cooper
Processes for effective handling of strategic issues
Background: The VM has recently gone through a process of identifying and prioritizing strategic issues that it wants to address over the coming year. It has also developed a tentative schedule of which issue(s) will be discussed at each monthly VM meeting.
Several suggestions were raised at the meeting for handing these issues effectively, including:
· Using the VM discussion board to share thoughts either prior to, or after, a discussion of an issue at a VM meeting
· For each issue, identifying one or more persons from within the VM to prepare background information and some initial ideas prior to the relevant VM meeting
· On some issues, planning to have two discussions at two VM meetings, where the first would be used for initial brainstorming and identifying information needs, while decision-making would be deferred to a second meeting, which could benefit from the information gathered in the interim.
· Involving non-VM members in the development of ideas and proposals on relevant issues
The current plan is to experiment with these and other strategies for making the best use of our limited amount of meeting time, keeping in mind the need to address both urgent issues and non-urgent strategic issues.
Plans for the Rabin Memorial event
Background: Daniel Rohrlich is the organizer of the event and Josh Margo is helping to publicize it. The speaker this year is Efraim Halevy. The objectives of the event include:
1. Honoring the memory of Yitzhak Rabin z”l,
2. Providing members and others from the surrounding community with an opportunity to learn about and reflect on Rabin’s life and death, and to consider what responsibilities his legacy places upon us,
The speaker has declined the offer of an honorarium, but has accepted the offer to cover his travel expenses. These will be covered via a donation from one of the members to cover the costs of several such cultural events.
Daniel raised two issues for the VM’s consideration: whether admission should be charged and whether the presentation should be in Hebrew or in English
The consensus in the VM was that no admission fee should be charged, as this is a memorial event. Moreover, the feeling was that for this event, it would also not be appropriate to solicit voluntary donations at the door. With regard to other types of events in the future, the door was left open to the possibility of charging admission fees and/or soliciting voluntary donations.
Regarding the language of presentation there was a consensus that it should be Hebrew. However, it was also agreed that questions from the floor could be in either Hebrew or English.
Another decision made was that we should have someone posted at the entranceway who will ask all those who arrive to provide information on their names and e-mail addresses on a sign-in sheet to be prepared for this purpose.
Josh briefly presented the plans for publicizing the event which include setting up a Facebook event, a notice in Yediot, use of the Yedidya Facebook page, putting up posters on neighborhood billboards, getting the word out via free listings in local newspapers, e-mail distribution lists of neighboring synagogues and other organizations, and word of mouth via the VM and the general membership.
Presentation by the Building Use Committee
Dov Cooper reviewed the history, role, and guiding principles of the building use committee (BUC). He noted that the committee was established in conjunction with the move to the new building. Its focus is on how the building is used beyond Shabbat and Chagim. The intention is for the building to be used first and foremost by, and for, members. It can also be used by non-members for appropriate uses that would generate income for the community without causing undue wear and tear on the building. Dov emphasized that the community does not operate an event hall, and that the typical rentals are for britot, chugim and the like.
Dov noted that the BUC is not a programming committee and does not initiate program ideas. Instead, it a) considers whether and under what conditions the community should rent out the building for use by members and non-members/community and b) to ensure that all events in the building are carried out in a manner that does not damage the building. [Refer to attached “Appendix” for several procedural examples presented by Dov.]
The criteria for setting prices for building rentals include: the category of the renter (member, non-member, amuta, or commercial entity), purpose of the rental (e.g., meeting, brit/simcha, azkara, concert, party), the size of group, space and equipment required, time of an event, whether the event is one-time or periodic in nature, and whether food will be served and in what quantity. In some cases, the BUC has approved discounted rental rates for special community needs (“Tzedaka cases”). In all cases, the price set needs to ensure that it at least covers costs; in many cases it also generates net revenue beyond costs.
Gross revenues thus far in 2013 are over NIS 82,000. Recently a decision was made to increase fees somewhat, in the wake of increases in our own costs.
In deciding whether to rent the building for a particular ongoing (periodic) use, as in the case of chugim, criteria considered include (i) the wear and tear on the building, (ii) the need for storage and other space, and (iii) the expectation of timely payment. Each request is considered individually.
In reference to the request by the VM at its previous meeting to consider the issue of evening parties by members, the BUC submitted the following recommendation for VM consideration:
Extremely concerned about the music and outside noise, any night party ending after 20:30 will be (i) held in Mercaz Dov (as it better contains the inside building noise) with music ending at 22:00 and (ii) guests requested to not congregate outside. All members requesting a party will be referred to the office for precise instructions of condition of rental. Upon the first complaint of a noise disturbance by a neighbor this arrangement will immediately end.
In the course of the discussion, there was agreement to add the word “valid” before the word “complaint” The amended recommendation was then adopted by the VM, with one abstention and no objections.
The VM also asked the BUC to send it an updated current rental rate schedule.
Administrative support for the community
Marc Render, on behalf of the personnel committee (PC) reported on the PC’s thinking to date regarding the past, current needs, and future staff-community relationships. He also solicited VM input on these issues.
Marc noted that in the past we have worked with several different concepts of the staff person’s role including administrator, program develop and office person. The PC thinking is that our main current need is for office work, and that over time it would be good if the staff person could also provide administrative support for various Yedidya committees and activities.
Regarding supervision of the staff person, here too we have experimented in the past with various models: supervision by the chairpersons, supervision by Eudice, and a combination of the two. The PC feels that there should be a single, clearly identified and well-chosen supervisor.
The PC is collecting information from the heads of selected committees to assess the past and future scope and nature of the administrative support needed. As of now, it appears that a half-time position should suffice, though there could be interest in expanding this in the future.
VM members asked the PC to consider the following issues:
· Whether the community should engage the services of a janitor
· Whether limiting the scope to half-time would unduly limit the pool of qualified applicants
· Whether it would be cost-effective to hire temporary help to assist during peak periods
· Whether, and how, the bookkeeper who works with us should be involved in training the new person
· How important it is to hire someone with experience in accounting and financial reporting skills
Marc thanked the VM for its input, which the PC will take into account as it moves forward. The next steps are: 1) A meeting of the PC to refine the job description; 2) VM review – via email - of the job description; 3) Initiation of the search process
The VM unanimously approved a PC recommendation to extent the current temporary administrative arrangement through the end of February.
· The next VM meeting will take place on Wednesday, October 23. The agenda will include a discussion of the decision-making process on women leading kabbalat Shabbat, a presentation on the community’s financial situation and budgeting process, and a review of the chagim.
· The VM voted in favor of continued involvement of Yedidya in the Oneg Shel Shabbat initiative
· It was agreed that an arrangement needs to be found in the near future for how the morning minyan can have easy access to a sefer torah. This will be taken up at the next VM meeting, unless resolved by then.
Dov presented the following procedural matters:
A member event shall be an event in which a member or on behalf of a member of their immediate family is personally hosting and is for their personal use. Examples include (but are not limited to) a brit, sheva brachot, wedding, Shabbat/hag meal or an azkara.
An event in which a member acts as the agent for another person/entity shall not be considered a “member event” and will be assessed at a non-member rate.
Members are entitled to rent space for a family azkara at no cost. If food is served, a cleaning surcharge will be required.
Non-members are assessed a rental fee plus a “food/cleaning surcharge” if necessary.
All on going rentals are predicated on a high level of trust. All requests—new or renewal—will be evaluated annually to ensure they are mutually beneficial and to ensure they fulfill all the agreed arrangements including:
§ Payments made in a ‘timely’ fashion as agreed to.
§ Appointing a contact person responsible for ensuring the space is used in a respectful manner and left according to the agreement (set up as found or as instructed).
Only members are permitted to rent space for Shabbat meals contingent on coordinating all arrangements with the BUC (Eudice) to ensure the procedures of use are understood and followed.
Only members may rent the building for evening parties.
v See BUC recommendation to the Vaad Minahel for updated conditions for such rentals.