Committee members: Kobi Abelman, Gary Ginsberg, David Gleicher, Donna Goldberg, Linda Gradstein, Adina Golombek, Avital Ordan, Bruce Rosen

         Audit committee: Eliezer Finer, Josh Schoffman

         Invited presenters: Marc Render, Eudice Winer


Membership discount policy

The VM (i.e., the executive committee) is in the process of developing a membership discount policy. Its objectives are:

1.      To ease the financial burden of membership on existing members who are facing financial difficulties

2.      To help attract additional young people, as well as people in other age groups, to Yedidya and Yedidya membership

As the first phase in the process, the following decisions were adopted:

1.      The fundraising committee should be asked to develop, by the end of January, a strategy and targets for raising funds for membership discounts

2.      As part of the 2014 budget preparation process, the VM and the finance committee, should consider how much money can/should be allocated for membership discounts

3.      The membership forms should be revised to include a clear indication that that the community is eager to make it possible for all interested persons to enroll as members, and that it is community policy that financial capacity should not be a barrier to membership. Additional ways to clarify/simplify the forms should also be explored.

4.      The VM chair or deputy chair should speak with Artur Freund (who is the point person for means-related discounts) about the community's interest in being more generous than in the past

5.      The chair and/or deputy chair should communicate, both to the community and to Artur, that in addition to providing year-after-year discounts to members with ongoing financial difficulties, the community is willing to provide one-time discounts to long-term members facing short-term financial challenges (such as those related to health or loss of employment) without an in-depth financial examination.


The membership discount task force (Bruce, Eudice, Gary and Josh M.) was asked to come back to the VM with a concrete proposal regarding categorical discounts (i.e. discounts related to age or family size), after further clarifications have been made regarding the community's capacity to fund such discounts. In preparing this proposal, the task force should also take into account such factors as:

         The extent to which such discounts are likely to bring in new members and hence increase revenues

         How much financial risk the community can/is able to take on, in conjunction with categorical discounts

         Whether to create an expectation that persons benefiting from categorical discounts will donate a certain minimum amount of volunteer time to the community


Attracting/welcoming new members

The VM discussed what the community might do to encourage new members of various ages and family statuses to join the community. Among the ideas put forward:

         Reaching out, in a non-threatening way, to non-members who participate in JJ's group

         Undertaking special efforts to reach out to singles

         Reaching out to non-members who daven with the early minyan

         Making judicious use of targeted, time limited, membership discounts

         Giving potential new members concrete assignments

         Phoning people who have recently stopped being members to explore why they have chosen to do so and whether their decision is reversible

         Asking new members and potential new members to take on specific volunteer roles in the community



Repair of the facing stones

Mark Render updated the VM regarding the discussions with the parties responsible for the problems with the facing stones (i.e., the architect, the contractor, the engineer, etc.). The feeling among committee members was that, by right, those parties should cover the full cost of the repair. At the same time, there was a sense that, in the interest of resolving the matter expeditiously, the VM might be prepared to approve participation up to NIS 50,000. Mark, Tzvi and Eudice will continue the discussions with the parties responsible for the problems and if/when the have developed a concrete proposal, they will bring it to the VM for consideration.


Administrative support for the community

The position has been advertised and over 50 CVs have been submitted. The interviewing process is expected to begin shortly and the target is to have someone on board by February.


Social programming

The VM decided to establish a social programming committee which is charged with organizing a variety of social events for the community and its members. These would be events that enable members to get to know one another better and have fun together. Some of these events would be organized in cooperation with other committees. The programming should take into account the community's diversity in terms of age, family status, languages spoken, etc.


Yedidya website and Facebook page

The VM endorsed a proposal by Bruce to convene a brainstorming discussion of how the community might make fuller use of the Yedidya website, its Facebook page, and other social media


Ping Pong

Eudice reported that one of the teens in the community has asked whether it was possible to make use of the ping pong table in Merkaz Dov during Shabbat davening. The VM decided that this should not be allowed during davening. The VM also decided that the ping pong table can be used during Kiddush provided that there is adult supervision/responsibility for locking up, and that no food is brought into Merkaz Dov at that time.


Alarm system

In the wake of a directive from the fire department, the smoke detectors in the building are now connected directly to the fire department's control center. Every time that a false alarm is sounded, we need to call 102 and cancel the alert, as otherwise we will be charged. Eudice Winer is working on having the calls go to the alarm company instead of the fire department.


Date of next meeting

The next meeting was tentatively scheduled for December 23.