Treasurer John Allen called the meeting to order at 7:08 PM.
Board Members in attendance:
Debby Finley Delamore
Debby led the Board in an opening prayer.
Approval of February 19, 2018 minutes. James moved, Miriam seconded a motion to approve the minutes. Board approved the motion by 8-0 vote.
Minutes from Finance Committee and Treasurer’s Report
John presented the Treasurer’s report stating that no dues increase is recommended by the Finance Committee. Details regarding this and other items from the Finance Committee can be found in their minutes.
Rabbi’s Contract & Recruiting Status
The Rabbi’s contract was received by Lynne and it was determined that there will be funds available for guest rabbis, cantors, etc. given Rabbi Lotker’s limited schedule and reduced compensation package.
Report on “Board Member Roles & Responsibilities” Seminar
John reported on his attendance at a Non-Profit Board Responsibilities seminar he recently attended at Cal Lutheran. He reported that the California Corporation Code governs the JCO in accordance with the California Corporation Act. Non-profit board members should be aware of:
•Financial information regarding the organization
•Know what your insurance covers
•Certain policies such as the organization’s “conflict of interest” policy
Approval of Bill from Schneiders and Associates – Attorneys
The JCO Board reviewed the Attorney’s bill of $1,820. Debbie moved to pay the bill and James seconded the motion. It was approved by a 7-1 vote.
Board Member Election Protocol and Review of Draft Ballot
The JCO Board reviewed the draft board election protocol and ballot. Several comments were made on the handout:
•Revise preamble to state: The elected Directors will choose the Officers of the new Board
•Only one ballot is issued per person
•Either mail in or bring this ballot to the annual membership meeting
•No replacement ballots will be issued
Board members had several comments were made on what is to be on the Advisory Election handout:
•All adults (18 and over) who have paid dues….
•Decided by majority those voting - candidates receiving the most votes from members for the number of slots available will be elected to the Board.
•James: members to vote on mandatory 2-hour commitment to the Temple per year. The mechanism for enforcing this is to be determined.
•John: add a question about whether or not the JCO should have membership voting
Friends of Friends of the Library Proposal
A request was made to put a small kiosk for a lending library was described by Jerry. John moved to approve and James seconded. The Board voted 8-0 to approve this motion.
Toastmasters Request to Use Social Hall
Mario described the Toastmasters request to use the Social Hall for monthly meetings. This item was tabled until the April meeting.
Mario described the need for repair of the sidewalk in front of the JCO. Alan volunteered to research the cost of implementing this repair.
At the annual meeting held on the evening of May 17th, the following members were elected to the new Board of Directors for a 2 year term commencing on June 1st.
This was the first time in the history of the organization that the members voted for the directors.
A special survey item was on the ballot that asked the following question:
Are you in favor of the JCO adopting an unenforced policy that each member is expected to dedicate a minimum of 2 hours per year of
service to the JCO? This survey resulted in a majority of YES votes.
It is hoped that each member will volunteer to do something in the coming year. Some examples are to sponsor an Oneg at a Friday evening service, participate in one of the 12 committees, or suggest to the Board an event that you would like to see happen.
The meeting started at 6:30pm. All members were present.
Debby Delamore gave an opening prayer.
A motion was made and seconded to elect the following officers: Alan Greenberg, President, Tony Hirsch, Vice-President, Sharon West, Secretary, and Andrew Snett, Treasurer. This passed unanimously.
Alan reminded all about the protocol to be followed during Board meetings.
Rabbi Search Committee: The minutes of the search committee were emailed to all members prior to the meeting and Sheila discussed them with the Board. It was suggested that we should try to have someone in mind before the High Holidays with a target start date of October 1.
Finance Committee: Fred Rothenberg gave a report of the Finance Committee. Total collections last year averaged $541 per member. The dues collection process was described. The unrestricted cash balance at May 31, 2019 will be about $35,000. The expenditure approval process was described.
Alan discussed a grant offered by the Jewish Federation for $1,800 for educational purposes. We should expect to receive these funds in the near future. We can also apply for additional grants if they are used for the benefit of the Jewish Community at large.
A list of potential necessities and building improvements was discussed.
Donations for events: There was discussion of donations vs. charging for our events that have no significant cost. Tony made the following motion that “We charge $10 or whatever you can afford, with a sign on the basket.” Tony accepted a change to the motion to $5, with a sign that a $5 donation would be accepted. Miriam requested that the sign state, “Suggested donation.” Tony accepted this. All were in favor of the motion by Tony.
Sinking Fund: There was a discussion of possibly starting a Sinking Fund for unexpected occurrences, such as having to replace an A.C.
Calendar: Fred explained the protocol for the JCO calendar. Fred reported that if anybody has a Temple-approved event or is using the facility even if not JCO related, he will enter it in the calendar.
Roster of Committees: Alan handed out a wish-list roster of committees and members. The plan is to firm up the chairs of all the committees, and then they will approach potential members. A detailed discussion of each committee ensued.
Use of Social Hall by non-profits:
There are two requests from non-profits to use the Social Hall - Ojai Youth Opera and Ojai Cares. There was a discussion of Ojai Cares three-day usage potentially requiring a cleaning deposit, which could be refunded.
Alan, as President of the Ojai Bridge Club, brought up their temporary use of the Social Hall while their usual facility undergoes renovations. Board members were cautioned about the rules regarding fees and possible impact on our property taxes. California assessor who enforces a rule about charging for use of public facilities. Larry suggested a donation from the Bridge Club to the Temple, that OYO use the Social Hall for free, and that Ojai Cares put up a refundable cleaning fee. This was informally agreed upon. Each entity using the Social Hall will have to provide an insurance certificate that meets the requirements of our insurance company.
Honoring Barbara and Marvin Beck: A motion was made and seconded to honor Barbara and Marvin Beck at a Shabbat Service. The motion passed unanimously.
Executive Committee: Alan suggested forming an Executive Committee; Debby made the following motion: That the Executive Committee, consisting of the 4 officers, is authorized to make decisions in between meetings with a majority vote of that committee, and any results will be promptly reported to the board members. Further, that decisions will be undertaken primarily if time constraints require them. John O. seconded. After brief discussion this motion passed unanimously.
Handrail for Bimah: Alan wished to address Miriam’s request that a handrail be installed for the Bimah. The cost will be about $300, but a firm estimate will be obtained. According to Fred, if any expenditure is less than $500 or emergent, and 2 officers including the President sign off on it, then there is no requirement to have it reviewed by the Finance committee. Fred reviewed the various levels of expense and what the parameters are for each.
Miriam’s List: Alan went over Miriam’s requests from the meeting on May 20. Some of them were addressed: $250 in cash will be provided per quarter for miscellaneous kitchen expenses. A suggestion box for members was approved as were workshops on health and aging, but the details have to be worked on. Miriam volunteered to present a list of decorum items for the Sanctuary.
Culture Statement: Review and consider upgrading the culture statement. A committee was formed to do this that consists of David Cohn, Miriam, and Alan.
Recording of meetings: Debby suggested that we make video recordings of our meetings. Video-recording is impacted by the HIPPA Act, and everyone would have to agree to be video-recorded. After much discussion and several votes, the Board decided against recording the meetings.
The Mission statement: Sheila offered 2 statements; one from the Bylaws that states…“The Jewish Community of Ojai is established to support Jewish Activities, etc.” Alan suggested that we create a new Statement that is very brief, to the point, and catchy.
Robert’s Rules: Debby mentioned that now that the meeting is coming to a close, we should discuss utilizing Robert’s Rules and requesting that we distribute her handout. Larry requested that he also be permitted to pass out his handout. Both were passed out.
Alan’s Closing Remarks: Topics discussed included email protocol, Board representation at Shabbat services, name badges and other housekeeping items.
President Alan Greenberg called the meeting to order at 6:33 PM. All Board of Directors members were in attendance except for Debby. The meeting began with a prayer by Miriam Rosen.
The President’s general comments: He expressed appreciation for attendance of the Board members at the service honoring the Becks. Two committees are currently inactive, Youth and Strategic Planning. The Program committee lacks a chair.
MINUTES: Tony requested a formal acceptance of the minutes. There was a discussion of the email acceptance procedure, but the minutes need to be approved formally at the meeting. Alan then said, ”If there is no objection, then the minutes are approved as last written and presented to the Board members by email.” Fred mentioned that he had put only the highlights of the minutes on the website.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Tony asked for a report from the Treasurer, primarily to provide a Balance Sheet.
FINANCE: Fred passed out a copy of his report (which previously had been sent to all members by email).
Dues: Fred reported that 53 members had paid some or all of their dues as of June 30th. Alan offered that that number now stands at 63. The revised bylaws will eliminate the requirement for the Board to officially take formal action to remove members who have not paid their dues.
Facilities Improvement Fund: The fund would be established to beautify and improve various aspects of our facility. The concept is to personally solicit donations from a few individuals that will create a special fund amounting to approximately $25,000. A committee will be responsible to identify desired improvements and prioritize them. Then the cost of each item will be reviewed and the usual approval process will be followed. The Finance committee has approved this plan. It also had the backing of Tony.
General Information: The Finance Committee wishes to add 2 additional members and will approach some candidates. There is a procedure in place for dues adjustments, with Fred presenting each case to the Finance Committee for a decision.
RELIGIOUS: Sheila stated that most of this committee’s energy has been focused on finding a new Rabbi. Four Rabbis have been interviewed. She presented a sheet to the members showing how the committee evaluates each candidate by using a comprehensive scoring system. Each is aware of and has accepted the pay scale that we are offering. It is suggested to have a one-year contract and see if it is working with an option for the JCO for 2 more years. The final choice of the Rabbi is a Board decision.
AIR CONDITIONING: There was a discussion of the air conditioning. John G. said that we only have 5-ton units, and for this building we need 10-ton units. Alan is going to bring out our HVAC guy to check everything.
SOCIAL COMMITTEE: Jackie reported they had their first meeting on July 7.
Planned events: Their first events will probably be:
1.A pottery class at Firestick Pottery (Robin Nahin’s studio) in August,
2.A concert by Chris and Samuel in October, and
3.A picnic in Soule Park in November.
Potluck: This committee will be responsible for the Potluck dinners each month; a Potluck is held the last Friday of each month.
Funding: The committee is requesting $1K from the Finance committee for potential expenses through the end of December.
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE: The committee met on Monday. We have 7 new members and have lost 5. We are up to 87 members.
FACILITIES COMMITTEE: Jeff Maxson installed the railing for the Bimah, which cost $119, not $500 as Alan had budgeted. The air conditioning issue needs to be addressed.
BYLAWS COMMITTEE: David Cohn gave the report. They have gone through all of the items that the previous Board was intending to incorporate into the bylaws during their tenure. They also reviewed other documents that addressed the subject. Their plan is to make the Bylaws short and have a separate set of Policies and Procedures that cover the practical aspects of administering the JCO. Tony stated that they should be ready to present their recommendations to the board by October or November.
CULTURE STATEMENT: David commented on his initial review of the culture statement. The committee has need for clarifications:
“Should the Culture Statement focus on Board behavior only or also on member conduct?” What is the purpose of the document? The current Statement is directed towards Board behavior. The general consensus was it should apply to both BOD and members.
“What is the goal of the Culture Statement and how could we determine if it is accomplished?” Jackie stated that respect is the key, “listening, not being judgmental; and not being rude.”
“Is a Culture Statement needed?” The answers to the foregoing questions will help determine whether a Culture Statement is needed. Further discussion ensued. There was no final decision.
INITIATING A FACILITIES IMPROVEMENT FUND: Alan commented that he has noted many things that need to be done to continue to beautify and improve our facility, but there is no money on the budget for these types of expenditures. Alan has raised $15K for this fund and the goal is $25K. This is different from a sinking fund, which is set up for a major unexpected expense. It is too early to consider a sinking fund. After the High Holy Days this will be revisited.
There was a discussion of the $1K requested by Jackie for the Social Committee. Fred stated that if we don’t have a budgeted item set up for social events, the Finance committee can still approve it, in which case the amount will add to the expense side of the budget.
John G. asked about the price quoted for the bid on the tree removal and planting and stated that we need an itemization of what will be done and at least 3 bids.
Tony: “I make a motion that a Facilities Improvement Fund be approved and be managed by the Facilities committee and follow procedures approved by the Board.” John G. seconded this motion. It passed unanimously.
MISSION STATEMENT: Alan referred to his sample mission statement and asked the board to suggest substitute adjectives. Tony stated that the Board Meeting is not the appropriate time to consider a Mission Statement; a committee is more appropriate. An ad hoc committee was then formed of Miriam, Sharon and David.
ATTENDANCE ON SHABBAT: Alan suggested that we need to implement strategies to improve attendance. A suggestion was made to put a message on the website stating that if someone has an event to celebrate, they could offer to do an oneg. Sheila pointed out that it is already on the website and for anyone interested to call Sharon. No one has called. Either way the sense of it is that the effort should be made to have a different member sponsor the Oneg every Friday, and a record should be kept of the participation.
Alan brought up a company that sends an email to a member as a reminder for a yahrzeit. The cost is $250 a year. There were many questions, including if our information would be kept confidential; what kind of track record does the company have, etc. The consensus of the board is that Alan will gather further information and come up with a proposed written agreement.. Their website is compugene.com.
RENTAL TO A CHURCH: Larry brought up a request by a church to rent the Sanctuary for their Sunday services. Alan stated that if we wanted to rent on a regular basis, we could make a considerable amount of money. He volunteered to talk to the tax assessor in person and find out exactly what the impact on our property taxes would be if we promoted rental activities.
Miriam brought up several items: we need a fire-proof safe to keep documents, minutes, etc. She asked if we received the grant from the Jewish Federation. Alan explained that it comes in increments, and will be paid at a rate of $180 per month beginning next month.
SHARON’S PROPOSAL: Sharon presented the idea of a program about Arthur Szyk to be held in conjunction with the Federation. This would be moderated by Irvin Ungar, a former Rabbi. Rabbi Ungar’s fee is $1,000 plus transportation, and Sharon suggested that we bring in the Federation and/or TBT to share this expense. There was no objection to her proposing this to the Federation.
GOOD & WELFARE: Alan reviewed his wish list of items that he had presented to the Board at our meeting on May 20th, and noted that, of the 20 items on the list, most are either completed or are well underway.
Having no further Good & Welfare, the meeting was adjourned by Alan at 8:41pm.
The following committees provided written reports to the Secretary, which are filed with these minutes. Finance committee reports were emailed to the Board.
1.Finance committee (All members were also provided with a synopsis)
2.Rabbi Search committee (all members provided with a copy)