May 29, 2019
Last Thursday we held our Annual Meeting, which is essentially the end of our fiscal year. So now I would like to give you my Year End Report as to what was accomplished during the past 12 months.
The Board of Directors was the first one in our 25 year history to be elected by the general membership. Prior to this year, the Board always elected the new Board. As members, I hope that you were pleased by the significant improvements in our new Bylaws which put into place a culture of fairness.
This BOD has performed very admirably since it was seated one year ago. At that first meeting, I presented a challenge to this BOD to consider a long list of improvements that I felt would be very beneficial to our community. I want to thank the BOD for embracing the list, which set so many ambitious goals and then worked together to bring them to fruition.
INCREASE MEMBERSHIP: We brought in a record 30 new memberships this year. This total, when added to our existing memberships, and taking into account that 10 memberships were lost within days after we took office, resulted in our current membership of 102. This exceeded my stated goal of 100.
FACILITIES IMPROVEMENT FUND: $22,500 was contributed by 6 member-donors. This money was all spent on the following: plant 3 new trees in the front yard, purchase the furniture and carpet that makes up the lounging area, a new air conditioner in the Social Hall to augment what we already have as the existing unit will not lower the temperature below 80 degrees during hot weather, paving the 5' strip of our property behind the building, and finally, purchasing chandeliers from a synagogue in Pennsylvania that was sold to a church due to an unfortunate but inevitable decline in membership.
INCREASE THE NUMBER OF COMMITTEES: One year ago when this BOD was initiated, there were only 3 active committees. Today there are 12. The committees are the skeleton and the underpinning of our organization. We are now a much better-organized, capable, and efficient organization.
REWRITE THE BY-LAWS: The previous year was fraught with tension, because many of the members who were not on the BOD were anxious for the BOD to change the bylaws to allow members to have a vote on many issues, the major one being to elect the members of the BOD each year. The new Bylaws were unanimously approved by the BOD last fall. It also gives the general membership the right to vote on other issues such as hiring a new rabbi, mortgaging our real estate, dissolving our organization, etc.
PUT IN PLACE AND ENFORCE A MORE EFFICIENT PLAN FOR THE COLLECTION OF DUES: The plan was put into place and properly implemented for the first time last summer. After repeated warnings, anyone who has not paid their dues or asked for relief will find on September 1st that their membership has lapsed. We do not want that to happen.
START A CONTINGENCY FUND: Most synagogues actually require members to contribute to this type of fund and for much greater amounts of money. Our suggested amount was a modest $100 to $200. The total raised was $7,400. There will be times when amounts like $10,000 or $15,000 are needed to pay for, as examples, a new air conditioner or the cost of repairing the roof.
HIRE A NEW RABBI: This committee was quite large and very efficient. They did a very good job and deserve to be commended for hiring Rabbi Lisa.
A MISSION STATEMENT: The following mission statement was adopted….“To nurture an inclusive and compassionate Jewish community through worship, education, social action, and celebration"
INCREASE ATTENDANCE AT FRIDAY EVENING SERVICES: We took a 3 pronged approach. First, provide a computer-generated email notice to our members when a yahrzeit is coming up for one of their dearly departed. Second, line up sponsors for the Onegs. Third, schedule a Pot Luck on the last Friday of each month.
ORDER 2 MORE STAINED GLASS WINDOWS: So that there will be 4 on each side, all by the same artist. The total cost will be $18,000. This amount was contributed by 3 individuals.
BRING THE SEDER BACK TO OUR OWN BUILDING: On April 20th a very successful Seder was held at our JCO . We were oversubscribed and still managed to fit in all 120 who wanted to be there.
MAKE SECURE ALL OF OUR HISTORICAL RECORDS: All known files and documents were reviewed, and the material worth keeping is now in a fire-proof safe in our building. We are seeking a volunteer to digitize these records.
HONOR BARBARA & MARVIN BECK: This event took place on June 29th to honor them for the tremendous effort they put forth to beautify the Bimah
START A FAST ACTION PHONE COMMITTEE: The purpose was when the attendance response has not been very good for an event, to call everyone and encourage their participation. The committee consisted of all of the members of the BOD plus some additional volunteers. It was implemented about 5 times during the year, and it definitely had a positive effect.
HIRE A MAINTENANCE MAN: He was to take care of all of the problems that always come up. Instead, Ted Malos takes care of the inside, and I take care of the outside.
RECOGNIZE AND CELEBRATE OUR 25th ANNIVERSARY: A committee was formed at the beginning of 2019. All of the plans are set, and the details are on our web site. There are 2 terrific events.
IN SUMMARY, there were 18 items on a wish list I presented to the BOD when we first met one year ago. This BOD persevered, and 16 of these 18 items have been completed. This is quite an amazing accomplishment. During the year, additional goals were added, with security being by far the most important one, which you will hear aout very soon. Finally, this first year also saw a remarkable amount of revenue come into our bank account, but more on that later.
It was a truly great year,
Feel free to contact any of your new Board members if you have a question or a comment. Here is a list for your convenience. To send an e-mail, please click on the Board member's name.
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