Library Minyan Meeting
September 18, 2011
Attendees: Hershel Elkins, Miriam Elkins, Abby Harris, Joel Grossman, Susan Laemle, Aiv Havivi, Fran Grossman, Manya Webber, Mike Cohn, AJ Happel, Rina Carmel, Bill Seligman, Gail Labovitz, Jerry Krautman, Dianne Shershow, Aliza Shudafski, Barbara Breger, Val Goldstein, Lida Baker, Terri Cohan-Link and Sandra Lepson The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Joel Grossman. Joel Grossman: He offered a D’var Torah on Nitzavim He introduced the meeting, referred to the July Minyan meeting that discussed Library Minyan issues and had ran out of time so we are continuing discussion specifically regarding governance and decision-making. Henry Morgan found the Minyan Bi-Laws Library Minyan Proposed Resolution Regarding Governance from 1985. See Attachment A There was a brief Discussion of the similarities and differences and fact that issues of governance were discussed also in 1985. Bill Seligman: He read the notes regard the July meeting. Abby Harris: She explained how governance/decisions are currently made etc. See website. Mike Cohn: Wants clarity regarding governance, roles and responsibilities, successor planning, some sort of direction. Bill Seligman: Ties it to “pay, come and serve.” “Open” before you get a voice you need to participate in the Minyan. Sandra Lepson: Don’t create barrier to entry. Jerry Krautman: Work on getting people involved and being warm and cuddly. Mike Cohn: Defines himself as member of Temple Beth Am who attends the Library Minyan. Gail Lebovitz: We are allowed to define – define serve broadly. Fran Grossman: I think it is important for the group to define itself. There is a tension between exclusivity and elitism. There was a discussion regarding to a decision was made with respect to artwork in the Chapel- it was made by Temple Beth Am members who had not Library Minyan participation. “Group Cohesion” – responsibilities and benefits to being part of a group. It is wonderful to have community support. There is a difference between community and a social group. Barbara Breger: Agree with Gail, Shul considers the Library Minyan to have a “membership.” We don’t to exclude those who come regularly and don’t “participate.” We want them there. Abby Harris: Shul has a list of people who come to the Library Minyan for the High Holidays. However, the Library Minyan is broader than that. We also have a Minyan mailing list. Sandra Lepson: Inclusivity in important. Lida Baker: In 1988 Paul and I joined. There was ‘Pay, come and serve.” 10% of the people do 90% of the work. If people want to be with us we should make them feel welcome. Having said that, my concern is what happens when Abby decides she does not want to be Minyan Master anymore. Abby Harris: There is a succession system. The Minyan Master asks someone to take over. Lida Baker: I don’t like that. We need a better succession system and a certified method of making decisions. Joel Grossman: Pay, come and serve – I’m not aware of anybody who has been thrown out of the Minyan for not participating. Hershel Elkins: Library Minyan History: It started as an independent group meeting on Shul property. IT was lay led. What do we do in the Library Minyan to meet the needs of the Library Minyan to encourage people to come and to encourage people to participate? How can we better meet the needs of the Library Minyan attendees? Susan Laemmle: I think that we are coming together at an historic moment. We must acknowledge how much things have changed. There are other shuls and minyanim now. Temple Beth Am has a dynamic new rabbi and cantor. We have to have a plan taking that into account. What makes us unique – we are a full service shul and a highly participatory minyan combined.. Our governance should be transparent, effective. We should have a plan for succession of leadership. We should also work with Rabbi Kligfeld. Aliza Sudofsky: In the eight years we’ve been here, things have really changed. How are we going to be pat of the shul? We need to be welcoming of free movement among minyanim. We need to make people feel comfortable just davening. We need to be more welcoming and welcoming of working with the larger shul. Terry Cohan Link: You need to show up, pray and serve. That is a big part of what the Library Minyan is about. The idea of serving has lost it message over the years. There are lots of ways of serving. We’ve lost that sense of the various ways of how we can serve – there are many ways to participate. AJ Happel: I am a newcomer. I move among the services. I’m about to open a can of worms. I see the issue in the Library Minyan as a age dynamics issue. Before we hired our new cantor, the Main Sanctuary services was getting older. The Library Minyan used to be younger it is getting older and the younger generation wants something different. Suggestion: Got o others in the other minyans and invite them to come into the Library Minyan to the show in the Library Minyan. Dianne Shershow: I feel that we need to prioritize. We need to make decisions regarding what are the priorities:
- Library Minyan Structure
- How the Library Minyan fits with the rest of the shul.
- How to involve people.
LIBRARY MINYAN AGENDA
February 10, 19851. Group discussions of the proposed resolutions of the Library Minyan (see text below). 2. General discussion of the proposed resolutions. 3. Vote on the proposed resolution. Proposed Resolutions of the Library Minyan Governance Committee WHEREAS, at its November 18th 1984, meeting, the Library Minyan voted to establish a committee to bring a proposal to the membership to establish a system of governance; and WHEREAS, in considering the form of governance, the Governance Committee reviewed the fo11ovlng list of existing characteristics of the Library Minyan: l. Controlled anarchy. 2. No rabbi. 3. Egalitarian. 4. Welcomes participation by all its members in all areas, including governance. 5. Revolving nature of leadership. 6. Lack of politics. 7. Childcare/ consciousness of children. 8. Nonmembers are not allowed to rent the Minyan for personal reasons; e.g., Bar Mitzvahs, high holidays, aufraufs. 9. Tolerance of diversity of styles with limits of halacha. 10. Independence from other organization, in general. 11. Affiliation with Temple Beth Am. WHEREAS, the Governance Committee bas attempted to preserve the existing form of the Library Minyan while recognizing the need for improved governance I NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLIIED, that the Library Minyan does hereby adopt the following format for governance: 1. The Library Minyan membership has complete authority to make or to delegate any decision affecting the Library Minyan. 2. The Library Minyan hereby delegates the review and implementation of issues and programs to committees 3. Committees of the library Minyan shall be composed of numbers of the Library Minayn. All committees shall be open to any member of the Library Minyan. 4. The standing committees shall include:
a. Synagogue Relations b. Children and Youth c. Ritual d. Education e. Social/Hospitality f. Finance/Membership5. Each committee shall select a chairperson who shall serve for a term of one (1) year. The chairperson shall be elected no later than January 31 of each calendar year, and shall take office on March 1 of each year. No chairperson shall serve for more than three (3) consecutive terms. 6. The chairperson, or another designee, off each standing committee, shall serve on an executive committee. This committee (the “Steering Committee”) shall also select from the members of the Minyan three additional members (the “at Large Members”) to serve on the Steering Committee. The outgoing and incoming members of the Steering Committee shall meet in February of each calendar year to select the three new At Large Members of the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee shall select a spokesperson from amongst its members. 7. The Steering Committee shall be responsible for the operation of the Minyan. As to issues which must be addressed and duties which must be discharged, the Steering Committee sha1l either:
a. delegate full responsibility to a standing committee; b. assign to a standing committee the duty to study the issue and propose recommendations; c. create an ad hoc committee to study the issue and propose recommendations; or d. assume full responsibility for study of an issue itself. As to the recommendations of issues from the committees, the Steering Committee shall either: a. make a decision itself; b. delegate the decision to a committee; c. delegate the decision to a member of the Minyan; or d. refer the decision to the Minyan.8. The Steering Committee shall call general meetings of the Minyan as needed, but no less frequently than once every six (6) months. II RESOLVED FURTHER, that individuals be considered voting members of the Library Minyan based on the following criteria: 1. All members must pay dues. A member who joins the Minay between June 1 and December 1 of a calendar year shall pay full due to Temple Beth Am. A member who joins at another time of the year shall make a contribution to the Minyan on a basis to be determined by the Finance/Membership Committee. 2. All members must be at least 13 years old. 3. All members must attend Shabbat services at the Library Minyan on a regular basis. An individual who attends at least twice per month shall be presumed to be attending on a regular basis. 4. All members shall serve the Minyan in some capacity. Membership shall also entitle members and their children to High Holiday seats.