Library Minyan General Membership Meeting

June 14, 2009

Attending: Abby Harris, Larry Harris, Fran Grossman, Joel Grossman, Jerry Krautman, Dale Bodenstein, Stephanie Blatsos, Bob Mendelsohn, Norm Saiger, Bob Braun, Seth Schulweis, Annette Berman, Anita Happel, Jon Friedman, Teri Cohan Link, Dianne Shershow, Rina Carmel, Carl Sunshine, Bob Roosth

  • Abby Harris officially voted in as Minyan Master
  • Abby Harris ran the meeting. Dale Bodenstein took minutes.
  • Abby called this an Informational Meeting beginning with reports.

Treasury Report: presented by Dale Bodenstein

As of 6/14/09 treasury has $4184.27

Financial report of 2008: began 1/1/08 with $3706.27
Ended 12/31/08 with $3970.27

Income from donations and simhat torah auction: $5799
Simhat torah auction averages about $1200 per year

Ritual Committee Report: presented by Norm Saiger

25 people attended recent meeting

Purpose to review request to have priestly blessing during Yom Tovs

Agreement that for demonstration purposes the priestly blessing would be done on musaf during 1stday Sukkot
Presently we are in preparation phase: learning and training
Divrei torahs on Shabbat, postings on web site:

After the demonstration, more time for questions and then may be brought to the minyan for a vote

It was pointed out that with the coming of a new rabbi, ritual expectations may be different. For instance, as determined by Rabbi Rembaum, it has become standard policy for the shaliah tzibbur to recite the Gaal Israel blessing out loud and for the congregation to respond “amen”.

The same “team” will be working on High Holidays. Norm encourages volunteer participation.

Emergency Preparedness Report: presented by A.J. Happel

Safety Committee meeting held recently with Administrative staff, Security staff and congregational members.

As per code requirements various schools at TBA have participated in Emergency drills.

Nothing to this date has been done with the Temple as a whole on any Shabbats or Holidays.

July 18, Shabbat morning, all congregations at TBA will participate in a “dry run” fire drill. We will evacuate and then go back to continue services. Parents are not to get their children during the drill if they are attending Child Care.

After High Holidays, in October, the entire Temple will have a real fire drill with a firemarshall present.

It was determined that the Library Minyan will have three new volunteer positions for every Shabbat and Yom Tov: Shomrei Torah— individuals who will be handed a card with this name and asked to sit near the ark to be prepared to evacuate with the Torahs in the event of an emergency.

Committee looking into possibility of wheel chairs available in each venue for individuals with limited mobility.

Safety Committee is an evolving committee dedicated to develop policies and procedures and provide education to congregants regarding emergencies of all kinds, i.e. fire, earthquake, terrorism.

Lighting Improvement Sub-committee: Carl Sunshine

Moving to use of more fluorescent rather than incandescent light bulbs.
Will be improving light over Aron Ha-Kodesh
Will be lighting up all of the stained glass windows

Web Master: Bob Roosth

Bob asked for any suggestions to the web page to be directed to himself or Abby Harris.

It was suggested that we need an easy link to the Library Minyan page from the main page of the Temple Beth Am website.

Strategic Plan and Library Minyan

Ruth Askren and Fran Grossman have volunteered to work on this issue. Temple Beth Am has requested each of the venues at shul to do three specific things:

  • Find ways to be more welcoming
  • Find ways to help the Daily Minyan
  • Find ways to develop own services

Fran and Ruth have established a Heshbon Hanefesh concept: 2-3 meetings hopefully held before High Holidays to be facilitated by Debbie Rich and Seth Schulweis. Main purpose will be to discuss what “defines” the Library Minyan, what are our values, and how do we want to move forward with these values.

Minyan Master Report: Abby Harris

Abby thanked Marizon for her past years as Minyan Master particularly for her work towards making the Minyan a more welcoming place.

As new Minyan Master Abby is promoting an increased democratic process for the Library Minyan. She is encouraging Meeting Minutes to be posted on Library Minyan website. Also, she encourages leadership through “face to face” contacts. Less decisions made through email and more via phone and/or committee work.

As new Minyan Master Abby proposed increasing the structure of the Library Minyan through new Library Minyan committees.

  • Steering Committee: to give overall strategic guidance; to decide what issue comes to a general meeting and when. To be made up of about 5 members.
  • Hesed Committee: to coordinate Shivas and Hahnasat Orhim.
  • Education Committee: organize Library Minyan study such as
    • Mishna Blog
    • Mishna study
    • Divrei Torah on-line on website
  • Smihot Committee with Smihot Chair: to coordinate Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and Uuf Ruufs and Insure that families have been provided with our Simcha guidelines regarding such issues as inclusiveness and ritual clothing guidelines
  • Gabbai Committee with Chief Gabbai:
    • Develop gabbai handbook
    • Encourage Gabbais to invite people to lead Prayer for the Government, Prayer for Israel, Prayer for Peace
    • Give Gabbais a sense of “power” i.e. regarding request to people on the bimah abiding to ritual clothing guidelines
    • Add Children’s Gabbai to encourage children to do Ein Kelohenu, Ashrei, Anim Zmirot
    • Request made to change wimple on one of Torahs as it is difficult to fasten
    • Request made to have Gabbai ask potential volunteer for Haggbah (lifting of Torah) whether or not this individual has had experience doing this job before

As new Minyan Master Abby listed some potential topics of discussion to discuss after we have had our meetings for Heshbon Hanefesh:

Art in chapel: removal of present art possible addition of future art

Bar/Bat Mitzvahs: who is allowed to use Library Minyan for their celebration; how involved is the family? elimate parent speech

Davening: correct nusach & more melodies

Communication: develop Library Minyan email list

Outreach to singles, young couples

Announcements: eliminate birthday and anniversary announcements and singing

Kiddushes: blessing over bread and wine from bimah
Encourage or require Library Minyan Kiddush for Simcha without excluding people from Kiddushes for “invited guests only”
How many Kiddushes should/could Library Minyan co-sponsor each year?

Meeting adjourned at 6 pm.

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