Minutes of LM Steering Committee — 10/14/12

Present: Scott Taryle (Rosh), Carl Sunshine (Hospitality), Susan Laemmle (Membership), Rachel Rubin-Green (Education), Sandra Lepson (Youth), Larry Harris (Finance), Jerry Krautman (Gabbai). Absent: Norm Saiger (Ritual). Communication (vacant). Scott presented an agenda which was split between “big picture” issues and “nuts and bolts” issues.

Review of Yomim Noraim

  • Davening was very good. Pros and cons of the smaller room-size and turnout. On one hand, higher turnout good for Minyan but on other hand, smaller size made services more intimate then years past when the room was open all the way to the back of Hersh Hall.
  • Suggestion that we go slower on Yom Kippur—there is nowhere we need to go. Add some more poetry and/or mini-drashot.
  • Unetaneh Tokef: suggestion that we have the chazzan chant all of it aloud in a cantorial style instead of reading first part silently.
  • Avodah service on YK: suggestion that we add some interspersed English readings as done in past.
  • Suggestion that we elaborate more on the martyrology service (as in the Bernbaum makhzor).
  • For Kol Nidre service, suggestion that the “Kol Nidre” itself be sung three different ways: the first time, by the chazzan alone in a softer voice, second by the chazzan in a stronger, powerful voice and/or perhaps in a duet, and third with the kahal joining in.
  • Make sure some High Holiday drashot are by women.
  • Eliminate problems with sound system.
  • Yizkor should be slower, to accommodate those not fluent in Hebrew or those mourning two or more loved ones, and to give more time for personal reflection.
  • Policy re allowing non-TBA members who are not guests of members to buy Library Minyan tickets for High Holidays. Current policy going back several years is not to allow sale of LM tickets to “outsiders.” Discussion of pros and cons of changing that policy. To be decided at future meeting.

Being a Welcoming Minyan

  • Make a point of thanking people for their contributions.
  • Rosh has begun and will continue personal outreach to daveners.
  • Gabayim to give a collective thank you each week to the kids who helped lead Adon Olam.
  • Look for ways to increase pre-bar mitzvah age children’s involvement. Proposal that children can lead Psukei D’Zimra, Ein Kelohaynu, more frequent Anim Zmirot (perhaps occasionally skipping Ein Kelohaynu to allow time for it). Will ask Ritual chair Norm Saiger (not present) re his thoughts.
  • How to get people coming earlier? Ask shul about providing coffee and Danish at 9 am to encourage early attendance (action for Carl). Also kid food?
  • Discussion re Psukei D’Zimrah.

Library Minyan’s Relation within TBA

  • Rosh wants the Library Minyan to have a more “interactive” relationship with the rabbis and Temple Beth Am as a whole. In depth discussion re relationship of LM within rest of shul, and role of TBA clergy.
  • Rosh will meet with Rabbi Kligfeld on Oct 29.
  • Rachel (Education Chair) brought up the need for clarification of LM’s role in TBA educational programming.


  • Rosh raised the need to resolve issue of how and who makes spending decisions for the LM. One proposal was that expenditures of less than a certain amount can be made by Financial Chair and/or Rosh, and larger amounts to be made by Steering Committee. Suggested floor amount of $250 for requiring Steering Committee is probably too high.
  • Major expenses currently are cosponsored kiddush and tribute ads.
  • LM Cosponsored Kiddushes cost the Library Minyan $800 each (paid to the shul), but some of this amount is recovered from individual cosponsors.
  • Affirmed policy of scheduling six to eight LM cosponsored kiddushim per year, to be timed not right before or after other big events. Make sure cosponsored kiddushim are not used for bnai mitzvot or aufruf.
  • Policy on tribute ads purchased by LM to honor members who are being honored by Jewish organizations. Current policy is that any minyan member honored gets lowest cost tribute ad. Proposal that we drop this and no longer buy tribute ads with LM funds. Pros of buying ads: visibility for minyan, support for honoree. Minuses: some do not think LM contributions should be spent in this fashion; there could be controversies over who is a LM member and which Jewish organizations qualify, such as controversial organizations. Need more feedback from kahal.

Other “Nuts and Bolts” Issues

  • Torah Stands: Steering Committee generally favored the idea of acquiring Torah stands instead of having people sit and hold Torah, but per Sandra Lepson’s suggestion, would still like to continue to give children opportunity to sit and hold Torah where available and willing.
  • Kiddushes. Need one person to be the LM’s “point person” for handling kiddushes, scheduling the co-sponsored kiddushes, coordinating between sponsors and the TBA office, responding to shul inquiries. Proposal that it be the Social and Hospitality Chair (Carl) or someone he appoints. Carl agrees to handle that post.
  • “Shipuzim” (repairs, maintenance, etc) in Chapel. Suggestion that chapel walls get decorative painting. Need to repair microphone system, better acoustics.
Action Items
  • Membership to get data on High Holiday tickets.
  • Gabbais to add general thank you to children who come up to help lead Adon Olam.
  • Carl to schedule next LM cosponsored kiddushim, and solicit sponsors.
  • Carl to explore possibilities of modifying basic kiddush menu (add fruits/veggies)
  • Carl to find out about possible pre-service café service
  • All to discuss with broader membership: possible torah stands, possible changes in policies re High Holiday tickets for non-members, and LM buying tribute ads.
  • Sandra to discuss with Norm what other roles kids under 12 can take in service
  • Larry to provide current financial status by email (current balance, amount received in past year, amount spent in past year on kiddushim, tributes, other).
  • Ask Norm re ideas for involvement of children in services discussed above.
  • General Meeting of Minyan to be held twice a year per Charter.
  • Next meeting of Steering Committee to be scheduled for January.
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