BC Board Minutes

Bet Chaverim General Meeting June 27, 2021 (ZOOM)

{removed finacial information from minutes}

In Attendance: Rabbi Mirel, David Kaplan, Melissa Brooks, Carmi Brooks, Olga Carlin, Joseph Wilder, June Kallman, Donna Mullins, Josh Penzell, Brenda LaPoint, Sherwin Alpert, Robyn Alpert, Chris Bogart, Judy Schainen, Judi Sirrine, Nancy Blasé, Michael Banks, Archie Levine, Ken Steinman, Janae Rahiman, Lucas Harrington

The meeting was convened at 11 A.M.  It was determined that a quorum was met with 18 member units in attendance.

Review of the past year:

Judy reported some of the activities that we participated in this past year:

  • Jewish Family Services food drive
  • Kent Pediatric Interim Care Center
  • Jewish Federation Small Agency grant
  • FEMA grant – we will learn the outcome in November
  • NW Jewish Coalition for Immigrant Rights
  • Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration
  • Mazon
  • Jewish Federation Pride Shabbat
  • Sound Alliance collaboration
  • Asian Americans ADL
  • We will sponsor a Jewish music concert in October 2021

Rabbi Mirel taught several adult education classes.  He honored our former president Lonnie Wall by conducting Lonnie’s military funeral.

Many of our donations received this year were due to Rabbi Mirel – thank you Rabbi.

Thank you to Joe Wilder and Michael Banks for teaching classes.

Thank you to Robyn Alpert and Donna Mullins for becoming our Sisterhood Co-Presidents.

Our total member units remain at 34.  We lost two members and we gained two members.  Janae will soon become a member.

Treasurers Report

Dave presented the Profit & Loss versus Actual for this past fiscal year:

Josh asked about what we can learn from the High Holidays and increased donations considering the High Holidays were on Zoom?  The rabbi reported that because we had increased attendance due to Zoom, we will continue to conduct High Holiday services on Zoom even if we don’t meet in person.  Dave reported that on Kol Nidre we had 69 participants – 38 of those were non-members from around the country.  We probably want to continue to offer Zoom even when we return to in person services.

Archie asked how we attracted those extra participants to our services?  Dave responded that a core group follow the rabbi.  We received High Holiday donations from participants on Mercer Island, Bellevue, and Seattle.  We were blessed to have that.

There was a vote and the proposed budget passed.  Dave encouraged us to keep on sending in our dues and donations.

New Business:

Judy reported that we are preparing for the High Holidays.  At our July 14th board meeting we will be discussing when we will be returning to in person services.

Our goals for this next year are:

  • Increase membership to 39 member units
  • Continue Jewish education
  • Expand our involvement in Social Justice
  • Plan for in person services
  • Apply for a new grant
  • Complete the Jack Kornberg Memorial Tree of Life
  • Continue Sisterhood activities

Committee Reports:

Bulletin/Newsletter:  Michael gave a shout out to Lucas for his work on the bulletin.  Bulletin articles should be emailed to Michael by Tuesday evening.

Caring: Judy reported that this committee provides support to members who need it.  

Directory: Brenda will call and email members for updates

Inclusivity: Lucas is the chair.

Membership: Donna reported that the website, Zoom and providing classes have helped with membership.

Philanthropy:  Dave reported that we plan on having two events this year to socialize and raise money.

Michael reported that the Saltwater church gave approval to mount a tree on the wall near the ark.  The cost will be approximately $900 to build and mount the Jack Kornberg Memorial Tree of Life.  We will make donations in exchange for a bronze leaf to commemorate births, deaths and life cycle events.  Michael is waiting to hear back from the woodworker – he is hoping that the tree will be completed by the High Holidays.

Michael also wants to craft a charitable trust program.

Sisterhood:  Robyn reported that the Sisterhood programs have been stymied by the pandemic.  The purpose of Sisterhood is to support members and the synagogue.  Sisterhood has a book club.  The next meeting will be in person at Robyn’s house and the books being discussed is The Lost Girls of Paris.  There is a Pacific NW Regional Sisterhood event on July 24-25.  The Zoom link will be sent in the bulletin.

Hospitality: Chris will be contacting people to sign up for Onegs.

Technology: Carmi has been in contact with the Saltwater Church Audio Visual person, Robert.  The church will also be using a hybrid model for services.  Carmi also maintains our website and Facebook page.

Security and Safety: Ken will be the new chairperson.  A FEMA grant was submitted – we will hear the result of that in November.  The committee has also been working on emergency planning for natural disasters. Sherwin is resigning from the committee.

Social Justice: Archie reported that we participated in the Jewish Family Service food drive.  We also supported the following organizations: Bauman transitional housing, NW Jewish Coalition for Immigrant Rights, Federal Way Day Shelter.  We sponsored the climate change talk which was given by Heather Price.  The committee is looking into starting a tutoring project for students in need.  Melissa reported that we have collaborated with the Salt Water Church and Sound Alliance.  As part of Sound Alliance the church and synagogue held listening sessions.  The questions posed at the listening sessions were what social justice issues are of interest to you and your organizations and what issues are you willing to take action on.  The top two issues identified were housing and mental health.

Yahrzeit:  Maya had chaired this committee for many years and she asked to be replaced.  Nancy, June and Donna took over.  Nancy maintains the data base; June and Donna send out the yahrzeit envelopes

Religious: Joe reported that the committee members are: Rabbi Mirel, Judy, Robyn, Sherwin, Joe, Melissa, Peggy and Nancy.  Josh Penzell will be our newest member.  This past year we have held Shabbat services every Friday and a Havdalah service at 7 P.M. on Saturdays – Joe encouraged people to participate in these services.  We have held two Purim, Pesach and Sukkot services by Zoom.  The rabbi has conducted classes on Mishnah, Talmud, Meditation and Pirkei Avot.  Joe has taught Hebrew classes.  Michael has taught cooking classes.  We hope to have a Jews in Broadway class taught by Josh Penzell.  Joe plans on continuing to teach the Biblical Hebrew classes and Michael will be teaching a Jewish Literacy class.  Joe would like input on topics for future classes.

Board Election

We have three member at large positions open.  Judy asked for the approval of the nominations of Mark Senk, Brian Sandler, Eytan Olivier, and Donna Mullins to fill these positions.  There was a vote and the slate was approved.

Our current board consists of:

Judy Schainen/President – 1 year

Joseph Wilder/Vice President – 1 year

Melissa Brooks/Recording Secretary – 1 year

Judy Schainen/Corresponding Secretary – 1 year

David Kaplan/Treasurer – 1 year

Michael Banks/Past President – 1 year

Chris Bogart/Member At Large – 1 year

June Kallman/Member At Large – 1 year

Mark Senk/Member At Large – 2 years

Eytan Olivier/Member At Large – 2 years

Brian Sandler/Member At Large – 2 years

Judy thanked Sherwin, Robyn and Ted for the years of service on the board.

Judy thanked everybody who attended the meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:20 P.M.

Respectfully submitted by: Melissa Brooks/Recording Secretary


Bet Chaverim General Membership Meeting – 6/28/2020

In Attendance:  Michael Banks, Rabbi Mirel, Brenda LaPoint, David Kaplan, Sherwin Alpert, Robyn Alpert, Judy Schainen, Carol Lym, Joe Wilder, June Kallman, Gloria Hoxsie, Donna Mullins, Deborah Appel, Carmi Brooks, Melissa Brooks, Peter Smith, Nancy Blasé, Ted Bogart, Maya Valladao Jeffery, Archie Levine, Peggy Kornberg, Carrie Bagatell, Bobbie Silverman, Judie Sirrine, Paul Sirrine, Ken Steinman, Mary Stevenson, Jim Stevenson, honorary member

The meeting was called to order at 11:10 A.M.

Rabbi Remarks:  Rabbi Mirel did an opening blessing and stated that he was impressed by the friendship and support shown by our congregation members.

Review of Past Year:  Michael reviewed the highlights of our past year:

We met our membership goal of increasing my 5 members – Josh Brooks, Tina Gueverra, June Kallman, Eytan Olivier and Bobbi Silverman.

During our Shavuot food drive we collected 42 bags of food and brought them to Jewish Family Services.  We also continue to support the Pediatric Interim Care Center

We received three grants this past year – two from the Jewish Federation and one from the National Center to Encourage Judaism.  We have applied for a Homeland Security grant to reinforce security.

Michael thanked our members for “living Your Torah”, for helping to bridge the community and for being a “house of friends”.  He reviewed last year’s calendar and pointed out that a hike on August 25th has been added to the calendar.  He thanked Robyn and Sherwin for hosting the “Books & Bagels” and Rabbi Mirel for teaching most of the Jewish Experience classes. 

There was a question regarding if we will have High Holiday services by Zoom and how this will affect our expenses and donations.  At the July board meeting, the board will discuss whether the High Holiday services will be in person, by Zoom or a combination.  Our High Holiday cantor this year will be Cantor Andrew Bernard; Amy will again be the accompanist.

Some of our fundraisers for next year will include a Jack Kornberg memorial donation tree and a wine tasting event.  Dave encourages anyone who is not a member to talk with him about becoming a member.

Committees:  Michael emphasized that we are a community of doers.  Our current committees include:

  • Philanthropy/Fundraising – We will be working on putting up a donation tree.  Donations may be made for historical events or to honor individuals.  The committee will also work on generating endowment donations
  • Religious/Ritual/Education – Michael mentioned encouraging people to become Torah readers.  He also mentioned that he will be distributing the Kugel cookbooks.
  • Hospitality – there was a shout out to Chris Bogart for her leadership
  • Membership/Outreach – this committee has been on hiatus
  • Technology – thank you to Carmi Brooks for his work on the website.  Thank you also to Lucas for being our Zoom Master and bulletin editor
  • Yartzeit – Maya reported that Nancy Blasé will take over compiling the Book of Remembrance for this year
  • Social Justice – Archie Levine was thanked for being the chair of this committee
  • Security & Safety – Ken Steinman and Sherwin Alpert were thanked for working on the Homeland Security grant
  • Inclusivity – this is our newest committee.  The purpose of the committee is to make sure that all people feel welcome and that we include calendar events that meet a variety of interests.
  • Caring – Michael mentioned that most recently the committee has been reaching out to Jack and Anne Locascio who are going through a challenging time

New Slate of Officers:  The new slate of officers was presented:

  • President – Judy Schainen – 2 years
  • Vice-President – Joe Wilder – 2 years
  • Treasurer – Dave Kaplan – 2 years
  • Recording Secretary – Melissa Brooks – 1 year
  • Corresponding Secretary – Robyn Alpert – 1 year
  • Member At Large – June Kallman – 2 years
  • Member At Large – Sherwin Alpert – 1 year
  • Member At Large – Donna Mullins – 1 year
  • Member At Large – Ted Bogart – 1 year
  • Past President – Michael Banks – 2 years
  • Member At Large – vacancy – 2 years
  • Rabbi James Mirel

The proposed slate was voted on and approved.  Rabbi Mirel did an invocation/installation ceremony with the new board.

Incoming President Remarks:  Judy thanked the members for electing our new slate of board members.  She thanked Michael for the wonderful job he has done as our president the past two years.  Some of the highlights that she mentioned regarding Michael were: 

  • Chicken soup brigade for our Passover seder
  • Efforts to get us our new sukkah
  • Slide shows to exotic places
  • Love of teaching and the Jewish Experience class

The other board members also added their positive comments regarding Michael.

We will be looking forward to reopening for in person services.  Some of our goals for the next year will be examining social inequities; continuing to seek new members and keep our current members; and instituting our Memorial Tree of Life.

Why do people stay with us?  It is holy work, it is home, we are small but we are big on spirit.  

Our next board meeting will be on July 8th.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:35 P.M.

Respectfully submitted by: Melissa Brooks/Bet Chaverim Recording Secretary


Bet Chaverim Board Meeting – 3/11/2020

In Attendance: Sherwin Alpert, Rabbi Mirel, Donna Mullins, Michael Banks, Judy Schainen, Melissa Brooks

Five Minutes of Torah Ki Tisa – sometimes you just have to accept things on faith.  Haftarah – Ezkiel – we will pull together and do what we can to bring the community back to life in the wake of the corona virus.

February Minutes – the February board minutes were approved.

Rabbi Report The rabbi stated that we have had a great year so far.

Passover Community Seder – we voted and decided to cancel the community seder on April 9th due to the Corona virus.  If members are having a first night seder and they have room for a few more guests they should let Michael know so that we can connect people who want to attend a first night seder.

High Holidays – Neil will not be our cantorial soloist this year – he has another obligation.  The rabbi suggested that we have a committee to decide what to do about the HH music.  The rabbi mentioned several options including: using lay people; hiring retired cantor Andrew Barnard; hiring Julie and Chava.   We all agreed that we should see if our previous piano accompanist (Amy) is available.  Michael will email Neil to get Amy’s contact information.

Music concert – The music concert that was scheduled for May 9th will be postponed until October 17th.  We will advertise the concert with posters sent to all of the congregations.  Michael will let CJ know that we no longer need the church on May 9th.

Climate Speaker – Heather Price will not be presenting on March 21st.  Heather proposed alternative dates of April 25th and May 30th.  Since those don’t work for our calendar, Donna will check with Heather about her availability in June, July or August.

Security – Rabbi Mirel suggested that when we are advertising events that we don’t advertise our address.  Sherwin stated that we are still applying for the FEMA grant.

Introduction to the Jewish Experience class – Michael suggested that we purchase the book The Ten Best Ideas of Judaism by Arthur Green for the class participants. We will let the church know about the class.  Melissa will call some members who might be interested in attending.  

Shabbat Service – at this point we will go ahead with Shabbat services.  We will look into the availability of video streaming the services.

Calendar –

The Shavuot learning session is on May 30th.  Rabbi Mirel won’t be here on that date.

We will eliminate the Friday night service on September 25th.  We will wait to decide on whether we will have a service on November 27th or December 25th.

We will have a wine tasting fundraiser in July or August at Wines and More.

We will have a group outing to a Tacoma Rainiers baseball game in August.

Our next board meeting is April 22nd.

At our May board meeting we will plan next year’s budget.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 P.M.

Respectfully submitted:  Melissa Brooks/Bet Chaverim Secretary

2016 congregational meeting minutes(link)

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