BC Board Minutes

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. 

Financial:  Dave Kaplan has agreed to be Treasurer for a second two year term.  For this last fiscal year we budgeted $51,824 in revenue and $50,754 in expenses.  Our donations exceeded what was budgeted by $1,600 thanks to some of Rabbi Mirel’s contacts.  High Holiday donations were up by $700 compared to last year.  We received a Federation Ignition grant in order to sponsor a community concert.  At the July board meeting we will discuss whether to have the concert in October or postpone it until the spring.  We also received a $5,000 Federation small congregation grant.

The proposed budget for 2020/21 is a break-even budget with proposed revenue of $52,624.  Four families have agreed to increase their dues for next year.  The rabbi income will increase to $16,200 – 12.5% increase.  

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.

There was a motion made and approved to accept the proposed 2020/21 budget.  Invoices for dues pledges for our next fiscal year will go out on July 1st.

Donation Options:  Dave outlined several new donation and dues payment options.  One option is to pay through Zelle and send it to betchaverimtreasurer@outlook.com.  Please indicate in the memo box what the payment is for.  

We now have an agreement with Merchant 1 for credit card payments. There will be a credit card donation button added to our website.  Since we need to pay Merchant 1 a monthly rate for credit card use we will ask people paying by credit card to put in a little extra.

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

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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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