and ends in the evening of
Bet Chaverim General Meeting June 27, 2021
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
- 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.
Dave presented the Profit & Loss versus Actual for this past fiscal year:
Donations exceeded what was budgeted by $1,200.
Dues came in under budget, but we will be close to breaking even.
High Holidays brought in more donations than last year.
There was no CD or Passover income.
We received program income from our NCEJ grant from last year.
We received the Federation small congregation grant from last year.
We received $210 from the Amazon Smiles and Kroger programs.
We were $3,700 below revenue for the year.
Our general expenses were over budget due to credit card processing fees and Zoom.
We spent $100 for our “J license”.
We spent over $400 in Outreach for donations to sponsor various events.
Overall, we have $2,000 net income at the end of this fiscal year.
Proposed Budget for 2021/2022
Increased budget amount for donations
Due’s rate will remain the same
High Holiday donations increased
Passover — $2,500
Program Income — $1,300
Special Events — $2,500
Total – $53,400
Cantorial services – slight increase in compensation for Neil
Rent – same
Outreach increased to reflect that we have been sponsoring different events
Passover — $2,100
Program expense — $500
Rabbi – same
Total — $53,324
Archie asked about the URJ mum dues – we are currently paying the full amount which is $150 month
Donna asked which budget do expenses come under for things such as fundraising expenses related to Hanukkah etc. Dave reported that this comes under “special events”.
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.
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
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.
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 Adult Education — 2021
Pirkei Avot: This class will meet on Saturdays from 4 – 5:15 pm
Class dates: April 10, 17, 24
May 1, 8, 15
Class Materials: Sefaria – Pikei Avot – text is online, we will cover a chapter per week.
Class registration/questions: please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2020, Hanukkah begins at sundown on Thursday, Dec. 10 and lasts until sundown on Friday, Dec. 18
What is Hanukkah?
Hanukkah, which is Hebrew for “dedication,” is the Festival of Lights.
The miracle of Hanukkah is that only one vial of oil was found with just enough oil to illuminate the Temple lamp for one day, and yet it lasted for eight full days.
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 email@example.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
Bet Chaverim stands in solidarity with the activists against systemic injustice and police brutality.
In addition to continuing our historical work of supporting and joining protestors in the streets,
the Jewish community must think about how we welcome Black Jews and other community members
in our synagogues and homes. Good intentions cannot take the place of true understanding.
Work is needed on every level, whether it’s the Israeli government’s treatment of African refugees
or an individual’s naive assumptions about someone’s background.
Antiracist activist and Bet Chaverim member Eytan Olivier has shared his piercing observations
on the experiences of himself and other Black Jews:
“Concerning RACISM, in general I can say:
-Racism is to my eyes, the largest MONSTER freely CHOSEN by humans.
Concerning RACISM as a JEW, I can say that:
-It is NOT always easy to be accepted by many as a JEW.
So those who are JEWS are best off NOT being BLACK.
Because if one is JEWISH and BLACK at the same time, things can be at the best, COMPLICATED.
In one sentence:
-If one is a JEW, being BLACK makes things WORSE.
As we as humans have FREELY chosen to live with racism, we have the ability to get rid of it freely too.
As JEWS we are called to be (or le goyim <-> אור לגויים) which means LIGHT to the gentiles.”
It can be very painful to hear that we have work to do on ourselves. In addition to standard antiracist reading,
the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle has also provided resources for our own cultural trauma
to help us be ready to truly hear others.
It is important to be kind to our learning and growing hearts while developing
our antiracist skills one step at a time.
Starting with the learning resources provided here,
Bet Chaverim pledges to work on resisting injustice in our own habits and assumptions as well as the world.
2020 mid term meeting
the Land remained a Jewish theocracy under Syrian-based Seleucid rulers.
as part of an effort to impose Greek-oriented culture and customs on the entire population,
Following further Hasmonean victories (147 BCE), the Seleucids restored autonomy to Judea,
as the Land of Israel was now called, and, with the collapse of the Seleucid kingdom (129 BCE),
Jewish independence was again achieved. Under the Hasmonean dynasty, which lasted about 80 years,
the kingdom regained boundaries not far short of Solomon’s realm, political consolidation under Jewish rule was attained and Jewish life flourished.
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