President's Message: March 2014
From the President: Annual Meeting will include a Vote on Proposed Bylaw Changes
At our February Board meeting, we discussed proposed changes in our bylaws, and I want to share the proposed changes and the underlying reasons behind them. We will vote on these revisions at our Annual Meeting on May 4. The bylaws provide the basic legal framework for our community. After almost two years of study and conversation, there was a realization by the Board that the corporate model of synagogue organization that many of us grew up with will need to change if we want to remain a vibrant community in the future. These changes will help provide the Board with the flexibility to adapt to changing times.
At a high level, here are the main proposed changes. You can read the actual language by going to: Bylaws Draft May 2014.
The rabbi no longer supervises other clergy, educator, or administrator. The revised provision allows the Board to organize the senior staff in a flat structure or create a hierarchy, as they deem necessary. We have effectively been working with a flat structure since Rabbi Gurevitz’s arrival, with all senior staff reporting to the President.
Create the option of electronic participation at Executive Committee and Board Meetings. This provision would provide the Board with the opportunity to develop a policy for how this would be implemented. While everyone agrees that face-to-face meetings are the ideal, this would allow Board and Exec members to participate actively in the work of the Board even when they are traveling. This change may also help to widen the pool of potential Board members, as well as allow participation when weather is an issue (like this winter).
Create the option for having co-presidents. This request came from the Nominating Committee. While everyone agrees that having one person in the role of president is the ideal, they felt this option might help with recruitment of future presidents.
Reducing the number of named committees in the bylaws.While we will continue to need groups of congregants to help do the work of the community, this will give the Board the flexibility to determine how that work is organized. While it is highly likely that many of our current committees will continue to exist, it also creates the opportunity for the Board to make adjustments as needed without having to make bylaws changes.
Correcting language. Article V.a. was not updated when we added the role of Vice President of Membership to the Board and Executive Committee. There are a few other scattered typos that were corrected as well.
I want to thank the members of the Bylaws Review Committee -Chair Chris Senie, Andy Branz, Arnold Hirshon, Eileen Samberg, and Mark Rosen - for their diligent and very timely work.