Watch Rabbi Dean Kertesz’evening Rosh Hashanah drash.
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Watch Rabbi Dean Kertesz’evening Rosh Hashanah drash.
- Welcome new members Jessica Broitman and Gibor Basri. Jessica is a psychoanalyst, and Gibor is a professor of astronomy at UC Berkeley. They live in Berkeley and have been coming to High Holy Day services for several years.
- We also welcome a new Religious School family. Chase and Hazel McCrary are joining our classes. Their mother Melinda McCrary, Executive Director of the Richmond Museum of History and Culture, organized the exhibit “Pioneers to the Present – Jews of Richmond and Contra Costa”.
High Holy Days
- High Holy Day boxes have been distributed and are appreciated. Thanks to Rabbi Dean for creating and organizing the project, and to the Ritual Committee and Michelle Husby for their efforts.
- We have over 70 registrations for online High Holy Day services.
- High Holy Day information has been sent to members.
- Ads have been placed in the J and Contra Costa Marketplace.
- Jane Kemp has been updating our Facebook page regularly with information about the High Holy Days and Religious School and has placed information on local community sites.
- Wendy Roth has reworked our web site so the home page currently focuses on the High Holy Days with various links for participation, including a donation page. Several new people have signed up for the Weekly Update. She is also placing ads on Facebook, which have had many viewers.
- Regular food distributions at the schools are seeing a great demand, about 3,000/week at one school.
- Food for Thought is working on a safe place to pack boxes, and ways to involve younger people and more community members.
Buildings and Grounds – Thanks to Josh Genser, Michael Cohen, and Neil Zarchin,
- Exterior lighting and security measures are done.
- New lights have been installed in the lobby, and the lobby has been repainted.
- Bulbs in the main room have been replaced.
- Electrician is coming to look at wiring problems in the main room.
- Garbage dumped on property was taken to the dump.
- Started last Sunday, with tefillah with Rabbi Dean, breakout rooms for classes, and gathering together at the end.
- Some teachers delivered packets to their students with hands-on projects.
- Chinese for Christ North East Bay Church will not be able to renew their lease while the building is closed and social distancing is in place.
- URJ will adjust our dues due to the current situation.
- High Holy Day recording and live stream production were approved. Funds for this and High Holy Day boxes were approved. Clergy, Ritual Committee and choir are working very hard to make High Holy Days a good experience for our members and others.
- High Holy Day boxes and contents have been ordered. Volunteers will be needed for assembly and delivery.
- High Holy Day Appeal will be for Food for Thought, with the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano as a back-up in case Food for Thought does not work out.
- Initial exterior security lighting, motion sensors and cameras have been installed. Interior lighting improvements are in process.
- Weed abatement is done.
- Religious School will begin on September 13 online and will include community tefillah and closing session; individual classes; and web site content.
Personnel – Two year contract for Cantor Shayndel approved. Contract provides for virtual activities during shelter-in-place and one weekend a month on-site after we reopen.
Finances – June figures show a significant net income, instead of a budget deficit. Income was near budget; and expenses were considerably below budget, due to higher amounts budgeted for hiring teachers, which did not happen; and general frugality.
High Holy Days – We will not be able to hold High Holy Day services in person. Ritual Committee is working on “High Holy Days in a Box”, a combination of shorter online services together; optional items online for individuals to explore; and a box of resources members can use to observe the High Holy Days and connect with our community. Please respond to the survey to help them refine and develop these ideas. Approved funds for High Holy Days in a Box.
Marketing Committee – Will be publicizing High Holiday services and online resources.
Religious School – Leaders will be meeting soon to work on how to proceed in the fall.
Membership – Three members have resigned.
Reopening: Recent Contra Costa guidelines allow more people, but the rest of the guidelines are unchanged and are very restrictive for us. Clergy and Ritual Committee will start investigating, planning, and logistics for High Holy Day service options, including online and outdoors.
Office Manager: There is a tentative agreement with a candidate, pending contract negotiations. The candidate has started training with Arlene. Approved to offer a contract to this candidate.
Cleaning: Office Manager is requested to contact the janitor for ongoing maintenance and to pay for time not worked. We will probably need to hire a professional for deep cleaning before we reopen.
Cantor: Contract is up. Agreement in principle to negotiations.
Food for Thought: Will meet next Monday. Arrangements have been made to purchase turkeys.
Religious School: Last day and mensch celebration went well. Will start planning for fall. First day will be in September.
Membership: Events that we participate in are all cancelled. Would like to do a postcard for the coming year. Please send Larry Fox any photos you have from the past year.
Thanks to Neil Zarchin for doing a great job as President.
Minutes of 2019 General Meeting – Approved
Budget for 2020-2021 – Despite the challenges currently facing us, the Temple’s finances are sound, and we will weather the current crisis.
For 2019-2020, we are projecting a small surplus, compared to a small budgeted deficit. Our income was significantly below budget estimates, but expenses were further below estimates, due primarily to Religious School hiring plans that did not happen. We received distribution from Tel Shalom, which was added to our assets.
For 2020-2021, we are faced with considerable uncertainty. The proposed budget assumes that we reopen on July 1 for the entire year, which is not likely. In addition, there are several contracts and leases that have yet to be negotiated. The proposed budget shows a total deficit of almost $14,000. Often we budget a deficit and end up with either a smaller deficit or a small surplus.
If we do not open July 1, our deficit will increase and could reach $60,000. Fortunately, we have enough assets to cover this.
Proposed budget approved.
Committee Reports reviewed, including Ritual Committee; Latke Party; Purim Carnival; Souper Center, Caring Community; GRIP: (Thanks to all who volunteered in these activities); Religious School; Membership; Advertising; Buildings and Grounds; Tel Shalom; Library
Proposed Bylaw changes approved
Recognitions: Jeff Romm and Sheri Tattenham for their service on the Board and to the Temple for many years
Volunteer of the Year: Jean Henderson for her volunteering at events; improving Board and office functioning; and joining the Board
Board Election – Slate of proposed nominees approved
Adaptations to closures
- The decision of when and how the Temple will reopen will be made by the Executive Committee with input from the Rabbi and the Cantor. We are also inviting input from the membership. Anyone who feels that coming would be a health risk should not come.
- We will look into making events available online.
- Discussed rent for tenants during shutdown.
- The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties’ spending has greatly increased and although the public has been extremely generous, financial donations are still needed. TBH has a donation page at https://give.foodbankccs.org/team/293847
- GRIP is providing food and shelter off-site and is in need of donations. Also, volunteers can make sandwiches for delivery to GRIP. Contact Jane Kaasa.
- Jewish Heritage Day at the Oakland A’s is likely to be cancelled. Deposits will be held for a future date.
- Classes are meeting online for shorter periods.
- The teen class and families will meet online May 31.
- The mensch awards will be held online.
- B’nai mitzvahs scheduled for this spring have been postponed.
- Search for Office Manager: Job has been posted and applications are being accepted. The committee will meet this week to develop the strategy for hiring.
- The General Membership Meeting will be online.
- Budget for 2020-21 recommended for approval at the General Membership Meeting
- Report of Slate of Board Officers and Directors to be voted on by the Congregation.
As I promised in my Rosh Hashanah morning drash, here is a list of organizations you can support to help the Syrian refugees. Don’t forget to write the President, our senators, and your congressional representative to ask that we in the US quickly admit more Syrian refugees.
This charity exists to save children like Alan Kurdi, with a fleet of rescue boats patrolling the Mediterranean to save migrants lost at sea.
A group of social activists documenting stories in the Calais migrant camp, they also raise relief funds.
Provides classes and cultural enrichment and scholarships to Syrian children in Turkey.
A US-based charity that works in Turkey and is also focused on educational opportunities for Syrian children, currently raising funds to rebuild schools in Syria.
One of the few organizations that directly provides aid on the ground in Syria, including food, clothing, water, sanitation and crucial medical assistance to “help people to stay in Syria instead of fleeing to another country.” They accept donations via their page on JustGiving.com.
Charity Navigator has a list of highly ranked charities currently helping Syrian refugees.
Among them is Globalgiving that supports grassroots support for Syrian refugees, International Medical Corps, and Medical Teams International, which provide medical care to refugees.