- 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.
Nitzavim/Vayelech – Deuteronomy 29:9 – 31:30 – The Torah portion (parashat ha shavuah) for Shabbat, Saturday, Sept. 20
This week is the last Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah. In the Ashkenazi tradition we begin our preparation for the High Holy Days in earnest at the conclusion of this Shabbat. This week’s Torah portion provides us with two lessons. The first is this, “Concealed acts concern the Lord our God; but with overt acts, it is for us and our children ever to apply all the provisions of this Teaching.” (Deuteronomy 29:28) This reinforces what we know from the Yom Kippur liturgy: that Yom Kippur atones for ritual transgressions, but it does not atone for harms we have done to others. For that we must seek out the person we wronged and set things right. If we do, we have the chance to set our relationships right. When we do that our relationships are stronger and our lives are better. This is the true purpose of repentance, to live more meaningful lives filled with awareness dedicated to service. This is what the text means when we read, “See, I set before you this day life and prosperity, death and adversity. For I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His laws, and His rules, that you may thrive.” (Deuteronomy 30:15-16) Let us all be blessed with a good new year.
Devarim – Deuteronomy 1:1 – 3:22 – The Torah portion (parashat ha shavuah) for Shabbat, Saturday, Aug. 2
This week we begin Deuteronomy, the final book of the Torah. It is a summation of the experience of the Israelites since they left Egypt. It marks their transition from a slave people to a free people ready to take possession of their ancestral homeland. Deuteronomy is also Moses’ last opportunity to exhort the Israelites to follow God’s law; based on past experience Moses has reason to be pessimistic. But Deuteronomy also is directed to us. It contains the Shema, the Veahavta, and the command to read the Torah in public, all essential parts of our worship service to this day. Central to Deuteronomy is the idea that the Torah must be the guiding principle of the Jewish people, the central core of our lives, and the Tree of Life that gives meaning to our lives.