Leadership

Committees at Congregation Beth Ami

A synagogue is a community. It is an institution that provides diverse services and fulfills diverse functions for its members. It is a beit midrash (a school for adult and youth education), and a beit Knesset (a house of assembly). It is a social center for events and celebrations, and it is a social service center, for life cycle events, counseling, and care. It is a cultural center and it is a youth center. It is a community’s spiritual center.

The mechanism that is vital to the fulfillment of these functions, and the synagogue’s mission, is the network of committees that help the organization do its work. There are 12 committees established at Beth Ami that are answerable to the Board, and help implement its directives. Members of committees learn skills that help support the synagogue’s activities, and build bonds of friendship by working with others to achieve results. The time, energy, talent, and enthusiasm that members bring to their committee work are a priceless contribution to the health of their Jewish community.

A brief description of the committees and their roles follows:

Religious Practices

In conjunction with the Rabbi, determines the schedule and other details pertaining to the religious services and practices at Beth Ami. Encourage and develop higher levels of participation and skill in all matters of religious observance at the synagogue and in the home. Assists the Rabbi in implementing decisions of halacha and liturgy. Function of Religious Practices Committee
Chair Betty Boyd

Sub Committee: Cemetery Committee
Supervises arrangements for members needs.
Chair: Bob Raful

Subcommittee: Kitchen Committee
Encourages the use of the synagogue kitchen by and for congregants. Ensures that all users of the committee are familiar with synagogue policies regarding Kashrut, safety, hygiene and security. Seeks to establish a vibrant culinary community and provide rich and varied feasts for onegs, Kiddush luncheons, and other synagogue events.
Chair: open

Youth and Education

Creates and implements new classes and programs that encourage participation in Jewish learning.. Develops the schedules, engages the instructors, produces the publicity, and assumes all responsibility for the creation of new programs. Advises the Board and Staff on matters of program generation and execution.
Chair: open

Subcommittee: Nursery School
Works with the Nursery School director to develop, implement, and support school programs and activities.
Chair: Ronit Glickman

Subcommittee: Religious School
Works with the Religious School Director to develop and support Religious School programs and activities
Chair: Laura Alexander

Subcommittee: Youth Activities Committee
Works with Youth Advisors to support youth programs and activities
Chair: Julie Simkovitz

Subcommittee: Adult Education
Works with Rabbi and staff to develop ongoing study courses, lectures and guest speakers
Chair: Jerry Newman

Membership

Welcomes new members to the synagogue, and acquaints them with various aspects of synagogue programs. Encourages unaffiliated Jews to consider joining the synagogue. Seeks out inactive members to renew their interest and participation in synagogue life. Interviews members who have recently left the synagogue, and discusses their comments with the Board. Advises the Board on policies that may impact the attraction and retention of members.
Chair: Mel Decker

Subcommittee: Welcoming Committee
May supplement the Board as greeters at Shabbat services. May provide a table with information for visitors to our synagogue. Assures that visitors are noticed, introduced, and made to feel at home. Follows up, where possible, with visitors.
Co-Chairs: Mark Rosen, Mieneke Drake

Subcommittee: Chavurah
Actively engages congregants (who wish to be included) in existing Chaverot, and creates new Chaverot as members request. Communicates guidelines for choosing a Chavurah. Reviews existing guidelines for membership and programming, and makes suggestions as appropriate.

Chair: open

Subcommittee: Chesed Committee
Supervises the well being synagogue members in times of need and difficulty. May visit the sick, visit the physically and socially challenged, and may assist and comfort in times of bereavement, family illness, or other need.
Chair: Mark Rosen

Budget and Finance

Oversees and reports on the fiscal health of the congregation. The Committee reviews the monthly balance sheets, profit and loss statement and the department detail reports, reviews the draft budget compiled and prepared by Executive Director and makes recommendations to the board. The budget and finance committee also works with the bookkeeper and CBA office staff on maintaining proper accounting procedure.
Chair: Betty Boyd

Capital Campaign
Organizes fundraising for capital improvements and their associated finances.
Chair: Arnold Drake

Fund Raising, Development, and Special Events

Responsible for organizing and coordinating activities to generate revenue for operation and endowment, consistent with the values of the synagogue. Supervises the Gift Shop.
Chair: Mel Decker

Fundraising and Special Events Committee
Plans and organizes special events designed for community building and fundraising.
Chair: Russ Gurevitch

Subcommittee: Gift Shop
Stocks and supervises the gift shop.
Chair: Bonnie Boren

Israel Affairs Committee

The Israel Affairs Committee has a CLEAR mission to:
Communicate with the community regarding Israel-related and Masorti issues,
Learn more about current affairs related to Israel, including the Masorti movement,
Educate the community about Israel, including the Masorti movement,
Act positively to provide a love of the Jewish State and
React in response to political anti-Semitism.
Co-Chairs: Bob Raful and Eli Cohen

Building and Grounds

Responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of synagogue-owned buildings and grounds, Advises the Board on matters of insurance coverage, renovations, repairs, possible economies in utility usage, and long term capital improvements. Supervises renovations and construction projects.
Chair: Richard Kahn

Subcommittee : Aesthetics and Décor
Supervises the décor of the synagogue.
Chair: Mieneke Drake

Subcommittee : Security
Supervises security issues for the synagogue.
Chair: Stan Feingold

Social Action

Develops programs to further the commitment to the entire extended Jewish Community, and to Israel. Organizes social and political action consistent with our Jewish values. Develops positive relations with the general community
Chair: Lyla Nathan

Personnel Committee

Establishes policies for employment at CBA: provides leadership in hiring and terminating employees, including Rabbi and Executive Director; establishes vehicles and timetables for annual reviews of all employees; creates and updates employee handbook.
Chair: Myrna Morse

Leadership Development/ Board Operations

Develops and administers training programs for synagogue leadership roles. Supervises Board Trainings for new Board members. Monitors compliance with current By-Laws, and recommends By-Laws changes when appropriate. Functions as the parliamentarian at Board meetings. Acts as the Nominating Committee for elections.
Chair: Alan Krubiner

Communications Committee

Supervises the synagogue web page. Makes suggestions for web page changes, and supervises their implementation. Develops, as appropriate, suggestions for on line resources and on line learning. Supervises the Cyber Shul and the Shofar. Assists other committees and organizers in carrying out their publicity for CBA events, both to the Sonoma County Jewish Community, and the General Community.
Chair: Leanne Schy

Subcommittee: Web guru
Chair: Gabor Por

Library Committee

Oversees the operation of the library. Encourages appropriate use of the library. Supervises the use of library supplies and materials, including computer and on-line sources. Supervises the recruiting and training of volunteer staff. Advises the Board on all issues relating to the library.
Chair: Susanne Batzdorff

Friedman Center

Friedman Center Board Chair: Bill Friedman

Guides and Checklists for Organizing Events

To help events or programs run smoothly, the office now has a Program and Event Planning Guide.
CBA Program and Event Planning Guide
CBA Publicity Guidelines
CBA Cleanup Guidelines
CBA Equipment Use Guidelines
CBA set-up form

Guidelines for using the kitchen

Board of Directors

President, Laura Alexander
Vice President, Personnel and Administration, Myrna Morse
Vice President, Facilities, Russ Gurevitch
Vice President, Development, Mel Decker
Vice President, Youth and Education, open
Secretary, Russ Gurevitch
Treasurer, Betty Boyd
Arnold Drake, Past President
Branagan Branagan, at large
Barb McGee, at large
Richard Kahn, at large
Irvin Klein, at large
Juli Scherer, at large
Leanne Schy, at large
Jeffrey Sternfeld, at large
Jennifer Levine-Smith, ex officio
Judy Kupfer, ex officio
Rabbi Mordecai Miller, ex officio