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:
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
President, Henry Cohn
Vice President, Personnel and Administration, Myrna Morse
Vice President, Facilities, David Ballo
Vice President, Development, Mel Decker
Co-Vice Presidents, Youth and Education, Bonnie Boren, Jenny Levine-Smith
Secretary, Carolyn Metz
Treasurer, Betty Boyd
Laura Alexander, immediate Past President
Arnold Drake, at large
Branagan Branagan, at large
Simone Bessa, at large
Richard Kahn, at large
Irvin Klein, at large
Jessica Singer, at large
Leanne Schy, at large
Jeffrey Sternfeld, at large
Bobbie Rosenthal, at large
Carol Swanson, at large
Priscilla Lowell, ex officio
Judy Kupfer, ex officio
Rabbi Mordecai Miller, ex officio