Present: Doug Degen, Rabbi Nagel, Bonnie Brown, Bonnie Strassler, Larry Sutker, Linda Blazer, Patty Sutker, Brian Dettelbach, Aleeza Wilkins, Alan Goldenberg, Ruth Chodrow
Previous Meeting Minutes: The minutes for the April 2020 meeting were approved as recorded.
Discussion re High Holidays: Marian Turk will again join us as cantor. After much discussion a consensus emerged that we should remain virtual for services, including the high holidays, through October and the board with reevaluate again at the October board meeting. The first service is Shabbat morning on August 15, followed by an evening service on September 4th. Rosh Hashanah eve is September 18. It was suggested that maybe we hire a technical support person to help with streaming or recording services.
Honors: Aleeza suggested that there be a rehearsal for those people who are having honors. The Rosh Hashanah prayerbook is online. We could also lend out prayerbooks. Rabbi Nagel will be using Mishkan HaNefesh.
Alan pointed out that we need to be able to communicate with people about the High Holidays, including some who might not be on our regular list. Bonny later pointed out that anyone who has come to high holiday services in the past will be on our guest list, and are on the temple mailing list.
Definition of what a member of the Board of Trustees: Qualifications for a Trustee: Alan said that a prerequisite for being recruited for Trustee includes being a temple president. Linda said that was not in the by-laws. The by-laws state that a trustee must be a member in good standing. A nomination for a trustee must be made by the trustees and approved by the Board. The trustees are the owners of the assets of the temple. Trustees are expected to have some financial acumen. Linda said that anyone with the qualification as stated by the by-laws should be considered. Linda also said that the Board could be expanded to five members instead of three. The trustees serve a five-year term. This year ends Doug’s term, Alan’s term is up next year, and Richard’s term is up the year after that.
Rabbi Nagel pointed out that the Board of Trustees in other temples is typically made up of people who have served in other positions in the temple, often on the Board of Directors or other leadership positions. She feels that a person needs to have a long-term outlook for the benefit of the congregation.
Doug pointed out that we need more Board of Directors participation by temple members. Brian noted that he got involved because he saw that there were openings on the Board.
Cemetery: Doug and Mike Brown are the contacts for the cemetery. Linda had inquired about the landscape plan. Bonny Strassler has been following the landscaping plans as they progress. WE have done phases one and two of the cemetery renovations. Next phase will involve attention to the historic section, removing some existing trees and planting new ones, and putting in garden areas plantings. There will be areas for benches. Alan had already put in a granite bench. Teak benches are in the plans; Alan is concerned about the longevity of teak. A teak bench would need to be fastened to a concrete footing.
Buildings and Grounds: Linda suggested that a HEPA system be installed for ventilation.
Bonny has been involved in making the website more robust and making the website more accessible and useful for members and non-members. Kimberley Waters has been our website professional. Her proposal would be for a redesign of the website – $1700 less a $500 donation of services. We would have the ability to accept donations, an updated events calendar, a membership portal, and links to temple-specific groups and events. There will be forms to sign up for the newsletter which will feed into an automatic list. The fee exceeds our current website budget, but Patty thinks that it will be a good investment, about $1,000 more than we have budgeted Brian moved that the Board approve the extra money to upgrade and the motion passed.
We have about $60,000 in our checking account at present. We paid Andy Marcum for all past mowing.
We are renewing our insurance for the building; Patty suggested that we find an appraiser who specializes in historic buildings. It was suggested that we ask Frank Strassler, of Historic Staunton, if he knows an appraiser who could do this.
Membership: Brian has a new member application from Erich Kosowitz in Crozet, who has come to some services. Bonny suggested that Brian and Larry share the membership dropbox. Rabbi Nagel has also met with a couple who might be interested in joining; she will talk to them in August. Brian said that we should write a welcome letter, and possibly give new members some kind of welcome basket with wine, challah, candles, and the anniversary handbook. Ruth will find out if the Augusta County Historical Society will consent to letting the temple distribute copies of the article on temple history to new members. Brian pointed out that there is some overlap concerning membership on the webpage, and some items that need to be updated. He suggested that we could put a membership form on the website so that an applicant could apply directly online.
Bonny moved that we accept Erich’s membership in the temple, and the motion passed. Brian will call Erich. Brian will start to maintain the membership directory.
Larry suggested that temple officers have temple mailboxes which would be passed down to subsequent officers ([email protected], for example)
Larry asked if we might consider using Microsoft meeting or GoTo meeting for better security in our meetings. Bonny pointed out that there are now passwords in Zoom, and security issues are less than in the past. Rabbi Nagel has been paying for the temple Zoom account, about $15.00/month. `
Aleeza and Brian met with Ellen W. to put together a list of questions for interviewing new members, which would appear in the Bulletin. That way, people could become acquainted with each other in the absence of personal gatherings.
The meeting ended at 8:35 P.M.