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March, 2018 Minutes of the Board of Directors Meeting

Temple Board Meeting        March 28, 2018      12 Nissan, 5778

Board members present:   Bonnie Golden, Cary Marmis, Corinne Forti,  Gretchen Brittain, Harold Blatter,   Jeff Rein, Jerry Cohen,  Jill Rich, Laura Kravec,  Mona Gibson, Norma Cohen, Sallie Tofel, Scott Arden, Seth Ruskin , and Steve Shawl

Board members absent:    Amalia Jones, Jason Feld, Simon Rosenblatt, and Todd Zashin

Staff present: Donna Beyer, Lyn Henry, and Rabbi Appel

Guests present: Rita Pollak, Brei Finegold (and mom,) Rina Abrams Dunn, Bob Hanshaw, Nancy Robertson, Amy Ruskin and Libby Quinn

  1.  Call to Order by Mona Gibson at 6:10 pm.  Mona Thanked Steve and Jeanette Shawl for dinner
  1.  D’var Torah (6:12 pm) by Steve Shawl.  Passover- what was Egypt like for individuals.  Lack of freedom and a hard life.  There was a desire to go to the land of milk and honey.  What about Temple Emanuel Tucson and the events of the past 6 months, we have opportunities for the future.  Let’s look at the future without bitterness. 
  1. Guest comments- Bob Hanshaw.  We have a good number of concerts with more to come.  Music of the Shoah is in April and the AZ repertory singers doing King David.  Future- desire to continue as we have been doing.  The Shoah concert is fully funded.  The AZ repertory singers would like to do more events at Temple and are looking for sponsorship. 
  1. Rabbi Appel (6:24 pm) Monday was the 3rd Seder.  The WRJ women’s Seder was sold out and she was the receipient of the Miriams’ cup award.  Have the ECE then community Seder.  Rabbi attended CCAR conference.  She is proud to announce that she submitted and grant and received it.  The grant from JCF is for updating the ECE security system.  Religious school is winding down.  Commended Bob Hanshaw for all his work.
  1. President Mona Gibson (6:28 pm) attended the Federation roundtable and talked about our volunteer program.  She also attended all the roundtable and think tank meetings attended some memorials including for funeral Jeremy Slinger, our maintenance man who passed at age 33. 
  1. Rita Pollak (6:35 pm) discussed the results of the focus groups that were comprised of 5-50 year members.  Her observations are that a desire for Temple to be more warm and welcoming.  The tone is set at the top.  Welcome to be reflected in the space.  Temple is a historic place.  Many are concerned with the financial health.  Need more transparency on number of members and live within the budget.  Would like to see collaboration with other Jewish organizations in Tucson.  Desire Temple to support the community, Desire that the Rabbi be dynamic and serve all.  Recognize that one person cannot fit all people.  We found ourselves in crisis, it was not a planned event.  Usually cannot replace a strong dynamic leader with the same.  It is potentially hard to identify the perfect replacement.  Rita suggests that Rabbi Appel be given a long term contract to create emotional and fiscal stability. 
  1. Bonnie Golden (6:47 pm) introduced the Think Tank, They are a 22 person group of demographically diverse temple members. The members of the Think Tank include: Rina Abrams Dunn, Brie Finegold, Amy Ruskin, Art Geiger, April Bauer, Jesse Davis, Gary Tenen, Lauren Glassey, Jim Jacobs, Joe Millstone, Justin Meislin, Libby Quinn, Michael Kaye, Mitchell Kagan, Nancy Koff, Nancy Robertson, Steve Weintraub, Tamara Sommerman Sargus, and Amy-Susan Young. Scott Arden and Mona Gibson represented the Board of Directors. The co-chairs were Bonnie Golden and Jason Feld.  They were tasked with getting input from their circle of friends.  It was a congregant driven set of recommendations.  Brei Finegold and Rina Abrams Dunn made a presentation.  See handout.  Questioned how to utilize the ECE better, It is a membership pathway that needs to be encouraged.  How do you convert ECE to temple members?  Need to be more welcoming.  Need to advertise to the temple of what the ECE brings to temple and create the positive image for members. 

Question of how we transition from the think tank to action items for the board.  Their recommendation need to be prioritized.  When finalized, the recommendations should be shared with the congregation. 

General consensus is that the congregation is on the same page.

  1.  Fundraiser (7:48 pm) Jill Rich distributed the proof of the invitation.  Please contribute silent action items and help if you can.  Gift certificates work well. 
  1. Membership directory (8:03 pm) Sallie Tofel said that the project is moving along.  Have about 350 responded and sold about 16 ads.  It is still a work in progress. 
  1. BOTH (8:06 pm) Jerry Cohen said that it is moving along.  ASA is formed.  All support systems except QuickBooks are in the cloud. This will allow remote access.  There is a person doing a line by line comparison of QuickBooks to Chaverware looking for data correctness.  This also will help membership correctness. 
  1. Rabbi Appel (8:25 pm) said that the Purim carnival had a 2k profit.  A torah writing fundraising project is a 6 month set-up with a 1 year project. 
  1. Financial (8:27 pm) Scott Arden –see report- expected cash balance shows positive for February and March.  Remember that this is theoretical.  ECE shows a +16k YTD and dues are negative to the budget, Dues are 300 of 500k expected.  This is a result of our being a cash based accounting.  Some dues received in prior fiscal year and thus skew the balance.  Net ordinary income is -31k, this is better than the budgeted -49k.  Currently there is a positive revenue due to additional ECE rooms.  This also accounts for increased salary expenses.  The AP will be paid down when JCF funds arrive (expected sometime in April)
  1. Roadmap (8:40 pm) Jeff Rein said that per Jane Farr, our accountant, 90-95% of membership billing appears to be accurate.  All expenses should go through the exec director.   Per Donna, most savings will be represented in the BOTH project.  We should have pre-defined decisions of what to do and where to cut if problems arrive.  We should move cash to line of credit if cash is available.  This will reduce fees.  This may only yield 3k per year and not worth the labor cost. 
  1. Budget (8:50 pm) Scott Arden said the distributed is version 1.a. and more revisions to come.  Basically 2.7M in revenue and 2.6M in expenses.  100k positive gap.  It was pointed out that 2/3 of the budget is associated with ECE.  One bad thing can have a big impact on the Temple. 
  1. Operations (9:11 pm ) Donna Beyer said that there is a new person, Ronda in the front office.  The office has been negatively affected by illness.  Donna proposed to keep the dues levels the same as last year.  Camp scholarships are a work in progress.  We have collected about 90% of budgeted dues for FY18. 
  1. Motion by Seth Ruskin to approve the minutes for February 2018.  Motion seconded by Cary Marmis.  Approved by all with one abstain. 
  1. Good and Welfare (9:19 pm)
    1. Corinne Forti said that her grandson is graduating from NYU law school
    2. Rabbi Appel said that Marjorie Hochberg fell during her vacation and injured her hip.
    3. Norma Cohen said that the women’s Seder went very well.
  1. Break (9:22- 9:24 pm)
  2. Exec session (9:24- 9:59 pm)
  3. Meeting adjourn at 10:00 pm
Sat, May 25 2019 20 Iyar 5779