LC Meeting: 4/28/10

Attendees: Judy Herbstman, Ariella Kurshan, Deena Fox, Rivka Friedman, Julia Zuckerman, Deb Saxon, Naomi Karp, Adam Broms, Dina Epstein, Rachel Salzman and Dena Roth

Welcome Dina and Rachel

New LC members:

Dina Epstein: Special Events Chair

Rachel? Salzman: Social Action Chair

D&O Insurance expense

Julia: Directors and Officers insurance, not because we have any problems, just because SC met with a non-profit consultant last summer who suggested that we get it to protect. Got quote for a little less than $1k/year. Reached out to other independent minyanim on list serve to see if other communities have it, and Hadar said that it does.? The quote we got is competitive. Technically under the by-laws the SC can spend up to $1k in its discretion without LC approval, but want to run it by the LC.

Discussion of 2011 High Holiday Space

JZ: Carnegie or stick with JCC? Had a team of researchers look into many options for 2010, and basically, there are no options that are big enough and reasonably priced. So, we are looking ahead for 2011. Carnegie seems like the only viable option.

Deena F: Room that is large enough is an auditorium space that holds 400 people, with fixed seats and 2 aisles. No way to put Shatz in the center, s/he would need to be in the front of the room. I think the space is prettier than the gym (painted ceiling, comfortable seats), its not ideal for the bowing portions of the YK service, though neither are the seats we have now. The biggest drawback for me is where the Shatz would have to stand.? They also have a 2nd space that is a ballroom but it only fits about 200 chairs.

Dina E: Backing up, I prefer the gym in terms of set-up. Why are we looking elsewhere?

DF: While some of us agree with you, there has been a constant stream of comments over the years about the space, plus we have not been able to guarantee seats to everyone in the gym.

DE: Have we done a formal study of the space v. pricing, and what people want? Have we explored the option of splitting up services between two spaces?

Judy H: Numbers-wise, the gym has space for 275-300 and we hit that with the tickets, but it was standing room only by 10 am on YK. That was about 120 people over.

Rachel S: What is the set-up at Carnegie in terms of letting people get in and get out. There is a lot of moving around during these services.

DF: Good question, we should look into that. The aisles between the two seating sections do mean that only 8-10 people in any row.

Adam B: What is the lighting like?

DF: I don?t remember it being too dark.

DE:? What about the mechitza? Do we need to look into that?

DF:? It?s not a halachic issue for us as a minyan, so there is probably a way for people to choose to sit further or closer to the opposite sex.?

JZ: Also for what its worth, a lot of DCMD responses showed that many people were nto supportive of our seating situation.

DF: The space issue is clearly the core thing. The options at the table at the moment are limit the number of tickets, or find a larger space, or go 10%, etc. I don?t think we are entertaining a second service at all.

RF: Yes, that is not the way to address our space constraints.

Deb S: I wasn?t part of the discussion of spaces that we looked into: did we look at churches?

DF: We need include churches in our search and did not come back with any.

*Include on the list to call 16th & O First Baptist and YMCA.

RF: 2 questions: are we limited with the # of chairs that we can bring into the room, and second, I?ve been stuck in services where I could stuck in the back or the on the floor, and I don?t think that it?s a big deal?not having a chair is not pleasant, but I don?t think that its worth sacrificing those things that that make our services what they are. I feel like those things are more important than making sure everyone has a chair.

JH: Yes, we are limited by fire code.

DF: [On 2nd question] I?m not sure everyone shares that view. Buying a ticket and not getting a seat engenders bad feelings. I am sympathetic to that point of view and maybe the way to handle is to firmly cap the tickets told and then tell people past that point that they are running the risk of not getting a seat, and maybe hanging in the back.

JH:? We did consider this last year, and we decided that we did not want to be a Minyan who checks for tickets. I agree that seats are not the most important criteria, but I do think that the issue was bad enough last year that it might be worth making sacrifices for.

DE: As a stop gap measure, since we?re stuck in the JCC this year, can we account for whether there are more women or men? Or move women to the other side?

RS: How much of this is actually a revenue issue?? Meaning, how much do we rely on just HH tickets and not people who are paying membership dues? Does that constitute a significant enough revenue point that we should seriously consider sacrificing a lot to accommodate these people?

RF:? I think our biggest concern is not revenue, it is being unwelcoming.

RS:? Maybe we should prioritize membership and serve that base first and foremost.

JH: Numbers wise there are a ton of people who buy tickets, but it accounts for a fraction of the revenue.

Ariella K: I don?t think one year is going to make or break anyone?s experience, and it sounds like we?re on the fence, but maybe we just try a new space and see how it goes.

DR: From a gabbai perspective, I feel that having the shatz in the middle is very important and helps us facilitate the services and that it is a key factor .

DE: Maybe the GC should go see Carnegie too.

DR: What about the Fairmont?

JZ: We are following up but they have a potential snag about requiring us to pay for catering too.

DE: For the sake of transparency, it?s also worth just giving the community the sense that we?re really trying and to send in suggestions and be able to show that we?re really doing our best.

*Send a stand-alone next week on this

Naomi K: Can we see the list too?

JZ: Yes, good idea, I will give access of the list to the LC.

Vision Setting Exercise

Began with discussion about Israel ? what is done and not done

Raises a question about mission and vision

Exercise ? each of us will develop a vision

AK: First, we need to define a vision

Mission ? much more concrete, what we do, how we realize the vision

Vision ? who we are, what we strive for

Looking at Vision and Mission of UJA Federation of NY

DF: When you make a vision statement, you shouldn?t use the name of your organization because it?s bigger than your organization ? going for something that is just beyond reach ? the impact that you as a n org are going to have on the world or that you would like to have on the world ? not something you?re going to accomplish tomorrow-? 30 years from now, what do we want them in their history books to say about us

Say a word we associate with DC Minyan: Egalitarian, lay-led, community x4, fair, Jewish, prayer, egalitarian, spiritual, prayer

Everyone should now write a one sentence vision for this community:

NK: A community that allows individuals and the community to explore spirituality, Jewish values, and meaningful prayer in a welcoming, open and comfortable environment

DF ? What do you mean by Jewish values? What comes to your mind?

NK ? Jewish needs to be in there somewhere, a minyan should be guided by some sort of Jewish values, spirituality

JZ ? Spirituality ? why?

JH ? Why distinction between individuals and community as a whole?

NK ? I think a community needs to benefit every individual but also allow for expression as an entire community

DE ? Meaningful davening ? are we a davening community or larger?

NK ? The Jewish values was my interpretation of Jewish life, because it?s broader

RF ? Nothing in there in the life of each of us aside from the Jewish ? For me, one of the goals is to enhance the life, enjoy being around each other, interacting in social ways

---time to talk in pairs, ask each other questions and make amendments to personal vision statements ? coming back together to now talk about them?

AK/DF ? Jews mark time and moments in their lives with spritual egalitarian tfillah and they sustain supportive relationships with each other

JH ? Create an opportunity to exchange ideas and through a community that engages people with and connects them to traditional egalitarian Judaism

AB: To empower Jews to create a vibrant, egalitarian and traditional prayer space, and in turn, create other micro-communities

NK ? A community that allows both individuals and a community whole to explore jewish values, jewish life and meaningful prayer in a welcoming open and comfortable environment

RS ? a community that takes a traditional framework and is able to apply contemporary values

DS ? to build a community grounded in a love for torah, kindness toward others and the pursuit of learning and meaningful prayer

JZ ? a jewish community that facilitates deep engagement with tfillah and jewish learning, as well as fosters a sense of belonging and empowerment among its attendees slash members

DE ? a community bound together by a comment vision to creating and strengthening our jewish lives and our commitment to each other by creating multiple access points and empowering its members slash attendees to take ownership

RF ? an egalitarian jewish community that inspires and capitalizes on the ingenuity of its members slash laiety to establish meaningful ritual spiritual social and philanthropic interactions and empowers individuals to contribute to the community

DR ? we envision a community in which we aspire to recapture the progressive nature of the halakhic system