DC Minyan LC Meeting 12/14/10

Notes starting at 8 PM

Discussion: Criteria for DC Minyan Co-Sponsorship

Deena Fox – Let’s discuss the criteria for co-sponsoring an event.  Three that we generally use but without a specific rubric are:

·         How it would complement or conflict with existing programming

·         Interest (actual or perceived) by members of the community

·         Centrality to DC Minyan’s mission


Dena Roth – Becca Sendor-Israel mentioned that TLS has a checklist for co-sponsorship and that sounds like a good direction for us to head.  There are two sets of concerns: (1) how does the program further our goals and meet our values and (2) logistics and calendar issues.  Regarding logistics, co-sponsorship should require formal responsibilities by LC members.  There should be a liaison at DC Minyan to establish DC Minyan’s contributions and manage a formal relationship.


Judy Herbstman – There should be a minimal level of investment and commitment to the event in order to co-sponsorship.  DC Minyan should also either fully agree with the parameters of the event that have already been established and/or have sufficient control of the direction of the event to ensure it will continue to be something worth supporting.  DC Minyan should be willing to invest in the event and encourage members to attend and participate.


Rachel Bergstein – We do not want to have to force people to go.


Rebecca Murow – We can poll the LC as a rough test to whether people will be interested.


Zvika Krieger – What does co-sponsorship mean?  Does it mean that we put our name on it and pay ˝ the costs?  We need to consider the benefit it provides to DC Minyan.  We should use these events as a forum to build community.  Are they looking for financial capital, leadership capital, and would it happen with or without us?  Does it promote egalitarian, progressive thought?  We should support anything that creates community, even if it appeals to a small segment of the community, though we may want to calibrate that investment.


Deena Fox – If something is of small appeal but valuable to DC Minyan, we should do it without investing a lot of time and energy while maintaining oversight.


Rachel Salzman – It is in DC Minyan’s interest to co-sponsor so that we do not need to invest the time and capital but benefit from the program.  We do not need to be deeply involved and should make allowances for that, especially if something highlights an important aspect of DC Minyan, e.g., davening workshops. 


Rivka Friedman – We can co-sponsor something to give it visibility and just attach our name to it.


Judy Herbstman – What is gained by adding our name?  We should not make decisions based on phantom people who we expect to attend but should make sure there is real (even if small) interest.  We should have a sponsor from DC Minyan’s membership.


Rachel Salzman – Sandwich making is an example – we wouldn’t change anything about their program and just show up for it.


Deena Fox – Hadar has a no purely social events policy because co-sponsored events must be specifically tied to Hadar’s mission.  How would a co-sponsored event create community?  We could specify according to something like torah, avodah, gmilut Chasidim.


Zvika Krieger – There is a disadvantage to sponsoring too many events.  It dilutes and loses meaning for DC Minyan branded events.  If people know that they are going to a “DC Minyan event,” they expect to connect to the community.  How do we discuss if something is in accordance with DC Minyan standards (e.g., davening style).


Dena Roth – Co-sponsoring is not the same as having a DC Minyan event, so it does not need to be fully in accordance.


Deena Fox – By folks who are less involved, the difference may not be apparent.


Rivka Friedman – We need to be careful about events that can be access points to DC Minyan.  Is this event a good representation of who we are?


Rachel Bergstein – Regarding the Rosh Pina event, they came to us for money and needed us to sponsor.  But we are not funders.  The Lag B’Omer BBQ worked out but what was the value to having an event with the full community rather than just DC Minyan?  It was not well balanced because it was right next to Kesher.


Rivka Friedman – It was valuable because we want to be part of the broader DC Jewish community.  We do need to be careful about co-sponsoring and can use our leverage to compromise.


Ben Freedman – We are the DC established indy minyan and should keep that in mind.  We can help another community boost its standing by affiliating with us.  Also, in spite of not having a rubric, it sounds like the decisions that have been made so far are sound and justified.  We are already making good decisions.


Dena Roth – We should establish a baseline and calibrate our involvement while maintaining minimum standards.  Each event should have a point person in charge of the checklist.  The checklist should not be too cumbersome.


Rivka Friedman – It sounds like there is a consensus that we should have a checklist.  We also need to manage expectations better about an event.


Ben Freedman – DC Beit Midrash brings in teachers and co-sponsors events that are not necessarily aligned to DC Minyan’s mission (e.g., non-egalitarian).  All – That is part of the relationship with DC Beit Midrash and should continue.


Eytan – There should be two sets of questions – one for religious events and one for nonreligious events.


Rachel Bergstein – Anything can become a religious issue so it depends on the group involved.


Reuben Jacobson – Who decides if we co-sponsor an event?


Rivka Friedman – SC decides though when there is time, we can bring it to the LC.


Follow-up Item: Judy Herbstman and Ben Freedman will draft a checklist and Rachel Salzman will review it.  LC will then review.


Wrapping Up:

·         Thank you to Eytan Fisch and Stephanie Schwartz for their time on the LC as the immediate past SC members!

·         Next meeting will include a conversation about having LC members host new community members for meals at least one time per year.