As we approach another new year, and the upcoming review of the past year and plans for the future, the board of directors of Or Shalom would like to ask you to consider contributing your volunteer time to Or Shalom next year. Over the past few years, volunteerism has been decreasing in some areas of our previously strong committee structures, and these gaps have the effect of putting a much higher load on Or Shalom’s rabbi and staff than in the past. As Reb Laura pointed out at last year’s AGM, there are key committees that need to be active to support both the high expectations our members have for program quality, as well as sharing the effort so as to spread the work among many hands.
Or Shalom has some very dedicated and capable committees and leadership. Our Financial Planning committee continues to steer our annual campaign and coordinate the many callers and actions to raise over $100,000 each year. Our Gemilut Chesed committee ensures that members in need have visits and food. Every year our Tikkun Olam committee coordinate and carry out many social action and tzedakah projects, and examine the many areas that would benefit from our financial support and make a balanced and thoughtful recommendation of allocations. Our finance committee oversees our annual budget and tracks our income and expenses through the year. This year an excellent Rabbi Search Committee took on the double mitzvah of finding Rabbi Louis to serve as our interim rabbi and is now coordinating the 13 applicants for the full-time position. Our newly-charged Family and Children’s Programming Committee is responding to the community survey to more directly serve the needs of young families and children. As every year, the rabbi and staff run an Exploring Judaism class for people considering becoming Jewish, and a small but intense B’nei Mitzvah program (this year with the help of Harriet Frost) that includes elements of Tikkun Olam and social action as well as more traditional preparation.
Yet, we still need your help. This year, our second-time returning treasurer Linda Peritz will be stepping down and we need to appoint a Treasurer to replace her. Board co-chair Dave Kauffman has served two years and our practice is to replace a co-chair each year so that there is continuity and stability, especially important as we move into another staff transition year. We need a Governance Committee chair, to coordinate the review of the board, and help recruit and train new board members, a role perfect for those of you who have served on the board previously. We have not had a Communications chairperson for a number of years, a committee that ensures our outreach to members and the wider community is working well, particularly now with email, the web site, as well as our social media accounts. Both our Annual Retreat and High Holyday programs need leadership, as is a much-needed role is to lead the Kitchen Committee, which deals with policy and practice in around the use of the kitchen. To prepare for the new rabbi, we as a congregation need to put our house in order to ensure these key committee roles are functioning and have strong positive lay leadership. Or Shalom prides itself on being a participatory community – please put a volunteer commitment in your plans for 5775.
Or Shalom’s Annual General Meeting is October 19. You can contact the board by email.