BYLAWS OF CONGREGATION B’NAI ISRAEL ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO
Revised April 2021
ARTICLE I. NAME
The name of the Congregation shall be Congregation B’nai Israel.
ARTICLE II. MISSION, VISION, AND POLICIES
Section 1. Mission
Congregation B’nai Israel offers a foundation for living a fully modern life which is sanctified by Conservative Jewish values and practices.
A Unique Jewish Presence in New Mexico: B’nai Israel is proud to be a part of a continuing Jewish presence in New Mexico that reaches back four centuries. Along with our Jewish practices and values, we acknowledge and celebrate local culture. We keep this legacy alive for future generations.
Founded in November 1920, Congregation B’nai Israel had several homes before moving to its permanent location on Indian School Road in 1970. When first erected, our historic building, known as “the Tent in the Desert” could be seen from I-25 for miles around. It was a bold statement, a physical reminder of our singular standing. Not only are we the sole Conservative synagogue in all of New Mexico, but we are distant from our sister Conservative congregations in Colorado and Arizona by over 600 miles. One hundred years after our founding, we remain committed to keeping Conservative Judaism alive. Our founding families, Jewish entrepreneurs from Europe and American eastern cities, seized the opportunity to create a new life for themselves as our country grew westward. Settling in Albuquerque, New Mexico, they established a vibrant commercial and cultural center that continues to thrive to this day. The core of this flourishing Jewish community was Congregation B’nai Israel. Looking out across the congregation today you cannot help but notice boldly colored tallitot in Navajo patterns that envelop our members as they pray, symbolically connecting us to the deeper story of the land on which we gather, study, and pray. Even our Shabbat kiddush lunches are infused with the flavors of New Mexico.
As we weave the traditions of the past into the ever-changing fabric of Jewish life in the American Southwest, we invite you to join us on this journey.
Section 2. Vision
We are the guardians of a rich hundred-year legacy, which obligates us to sustain our congregation in a rapidly changing world. Our rituals and ceremonies draw on tradition, but we also bring innovative approaches for personal spiritual engagement. We build connections and relationships among our members for mutual learning, nurturance, and support. We provide clergy to serve all the spiritual needs of our members. Newcomers are welcomed into our community in a spirit of inclusion. We provide ongoing opportunities for anyone, of any age, to learn more about Jewish religion, history, and culture. We appreciate and acknowledge our volunteers, because their work is essential to the welfare of the Congregation. We engage with and support our local interfaith organizations to strengthen not only our own congregation but also the greater community in which we live. Through these actions, we strive to assure the vitality and relevance of the Congregation, building a modern Jewish community for generations to come.
Volunteerism and Collective Participation. Active involvement by our members is the driving force of the Congregation. We appreciate and value our many volunteers who give of their time. We recognize that every new member will have something to share that will help us to thrive. We gladly acknowledge that the abilities and interests of our volunteers will change with time, because that is how the Congregation will remain fresh and relevant.
Diversity. We are the sole Conservative congregation in New Mexico. Because of that, the community we serve is highly diverse, but united by the common desire to affiliate with a congregation rooted in traditional Judaism. In that spirit, we wholeheartedly welcome members of all ages, political views, and gender orientations. The cultural depth of our congregation is like no other, thanks to our members who come from all Jewish ethnic backgrounds. All are equally valued for what they can contribute.
Education. We are a community of learners committed to substantive Jewish education. We have an urgent calling to offer engaging, innovative educational opportunities for a diverse, multigenerational audience. We place a high value on Hebrew language instruction and training in liturgy and biblical chant to assure our traditions will survive.
Liturgy—Both Traditional and Modern. We are proud of how our services balance the old with the new. A visitor from anywhere in the world, seeking an egalitarian service, can feel right at home with our liturgy and the traditional melodies that we have preserved. But we are also open to new music, new prayers, and contemporary experimentation. And we are increasingly using Internet technology to offer virtual prayer services that expand our reach to the homebound and to distant members and visitors. With our new hybrid model of worship, remote and in-person congregants can worship together in one body. We know how important it is to offer numerous entryways into the religious and spiritual life of the congregation.
Outreach and Community Support. We hold high the Jewish values of Tzedakah (charity) and Chesed (compassion). Committed action starts in our own community, with compassionate outreach to those in need at times of mourning, illness, and personal crisis, and to those who are isolated by lack of transportation to worship services and synagogue events. Our Chevrat Chesed committee stands ready to offer a helping hand, and especially to help improve the quality of life for our most vulnerable congregants.
Our Building. We are the stewards of a nationally recognized architecturally significant building. Our sanctuary has been placed on the National Registry of Historic Places, impressing visitors with its spiritually uplifting beauty. Future renovations will preserve the integrity of the physical structure while providing enhanced security and modernization.
Our Open Invitation. Congregation B’nai Israel is open to all who see a place for themselves in this community and are willing to uphold its ideals and contribute to its ongoing growth and prosperity.
Section 3. Standards for Congregational Practice
The Congregation adopts by reference only those Standards for Congregational Practice of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (current edition), which refer specifically to matters of religious law, ritual and education, except as they pertain to membership, whether or not the Congregation chooses to affiliate as a member of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
Section 4. Affiliation with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Congregational affiliation with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism shall be determined by the members in good standing of this Congregation, present and voting, at an Annual Meeting or at a Special Meeting of the Congregation called for that purpose.
Section 5. Policy Manual
The Board of Trustees may approve, amend, edit, and revise a Policy Manual consistent with these Bylaws and comprising rules for their implementation.
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Eligibility
Any adult person of the Jewish faith or spouse or domestic partner of a person of the Jewish faith who is a member shall be eligible for membership.
Section 2. Applications
Applications for membership shall be made in writing to the Membership Committee.
Section 3. Review and Approval
All memberships shall be subject to review and approval by the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees may limit the total membership of the synagogue.
Section 4. Categories of Membership
- Family membership: Shall be extended to married couples and non-married couples in which at least one spouse or domestic partner is Jewish and shall entitle each spouse or domestic partner to all membership privileges, except as otherwise provided.
- Individual membership: Shall be extended to an eligible individual who is not covered by Section A.
- Associate membership: Will be available to the following:
- Out–of-state residents who are not Family or Individual members
- Residents of New Mexico who are full members in good standing of another synagogue.
- Full-time students attending post-secondary educational institutions: Shall be entitled to Student membership at a dues level to be determined by the Board.
- Active duty members of the Military: Shall be entitled to Military membership at a dues level to be determined by the Board.
- Ancillary Membership: The full rights and privileges of membership shall be extended at no cost to any dependent adult who lives in the household of or is under the care or guardianship of a member of long standing. For purposes of this clause, “dependent adult” means any person over the age of 18 who is prevented by physical or mental limitations from living alone without support from others. A “member of long standing” is any current member who has maintained good standing for the previous five years. This Ancillary Membership shall be granted upon application by the member of long standing, and it shall be permanent. In the event that the member of long standing dies or becomes incapacitated before making such application, the application may be made by an heir, executor, or legal guardian of the member of long standing.
- The Board of Trustees may establish categories for Lifetime and Honorary members.
- The Board of Trustees may establish other categories of membership, as they deem appropriate.
Section 5. Membership Responsibilities
- Membership in Congregation B’nai Israel indicates agreement to accept responsibility for all financial obligations as described in Article IV.
- Membership implies an expectation to participate in the programs and governance of the Congregation and to follow established Congregation rules.
- Membership implies a responsibility to conduct oneself according to community standards of civility and decorum while on the synagogue premises.
- A member may be suspended or expelled by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Trustees meeting in closed session, for failure to adhere to the responsibilities described in Sections 5.A. and 5.C.
Section 6. Membership Privileges
- Participation in all phases of religious services by adult members of the Jewish faith.
- Enrollment of members and their children in the educational programs of the Congregation, except the Preschool/Kindergarten program, if any, which shall be on a space available basis.
- For Family and Individual membership, full participation in all meetings of the Congregation Membership, including the right to make motions, to debate on them, to vote, and to hold office except as restricted in Article VI, Section 4. Other membership categories do not share in these privileges.
- Voicing opinions at meetings of the Board of Trustees.
- All membership categories shall be entitled to receive the Shofar in the mail.
- All membership categories shall be entitled to receive pastoral counseling from the Rabbi.
- All membership categories, except Associate Members, shall be entitled to have the Rabbi officiate at lifecycle events.
- Sections 6. F and 6. G do not prevent the rabbi from making private arrangements as provided in his or her contract.
- Family membership shall be entitled to two High Holiday tickets. An Individual membership and Student membership shall each be entitled to one High Holiday ticket. A Military membership shall be entitled to two High Holiday tickets. An Associate membership is not entitled to a High Holiday ticket. Children up to the age of 26, and other dependent family members living in the same household shall be entitled to a High Holiday ticket
- The Board may establish policy regarding the price and availability of High Holiday tickets for non-members and Associate members.
ARTICLE IV. FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS
Section 1. Payments
To be a member in good standing, a member shall pay such annual dues, assessments, and tuition, if applicable, including any minimums, as shall be determined from time to time by the Board of Trustees.
Section 2 Reductions
The requirements of Section 1 above may be reduced upon application to the Dues and Assessments Committee and approval by the Board of Trustees or its designees on the recommendation of the Dues and Assessments Committee. A member granted such reduction shall be deemed to be in good standing. The Board may set a minimum assessment to be required of every member.
Section 3. Suspension or Expulsion
A member may be suspended or expelled by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Trustees meeting in closed session, for failure to meet his or her financial responsibilities to the Congregation.
Section 4. Reinstatement
A former member may be reinstated upon settlement of all his or her delinquent obligations.
Section 5. Prior Obligations
The Board may make it a condition of admission to membership or of reinstatement that outstanding financial obligations to a prior New Mexico congregation must first be satisfied.
ARTICLE V. MEETINGS OF THE CONGREGATION MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Annual Meeting
- There shall be one regular meeting of the Congregation membership, i.e., the Annual Meeting. in April of each year, the date, time, and agenda to be fixed by the Board of Trustees.
- The purpose of the Annual Meeting shall be to elect the President, President-Elect, Vice President and a slate of Trustees and to conduct such other business that may come before the members.
- The Annual Meeting shall be presided over by the President, a Past President, or the Parliamentarian.
- Slate voting and acclamation voting shall not be permitted. Each contested and uncontested position must be the subject of an individual ballot.
Section 2. Special Meetings of the Congregation Membership
- Special meetings may be called at the discretion of the President.
- Special meetings must be called by the President at the written request of 35 members of the Congregation or 10 members of the Board of Trustees. The request shall state the purpose of the meeting.
- Upon failure of the President to issue a call for the special meeting within five days of the request, any other officer may issue the call.
- Only the business stated in the call shall be transacted at a special meeting.
- Special Meetings shall be presided over by the President, a Past President, or the Parliamentarian.
- A secret ballot on any action may be called by the presiding officer or by a seconded motion from the floor by any Member in Good Standing qualified to vote at the meeting.
Section 3. Notice
- Notice of the Congregation Annual Meeting shall be given at least 30 days prior to the meeting.
- Notice of Special Meetings of the Congregation shall be given in writing no less than five days nor more than 30 days prior to the meeting.
- Notice of meetings shall be sent by the Secretary of the Congregation by mail to all members at their addresses as they appear on the books of the Congregation.
Section 4. Quorum
- A quorum for the transaction of business at all regular or special meetings of the Congregation shall be ten percent of the members in good standing who are qualified to vote at a meeting of the Congregation as described in Article III, Section 6.
- A quorum once declared shall continue throughout the meeting.
- A family membership shall count as one for the purpose of declaring a quorum.
- The quorum shall be declared by the Parliamentarian or in case of absence by an acting parliamentarian.
Section 5. Voting
- Only members in good standing and present at a meeting shall be eligible to vote.
- Each Individual membership may cast one vote.
- Each spouse or domestic partner of a Family membership who is present at the time a vote is taken may cast one vote.
- Proxy votes are not permitted.
- A majority vote of the members present and voting at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall constitute an act of the membership; unless the act of a greater number is required by law or by these Bylaws.
- Objections to voting status shall be referred to the Financial Secretary or his or her designees for immediate and final determination, which shall be informed by the financial records of the Congregation.
Section 6. Adjournment
A majority of the members present and voting at a meeting at which a quorum is present may adjourn and continue the meeting at another time without further notice.
ARTICLE VI. BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Section 1. Members
The management and administration of the affairs of the Congregation shall be vested in a Board of Trustees comprised of 19 Congregation members in good standing.
Section 2. Worship
The Board of Trustees shall establish rules and regulations for religious worship by the Congregation. The Ritual Committee shall be consulted on matters within its purview as provided herein at Article IX, Section 3, Part A.
Section 3. Dues and Assessments
The Board of Trustees shall establish such dues, assessments, and payment schedules necessary for proper maintenance of the synagogue and its programs.
Section 4. Limitations
The privilege of serving on the Congregation Board of Trustees or holding office is limited to members of B’nai Israel who are of the Jewish faith and who are current (under the terms of their payment agreement(s)) on all financial obligations to the Synagogue and are Family or Individual members in good standing.
Section 5. Appointments
Each Trustee shall be appointed to a standing committee or to serve as a chairperson of a standing committee.
Section 6. Composition
The Board of Trustees shall be comprised of:
- Sixteen members elected from the Congregation membership.
- The immediate Past President, if willing and able to serve, or another Past President of the Board of Trustees
- The following representatives of auxiliary organizations, during the term of their offices.
- President or other representative of the Congregation Sisterhood.
- President or other representative of the Congregation Men’s Club.
- The Sisterhood and Men’s Club shall be represented on the Board by their respective Presidents, unless any such organizational President is unqualified or unable to serve. In such instance, the respective organization may appoint a qualified substitute representative to the Board.
Section 7. Relatives
No full-time employee of Congregation B’nai Israel or relative of such employee may serve on the Board of Trustees.
Section 8. Family limitation
Only one member of a Family membership at a time may serve as an elected member of the Board of Trustees.
Section 9. Nomination for Election at the Annual Meeting of the Congregation Membership
- The President shall meet with the Nominating Committee at least 45 days preceding the date of the Annual Meeting to provide input regarding the needs of the Board for new Trustees and the positions on the Board that are to be filled.
- The Nominating Committee shall distribute in writing its proposed slate of candidates for the offices of President, President-Elect, Vice President, and prospective candidates to the Board for approval by the Board of Trustees at the February meeting of the Board of Trustees, and shall then distribute the approved list of all candidates to the general membership at least thirty days prior to the date of the Annual Meeting.
- Independent nominations may be made by any member in good standing with the prior consent of the nominees, by submitting such nominations in writing to the Nominating Committee at least 15 days preceding the date of the Annual Meeting
- The Nominating Committee shall present the names of candidates for President, President-Elect, Vice President and a slate of candidates for the Board of Trustees, as well as any independent nominations, to the general membership at the Annual Meeting. The composition and duties of the Nominating Committee are specified herein at Article IX, Section 3, Part K.
- The Nominating Committee shall present the slate of candidates for the remaining officers and for members of the Nominating Committee to the Board of Trustees at the Trustee’s meeting immediately following adjournment of the Annual Meeting.
- Nominees for the office of President must have served on the Board of Trustees at least one year prior to nomination.
Section 10. Election and Term of Office
- The President, President-Elect, Vice President and proposed Trustees shall be elected by the Congregation membership at the April Annual Meeting,
- The remaining officers of the Congregation shall be elected by the Trustees at a meeting immediately following adjournment of the Annual Meeting,
- Elected officers shall assume their respective positions immediately following election.
- Term of Office
- Officers shall be elected to a one-year term and may serve no more than two consecutive terms in the same office, but may be eligible for election to that office after a full year has elapsed.
- Each trustee shall be elected for a three year term, or until a successor shall have been elected and qualified. No Trustee elected under this paragraph shall serve for more than two consecutive three-year terms, except as provided below.
- Committee Chairs shall serve one-year terms.
- Prior service as a Trustee or in a different office shall not count against the number of consecutive years that a President, President-Elect, Vice President, or Immediate Past President may serve.
- Trustees, whose terms and additional years of service on the Board of Trustees have expired, as provided above, shall be eligible for election to the Board after a full year has elapsed.
- Questions as to the year of expiration of a Trustee’s term shall be resolved by the Board after reasonable investigation.
Section 11. Vacancies
- A vacancy on the Board of Trustees shall be filled by the Board at any of its regular meetings, upon recommendation of the Nominating Committee.
- A Trustee appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve until the next Annual Meeting of the Congregation and may then be eligible for election to for the duration of the original unexpired term.
- If the unexpired term is a year or less, it shall not be counted as a full term and shall not render the appointee ineligible for two three-year terms.
Section 12. Meetings
- Regular Meetings. The Board of Trustees shall meet monthly on a day designated by resolution of the Board or at the President’s discretion.
- Special Meetings. Special Meetings of the Board of Trustees may be called at the President’s discretion and may be called by the President at the written request of three Trustees. The request shall state the purposes of the meeting. Should the President fail to call for a special meeting within five days of the request, any other officer may issue the call.
- Unexcused Absence. The unexcused absence of a Trustee from three consecutive or four cumulative Board meetings during the twelve months between Annual Meetings of the Congregation shall be cause for removal.
- Closed Session: May be declared by the President or presiding officer in order to restrict attendance exclusively to Board members for discussion of personnel and other confidential matters. No public minutes shall be released from a Closed Session. The term “Executive Session” shall be deemed to mean Closed Session.
Section 13. Quorum
Ten members of the Board of Trustees shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of the Board. A quorum once declared shall be deemed to remain for the entire meeting, except as provided below. The quorum shall be declared by the Parliamentarian or, in case of absence, by an acting parliamentarian.
Section 14. Manner of Acting
A majority of Trustees present at a meeting at which a quorum has been declared shall decide all actions of the Board of Trustees. No new business may be taken up if the quorum is lost.
Section 15. Removal of a Trustee
A Trustee may be removed for non-attendance at Board meetings. Removal shall be executed by the President upon recommendation of the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE VII. OFFICERS
Section 1, List of Officers
The officers of the Congregation shall be: President, President-Elect, Vice President, Secretary, Financial Secretary, Treasurer, and Parliamentarian.
Section 2. Bond
The President, President-Elect, Vice President, Treasurer and the Administrator or acting Administrator shall be required to give such fidelity bond as the Board of Trustees may determine, provided such bond is not less than $50,000.00. The premiums shall be paid by the Congregation.
Section 3. Duties of Officers
All Officers of the Congregation shall carry out their duties in accordance with these bylaws, shall act in the best interest of the Congregation, and shall follow the direction of the Board.
- The President shall be the principal executive officer of the Congregation and shall execute actions of the Board. The President shall preside over all meetings of the Congregation and the Board of Trustees; shall sign all agreements, contracts, deeds, and other documents for the Congregation, pursuant to appropriate resolutions by the Congregation or the Board of Trustees; shall appoint all committee chairpersons; shall approve all committee members after consulting with the relevant committee chairperson; except for the Nominating Committee, and shall perform all duties incident to the office of the President and such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board of Trustees. The President shall be a member, ex officio, without a vote, of all committees, except the Nominating Committee.
- The President-Elect shall be a member of the Long Range Planning Committee and shall chair the Personnel Committee, shall assist the President in matters of personnel, facilities, publicity and administration, and shall act as President in the absence, inability or incapacity of the President.
- The Vice President shall perform such duties as may be assigned by the President. The Vice President shall serve as President-Elect in the absence, inability or incapacity of the President-Elect to so serve. The Vice President shall serve as the President in the absence, inability or incapacity of the President and the President-Elect. The Vice President shall serve as Chair of the Communications Committee.
- The Secretary shall be responsible for all minutes of the Congregation and the Board of Trustees, shall issue notices of meetings, shall prepare correspondence of the Board of Trustees, and shall sign whatever instruments or documents are necessary to effectuate the motions and resolutions of the Congregation or the Board of Trustees.
- The Financial Secretary shall assist the Chairperson of the Budget and Finance Committee in budgeting and management of receipts and in other designated areas. The Financial Secretary shall maintain records of dues and assessments and shall maintain the list of members in good standing. The Financial Secretary shall also ensure that members are notified of delinquencies in dues and assessments payments. The Financial Secretary shall chair the Dues and Assessments Committee and shall serve on the Budget and Finance Committee.
- The Treasurer shall assist the Chairperson of the Budget and Finance Committee in budgeting and management of expenditures and other designated areas. The Treasurer shall make payments by check or voucher for expenditures of the Congregation in accordance with the financial policies of the Board of Trustees, shall serve on the Budget and Finance Committee, and shall attend meetings of the Endowment Fund Board.
- The Parliamentarian shall decide all questions of parliamentary procedure according to these Bylaws, the Articles of Incorporation of the Congregation, and Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised And Updated Edition. The Parliamentarian may vote at meetings of the Board of Trustees.
Section 4. Successors to Office
- In the event of the death, resignation or incapacity of any officer, a Successor shall be elected by the Board of Trustees to fill the unexpired term, except for the office of the President, which shall automatically be filled by the President-Elect. If the President-Elect fills the office of President, the Vice President shall fill the office of the President-Elect. If there is no President-Elect or if the President-Elect fails for any reason to accept or assume the office of the President, then that office shall be filled by the Vice President.
- If the President, the President-Elect and the Vice President who were elected by the Congregation membership at the April Annual Meeting should all be unable or unwilling to carry out the duties of their offices, then any Board member may call a special meeting of the Congregation for the sole purpose of electing one or more members of the Congregation, otherwise qualified, to fill the vacant positions.
Section 5. Removal of Officers
- An Officer of the Board may be considered for removal due to failure to carry out their duties enumerated herein, failure to carry out fiduciary responsibilities, failure to carry out directions of the Board, or other cause determined by the Board.
- Removal of an officer shall be carried out at a Special Meeting of the Board as described in Article VI, Section 12.B. The Parliamentarian shall chair the meeting. A vote of two-thirds of Board members present shall be required for removal. All Board members present may vote.
ARTICLE VIII. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Section 1. Composition
The Executive Committee shall be comprised of the President, the President-Elect, the Vice President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the President of the Men’s Club, the President of the Sisterhood and other members of the Board appointed at the discretion of the President.
Section 2. Duties
The Executive Committee shall determine the agenda of the Board of Trustees and shall report to the Board of Trustees on all matters regarding the operation of the Congregation. All requests for action by the Board of Trustees shall first be presented to the Executive Committee which shall make recommendations to the Board of Trustees. The committee shall function as a liaison between the Congregation, the professional staff, the news media, and other religions and related entities. All publicity and news releases going to the news media other than the Congregation bulletin or newsletter shall be approved by this Committee or its designee.
Section 3. Powers
The Executive Committee shall be empowered to authorize the President to take action or make decisions requiring immediate action.
Section 4. Meetings
Executive Committee meetings are closed except for express invitation for a specific business matter.
ARTICLE IX. COMMITTEES
Section 1. Chairpersons
- The President shall appoint a committee chairperson for each standing committee from the members of the Board of Trustees or the membership of Congregation B’nai Israel. Unless otherwise specified in these Bylaws, the privilege of serving on the Ritual or Education Committees is limited to persons of the Jewish faith. Committee chairpersons shall serve at the pleasure of the President and may be removed without good cause, except for the Officers whose duties include chairing a Standing Committee or unless otherwise specified in these Bylaws. The chairpersons of the following Committees must be members of the Board of Trustees: Ritual Committee, Education Committee, Ways and Means Committee, Membership Committee, Budget and Finance Committee, Program Committee, Communications Committee.
- Duties of Chairpersons
- Standing Committee Chairpersons shall chair their respective committees as needed to accomplish each committee’s function. The Committee Chairperson shall confer with the President regarding all business acted upon by their respective Committees. Committee chairpersons who are not Trustees must attend monthly Board meetings as part of their duties, in order to give reports and answer questions from the Board.
- The Chairperson of the Ritual Committee shall assist the President in matters of ritual, burial, and in other areas as designated by the President.
- The Chairperson of the Budget and Finance Committee shall assist the President in matters of budgeting, fund raising, financial management, and in other areas designated by the President.
- The Chairperson of the Education Committee shall assist the President in matters of youth and adult education and in other areas designated by the President.
- The Chairperson of the Youth Activities Committee shall assist the President in matters relating to the United Synagogue Youth, Kadima, and other youth activities, and in other areas designated by the President.
Section 2. Composition
The President shall select members of the respective standing committees after consultation with the relevant committee chairperson, except for Nominating Committee members, who shall be elected by the Board of Trustees. The President shall determine the number and composition of the standing committees after consultation with the relevant committee chairperson, unless otherwise-specified in these bylaws. The privilege of serving on the Ritual or Education Committees is limited to persons of the Jewish faith. The President may replace a committee member who resigns or misses three consecutive meetings, after consultation with the chairperson of the relevant committee. Each standing committee must have a member of the Board of Trustees either as chairperson or as a committee member, with the exception of the Burial Committee, the Endowment Fund Committee, and the Library Committee.
Section 3. Standing Committees
In order to assist in carrying on the business of the Congregation, to fulfill specific functions, and to develop leadership, there shall be the following Standing Committees:
- Ritual Committee: The Ritual Committee recommends to the Board of Trustees the ritual of the religious services of the Congregation. The committee shall include the Rabbi, the Cantor; two Trustees, two members of the Congregation at large, and one representative each from the Sisterhood and the Men’s Club. The Education Director shall serve as an ex officio member.
- Education Committee: The Education Committee determines the content and policy of all Congregation education components, subject to approval by the Board of Trustees. The Committee shall include, but not be limited to: two Trustees, two members of the Congregation at large, and one representative each from the Sisterhood, the Men’s Club, the teaching staff and the Parent Teacher Organization. The Rabbi, the Cantor, and the Education Director shall serve as ex officio members. This committee, with the recommendations of the Education Director, shall approve the hiring and retention of all teaching staff.
- Burial Committee: The Burial Committee administers the cemeteries of the Congregation. The Committee shall be comprised of the Directors of the Burial Association, who shall account and report to the Board of Trustees, semiannually.
- The Endowment Fund Committee. The Endowment Fund Committee administers, invests and accounts for the Endowment Fund of the Congregation. The Committee shall consist of the Directors of the B’nai Israel Endowment Fund, who shall report at least annually to the Board of Trustees. The Congregation Treasurer shall attend meetings of the Endowment Fund Committee and the Endowment Fund Board.
- House Committee: The House Committee obtains estimates for repairs and improvements of property and submits these to the Board of Trustees for approval; recommends the purchase of interior and exterior equipment, as well as the purchase and leasing of office equipment; maintains an adequate inventory of supplies; assists in drafting rules and fee schedules for the use of the premises, and presents these annually to the Board of Trustees for approval.
- Ways and Means Committee: The Ways and Means Committee administers and approves plans for all fund raising activities for the Congregation.
- Youth Activities Committee: The Youth Activities Committee coordinates and approves all youth activities, except religious school activities, whether on or off Congregation property, and recommends to the Board of Trustees the appointment of a youth advisor.
- Membership Committee: The Membership Committee receives all applications for membership and reports thereon to the Board of Trustees; meets prospective members and invites them to membership; and initiates activities to stimulate the growth and the best interests of the membership. Membership retention shall be a function of the committee. The Chairperson shall be a member of the Dues and Assessments Committee.
- Dues and Assessments Committee: The Dues and Assessments Committee responds to requests for dues and assessments reevaluations; contracts delinquent members to try to bring them into financial compliance; and recommends to the Board of Trustees suspension or termination of delinquent members. The Financial Secretary shall chair the Dues and. Assessments Committee. The Committee shall include the Chairperson of the Budget and Finance Committee and the Chairperson of the Membership Committee.
- Budget and Finance Committee:
- Evaluates and approves the purchase of insurance for the Congregation for recommendation to the Board of Trustees.
- Prepares an annual budget with recommendations to the Board of Trustees at its regular meeting preceding the new fiscal year.
- Presents budget modifications with recommendations to the Board of Trustees.
- Evaluates all employment contracts for recommendation and reviews all other matters with fiscal impact prior to action by the Board bf Trustees.
- Meets with the President-Elect, Committee Chairpersons, Religious and Preschool Directors, and the Administrator, to prepare fiscal plans for the Congregation.
- The Budget and Finance Committee shall include, but not be limited to: the President-Elect, the Treasurer, the Financial Secretary, two Trustees and two members of the congregation at large. The chairperson shall be a member of the Dues and Assessments Committee.
- Nominating Committee: The Nominating Committee nominates a suitably qualified candidate for each office, for each vacancy on the Board of Trustees and for each vacancy on the Nominating Committee as prescribed in Article VI, Section 9, and Section 11. A. The Nominating Committee shall be comprised of four members, who are elected by the Board of Trustees and the Chairperson, who is appointed by the President.
- Personnel Committee: The Personnel Committee negotiates and reviews all employment agreements and evaluates the performance of each employee. The Personnel Committee shall make recommendations to the Board of Trustees regarding the hiring and termination of all employees of the Congregation. The President-Elect shall chair this committee. The Personnel Committee shall coordinate with the Long Range Planning Committee when setting employee performance goals that affect the outcome of the Strategic Plan.
- Arts Judaica Committee: The Arts Judaica Committee is responsible for insuring that the interior and exterior decor of Congregation B’nai Israel accentuate the spirit and symbols of the Judaic tradition. The committee establishes guidelines for and makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees regarding acquisition and placement of art work or other gifts-in-kind; sets procedures for processing, cataloging, and. maintenance; and reviews requests for donations, purchases, and gifts-in-kind.
- Program Committee: The Program Committee shall be responsible for arranging and coordinating the Cultural, Social, and family programs and activities of the Congregation.
- Library Committee: The Library Committee shall be responsible for the collection, organization and maintenance of print, audio, and video resource materials for the Isidore Bloch Memorial Library.
- Long-Range Planning Committee. The Long Range Planning Committee shall be responsible for developing and maintaining an ongoing Strategic Plan to guide the future growth and activities of the Congregation. The President-Elect shall serve on the Long-Range Planning Committee.
- Communications Committee: The Communications Committee shall be responsible for Public Relations, Marketing, and Community Outreach, including keeping informed about community activities and opportunities for funding and participation in events. The Communications Committee shall coordinate the calendar of events for the other committees and synagogue organizations, and shall be chaired by the Vice President.
Section 4. Special Committees
The President may appoint such special committees as the President deems necessary. These may include:
- Bylaws Committee: The Bylaws Committee shall regularly review the congregation’s Bylaws and recommend changes to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees may request the Bylaws Committee to review specific sections of the Bylaws and make recommendations for changes.
ARTICLE X. FISCAL POLICIES
Section 1. The Board of Trustees:
- Shall determine the fiscal year.
- Shall approve the operating budget of the Congregation for each fiscal year.
- Shall be charged with and assume control of all the property of the Congregation.
- Shall designate the financial institutions for deposit of Congregation funds.
- Shall designate the financial institutions for the Congregation’s line of credit.
- Shall be responsible for all expenditures and disposal of Congregation funds and property.
- Shall invest Congregation funds only in investments permitted by law for fiduciaries.
Section 2. Expenditures
- Emergency expenditures not exceeding $10,000 may be approved by the President, with agreement of the President-Elect and the Treasurer, and must be reported to the next meeting of the Board of Trustees.
- All promissory notes obligating the Congregation shall be signed by the President. All checks shall be signed by the President, or by the President-Elect if the President is unavailable, or by the Treasurer if neither the President nor the President-Elect is available.
- The Board of Trustees may determine the maximum funds a committee may expend without prior approval of the Board of Trustees.
Section 3. Budget Limits
All fiscal matters exceeding budget limits shall be presented to the Budget and Finance Committee prior to action by the Board of Trustees.
Section 4. Liability Insurance
The Congregation shall provide Officers and Trustees with liability insurance.
ARTICLE XI. INDEMNIFICATION
Section 1. Persons Indemnified
The Congregation shall indemnify any trustee, officer, standing committee chairperson or former trustee, officer, or standing committee chairperson against any reasonable loss, cost, expense, and attorney’s fees actually and reasonably incurred by him or her or about to be. incurred in connection with the defense of any action, suit, or proceeding in which he or she is made a party by reason of being or having been such trustee, officer, or standing committee chairperson, except in relation to matters as to which he or she shall be judged in such action, suit or proceeding to be guilty or liable for recklessness or willful misconduct in the performance of his or her duties. The Congregation shall also reimburse to any trustee, officer, standing committee chairperson, or former trustee, officer, or standing committee chairperson, the reasonable costs of settlement or the amount of any judgment in any such action, suit, or proceeding, so long as that trustee, officer, standing committee chairperson, or former trustee, officer, or standing committee chairperson was not found guilty or liable of recklessness or willful misconduct. Such rights of indemnification and reimbursement shall not be deemed exclusive of any other rights to which such trustee, officer, standing committee chairperson or former trustee, officer, or standing committee chairperson may be entitled under any bylaws, agreements, vote of the Congregation or applicable law.
Section 2. Good Faith
Each officer, trustee, standing committee chairperson or member of any committee designated by the President or by the Board of Trustees, in the performance of his or her duties, shall not be liable to the Congregation or its members if the trustee relied in good faith upon the books of account or reports made to the Congregation by any of its officials, or by an independent public accountant or by an appraiser selected with reasonable care by the Board of Trustees, nor shall any committee member be liable for acting in reliance, in good faith, upon the books or other records of the Congregation.
ARTICLE XII. EMPLOYEES
Section 1. Rabbi
The pulpit of this congregation shall be occupied by an ordained Rabbi who shall report to the Board of Trustees.
Section 2. Clergy Appointment
The hiring of the Rabbi and Cantor shall be approved by a vote of the Congregation. Clergy appointments may be terminated by the Board of Trustees.
Section 3. Other Employees
All other employees of the Congregation shall be hired by the Board of Trustees or its designees.
Section 4. Other Appointments
All appointments and contracts not covered above shall be approved by the Board of Trustees or its designees.
Section 5. Contracts and Termination
The Board of Trustees or its designee shall negotiate all contracts, contract renewals and terminations, including those of clergy. As provided herein at Article VII, Section 3, Part A, the President shall sign all contracts and contract renewals.
ARTICLE XIII. AUXILIARY ORGANIZATIONS
Section 1. Sisterhood and Men’s Club
The Congregation may have a Sisterhood, Men’s Club and such other auxiliary organizations as shall be authorized from time to time by the Board of Trustees.
Section 2. Other Auxiliary Organizations
The B’nai Israel Burial Association and the B’nai Israel Endowment Fund, each separately incorporated, are auxiliaries of Congregation B’nai Israel and, as such, shall operate for the benefit of the Congregation and shall report to the Board of Trustees as provided herein and as requested by the Board. The Burial Association and the Endowment Fund are independent corporations and report to the Board of Trustees through their associated standing committees.
Section 3. Auxiliary Organizations Bylaws
The Bylaws of any auxiliary organization should be consistent with these Bylaws and all policies of the Congregation. The Congregation Board of Trustees shall act expeditiously to resolve any inconsistencies that arise.
Section 4. Auxiliary Organization Activities
The activities of all auxiliary organizations of the Congregation shall be conducted in a manner to advance the best interests of the Congregation.
ARTICLE XIV. AMENDMENTS
Section 1. Manner of Amending
These Bylaws may be amended in the following manner:
- A proposal to amend the Bylaws shall be signed by at least 10 members in good standing of the Congregation and be submitted in writing to the Parliamentarian, who shall review the proposal within 30 days of its receipt. The Parliamentarian shall report thereon to the Board of Trustees within 30 days after review of the proposal. Any proposal submitted to, but not reviewed by the Parliamentarian within 30 days shall be presented automatically to the Board of Trustees at its next meeting following the 30–day period. The Board of Trustees and the Parliamentarian may also initiate proposals to amend the Bylaws.
- The Board of Trustees shall consider all proposals to amend at its next meeting following the procedures set forth in A. (above) or at its next meeting following a proposal initiated by the Parliamentarian or the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees must submit to the Congregation membership any proposal signed by 10 members and shall make recommendations concerning the proposal to the membership. Amendments initiated by the Parliamentarian or the Board of Trustees must be approved by the Board of Trustees before submission to the Congregation membership.
- Proposed amendments may be presented to the membership at its Annual Meeting or at a Special Meeting called for that purpose. The Board of Trustees, through its Parliamentarian, shall submit its recommendations regarding any proposal to amend. Notice of any proposed amendment to be presented to the members shall be published at least 30 days prior to the Annual or Special Meeting at which the proposed amendment is to be considered.
- Amendments may be adopted by a two-thirds vote of the members of the Congregation present and voting and shall become effective immediately.
Section 2. Resubmission
A proposed amendment to the Bylaws, which has been rejected by the membership, may not be resubmitted for consideration until 12 months have elapsed since said rejection.
END OF BYLAWS