Recap of June 16, 2016 WJC board meeting and June 23 Evening of Sharing

Dear WJC family and friends,

At the June 16 WJC board meeting, one of the main topics was the transition we will set in place as our beloved Executive Director Karen Tashman prepares to leave us in early August for her move to Florida to care for her mother. It will be a multi-pronged effort in the short term with Education Coordinator Dee Graziano and Executive Assistant Anna Langford each picking up more duties in the interim. At the same time, the board is in the midst of hiring a new bookkeeper, who will also support the Treasurer and Finance Committee to fulfill the functions of a business manager for the time being. At the helm, of course, will be your board, who are all resolved to increase their duties as necessary during the changeover.

Meanwhile, the board will begin the search for a new executive director with a reevaluation of the shul's needs at the current time. The WJC's requirements ten years ago when Karen was hired may not be exactly the same as our needs today, and a reconfiguring of the position's duties may be warranted. Once we determine this, we will begin seeking the individual who will help the shul move forward in the long term. The job posting will then be available at the office so you may see what it is we are searching for to fill the position.

In other business, the WJC is moving forward with our day-to-day business. As you all know, our annual yard sale — one of our two major fundraisers — is scheduled this year for Sunday, July 17. Go to, https://wjc.memberclicks.net/assets/events/yard-sale/2016/2016- 05%20-%20yard%20sale%20calendar%20revised.pdf for a list of drop-off dates and items that are needed, or those items which cannot be accepted. Please bring us your goods and find time to volunteer for this important event that is also very much a gateway to the larger community who are our guests that day.

The board is looking for volunteers for a committee of three individuals to comprise a Cemetery Committee, who would regulate the sale of plots in our section of Kingston's Montrepose Cemetery that adjoins other Jewish sections there, meet with families who want to purchase a plot, and carry on communications with the cemetery to ensure the section and records are properly and respectfully maintained. This is an important role and, if you have an especially loving nature, we want you. Please speak with Anna Langford in the office, (845) 679-2218.

The WJC Finance Committee, under the leadership of Danny Rubenstein has launched a Legacy Builders Initiative with the roll-out meeting on June 5 at the shul. A group of about 40 members listened as Rabbi Jonathan discussed tzedakah, sharing the story of a man who wanted to plant a tree that wouldn't bear fruit for 70 years. When asked why he was doing this when he wouldn't be here to eat the fruit, he responded that others before him had planted trees in the past, whose fruit he was enjoying now.

Our guest speaker, Beryl Chernov, Executive Director of Manhattan's Park Avenue Synagogue, made a pro bono presentation, explaining that everyone can and must participate, even in a small way, for the shul to be sustainable. Donors can remember the WJC in their will, or name the shul as a beneficiary or co-beneficiary in an insurance policy or IRA. Another legacy method involves a charitable gift annuity, through which the donor continues to receive the interest during his or her lifetime.

Joe Toochin was the original impetus for this initiative. For more information, please speak to Joe, Danny, or our President, Ron-David Gold. The June 5 legacy building meeting was the first of several the Finance Committee plans to schedule.

The Ritual Committee is seeking individuals to chair specific holiday functions at the shul. Ellen Triebwasser stepped up recently to oversee Shavuot and a volunteer has been found for Simchat Torah. Please contact Gail Albert to take on a holiday in this special way of giving.

At our Second Evening of Sharing on June 23, the group of over 60 participants broke into smaller groups of eight people, who discussed the day-to-day things they would like to see happen at the shul. The overriding message was clear: members want better communication and more events — not all of which need be religious — where they can interact as a community. And a great way to be part of the community is to join a committee or take on a specific task if that suits your schedule better. As always, contact Anna or Ron-David Gold to see what is needed.

Remember, you always have access to the full board minutes and are welcome to attend the regular meetings in person on the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 P.M. (If you would like to address the Board at a meeting, however, please contact Board President Ron-David Gold at [email protected] in advance so he can put you on the agenda.)

Some upcoming dates to remember:

  • Annual Yard Sale: July 17 and 18
  • Shabbat Service and Luncheon honoring Karen Tashman: August 6
  • Annual Keter Shem Tov: November 19.

Shalom,

Your WJC Board of Directors