B'nai Sholom

Reform Congregation

Albany, NY

Yom Rishon, 1 Tammuz 5777

COMMITTEES MAKE OUR CONGREGATION WORK

B’nai Sholom’s programs and activities are planned and facilitated by many committees of congregants.  Most of our committees are eager to welcome new members.  We encourage all our congregants to participate in the efforts and activities of our committees.  If you would like to, feel free to contact the committee chair about joining, sitting in on a meeting, or about participating in its activities (consult the directory for the phone number or email address or call the office).  Most committees also have email distribution lists that allow committee members to share information outside of committee meetings.

Through the email lists, you can be an active participant in a committee even if you cannot attend meetings.  What follows is a brief description of all of our current committees and their contact information.

Board of Trustees  board@bnaisholom.albany.ny.us

Mimi Bruce, President  president@bnaisholom.albany.ny.us

Melody Bruce - President 2014-2015Our Board meets the first Tuesday of the month, unless deferred by a holiday.  Management and administration of the affairs, revenues, and property of the Congregation are vested in the Board, whose meetings are open to all the members of the Congregation.  See our by-laws for more detail.

Administration Committee  administration@bnaisholom.albany.ny.us

Libby Liebschutz, chair  libbyliebschutz@gmail.com

The BSRC Administration and Personnel Committee is a standing committee that develops and recommends policies to the BSRC Board and oversees their administration to ensure clarity of purpose, equity of application, and fair and ethical treatment of its employees and in the conduct of its business.

Adult Education

Barney Horowitz, chair  blh28@cornell.edu

Believing that "learning-learning-learning: that is the secret of Jewish survival" (Ahad Haam) and "the advancement of learning is the highest commandment" (Maimonides), the Adult Education Committee will endeavor to facilitate, coordinate and create educational programming for the B'nai Sholom community.  We will continue our weekly TORAH STUDY.  The weekly Torah portion or other text will be discussed.  No knowledge of Hebrew is needed or pre-supposed.  Open to all, no reservations, no fees.  Every Shabbat morning 9:30-10:30.  Once monthly, we enjoy “extended Torah study” 9:30- Noon.  See calendar for dates.

Bulletin Committee

Christine Blackman, chair  office@bnaisholom.albany.ny.us

Christine Blackman cr200Our monthly bulletin is our primary means of communicating with the congregation.  If you'd like to help lay out, produce, distribute, or otherwise create this important publication, please join us!  And if you have a contribution for a specific bulletin, here are the submission deadlines for the coming year:

Bulletin Date Last Submission Date
 June  May 11, 2016
 July  June 15, 2016
 August  July 13, 2016
 September  August 10, 2016
 October  September 14, 2016
 November  October 12, 2016
 December  November 9, 2016
 January  December 14, 2016
 February  January 11, 2017
 March  February 8, 2017
 April  March 8, 2017
 May  April 12, 2017
 June  May 10, 2017

 

Caring Community

Ruth Swift, Chair  hswift1@nycap.rr.com

IMG 0494 Ruth Swift rB’nai Sholom’s Caring Community exists to help our congregants in times of crisis. Because unusual stresses, illness, or bereavement can strike at any time, it is important to know that we have people on whom we can depend.  The Caring Community program has available, before the need arises, people willing and able to help.  As new needs develop, the Caring Community will make every effort to meet them.

Congregants may need help and support when someone is sick or home-bound, a new baby arrives, someone is bereaved, there is an accident, tragedy, or other trauma.  Meals can be made available when needed. To request assistance, congregants simply call the synagogue office, the rabbi, or a member of the Caring Community Steering Committee.  Allowing the Caring Community to give assistance provides its volunteers to opportunity to perform a mitzvah.

KIT (Keep In Touch), a project of the Caring Community

We would like to Keep In Touch with our young adults who are away from home at college, in military service, etc.  Please e-mail or call with current addresses.

Cemetery Committee 

Bill Schwartz  taberdar@aol.com

B’nai Sholom’s cemetery is a picturesque and peaceful dedicated section of the Elmwood Hill Cemetery in Troy, New York.  The Cemetery Committee coordinates cemetery activity, defines procedures and serves as a point of contact between synagogue members, area funeral directors, monument companies and cemetery staff.  For information and to see pictures of the cemetery or to purchase a cemetery privilege, please contact the office.

 Communications Committee

 Chair: Barbara Devore barbaradevore1@gmail.com    

 The Communications Committee coordinates and facilitates communications both within the congregation and with the wider community. We gather information regarding activities of committees, staff, officers, the Board of Trustees, and the congregation generally for dissemination via internal and external media, with the goal of increasing congregational and community awareness of offerings and opportunities at B'nai Sholom. We provide publicity for upcoming events, including taking photographs, issuing press releases, designing posters and fliers, and posting events to Facebook and the BSRC web site. Submissions should be emailed to: publicity@bnaisholom.albany.ny.us

Finance Committee 

Liz Davis, Finance VP and chair  lizdavis@nycap.rr.com

The Finance Committee monitors congregational income and expenses throughout the year and prepares the annual budget for consideration by the Board.

Fundraising Committee 

Carol Smith ( committee contact ) & Shelia Schwartz  csmith1161@gmail.com

The Fundraising Committee contributes to the synagogue's budget by developing and implementing creative, practical, and interesting activities and events.  Along with some tried and true annual activities, there are always new ideas presented and carried out.  A traditional event is the sale of the Entertainment Book. There have been family activities, such as the Game Night and our Annual Concert.  This year we will once again have our Purim baskets fundraiser and the Goods and Services Auction is every other year (even years).  The committee is always looking for new members.

Historian

Bettina Stoller, chair  bfstoller@gmail.com

The boxes of records dating back to the formation of the congregation have been organized over the past couple of years.  Our continuing goal is to make our historical records easily accessible and secure from damage, loss, and neglect and to be sure current and future materials are properly documented and archived.  If you'd like to help with this effort, contact Bettina!

Hospitality Committee

Deb Adler  dadler@urgrad.rochester.edu

Linda Strohl  lstrohl3772@gmail.com

Want to host an Oneg Shabbat?  Call Linda (785-3772) or Deb (669-5595).  Click here for Oneg Guidelines

House Committee

Phil Teumim, Chair  teumim@aol.com

The house committee works to maintain and improve the synagogue's physical facilities, inside and outside.

Judaica Shop

(looking for a chair!)

The Judaica Shop offers to the members of the B'nai Sholom family a variety of ritual objects and other Jewish-theme items.  We do this to encourage hiddur mitzvah (the beautification of the performance of mitzvot) and reinforce Jewish identity.  Congregants may purchase items on display whenever the Temple Office is open. Other hours will be posted in our bulletin.

Library Committee

(looking for a chair!)

The Library Committee is a group of B'nai Sholom congregants that sets policy for, oversees and manages the Library and its collection to stimulate interest in, and ensure access to, a vibrant collection of Judaic resources for the membership and the Jewish community.

B’nai Sholom’s Library is available to congregants whenever the building is open.  Most, but not all materials circulate.  Please be sure to sign out all circulating materials.  Please return all materials promptly.

Membership Committee 

Co-chairs: Hana Sullenger,  hszima@yahoo.com

                   Bettina Stoller,  bfstoller@gmail.com

The Membership Committee develops programs to encourage unaffiliated members of the Jewish community to get to know how B’nai Sholom can meet their spiritual needs.  The Committee also sponsors a series of special events for current members, to help them get to know other congregants, to celebrate life cycle events, and to assist them with spiritual, emotional, and practical support.

Typical events planned throughout the year include:

  • Rosh Hashanah luncheons    
  • New Member Shabbat followed by a pot luck dinner    
  • Longevity Shabbat (for families with 18 years of membership)    
  • Volunteer Shabbat    
  • Graduating Senior Shabbat

The Committee welcomes new members, especially those with young children and those who are empty nesters!

Nominating Committee

Jodi Kerper, chair  jodi_kerper@yahoo.com

The Nominating Committee presents candidates for officer and trustee positions to the congregation and Board for consideration and election.  The Nominating Committee's composition and mandate is described in our bylaws.

Religious School Committee

Mark Silverbush  msilver6@nycap.rr.com

The Religious School Committee advocates, sets policy for, and supports the congregation’s religious school.  It is the committee’s goal to ensure an education program that provides students with knowledge and understanding of Jewish history, tradition, values, and practices in order to promote Jewish identity, participation in the Jewish community, and a life-long love of learning.

The committee addresses matters that impact the effective running of the religious school including teacher training and support, recruitment and retention of students, communication with parents and ways to enhance students’ engagement in Jewish education beyond their Sunday school classes.  This year we will be addressing, among other issues, ways to influence our students to remain active in the religious school after their B’nai Mitzvah, with a focus on fostering that vision throughout their schooling.

Members are welcome to attend committee meetings to voice concerns, present ideas or to become more aware of our issues and process.  We meet at 7:30 pm, on the second Thursday of each month.

Ritual Committee

Co-Chairs:   Mimi Bruce mbrucemd53@gmail.com

                     Melissa Putterman-Hoffmann ghoffma1@nycap.rr.com

The Ritual Committee serves to maintain and enhance the spiritual life of the Congregation. In fulfillment of this goal, the Committee's efforts include:

  • Aiding the Rabbi in formatting services for the festivals,   
  •  In consultation with the Rabbi, proposing policy involving life-cycle events;    
  • Preparation for festival events e.g. Tu Bishevat and Purim;    
  • Composing and/or formatting services for special occasions   
  • Recruitment of lay readers for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

Scholarship Committee 

Martha Rozett, Chair  rozett@albany.edu

The Scholarship Committee is responsible for allocating student scholarships to Jewish overnight camps and summer Israel trips.  The committee does not meet regularly, but only as needed to set policy for the scholarships.  The committee solicits applications in early January and meets shortly thereafter to distribute available scholarship funds.

New members are welcome!

Social Action Committee

Becky Marvin & Yossi Koren-Roth  rmarvin@nycap.rr.com  amyossi@yahoo.com

The Social Action Committee educates the congregation and community about social issues from a Reform Jewish perspective, and provides congregants’ opportunities to be involved in direct action to better our community and the world. Activities include presenting educational materials and programs related to these areas, informing pubic officials about Reform Jewish positions on current issues and legislation, and encouraging congregational engagement in associated activities.

The Social Action Committee has recently focused on:

  1. Supporting childhood literacy in under-served areas
  2. Food/Hunger programs (see Soup Kitchen ad)
  3. Universal Health Care promotion
  4. Disaster recovery
  5. Solar cookers

On-going Projects in 2013-2014:

  • Social Action Shabbat-May 9, 2014
  • Blood Drives- November 24, 2013 and April 27, 2014
  • Clothing Drives-usually same day as blood drives

Additional projects are under consideration, however, congregational interest and participation in each project determines our capacity to pursue and support. Monthly meetings are held on the last Tuesday evening of each month.

 

Technology Committee 

 (Looking for a chair!) Members: Bruce Goldstein

                                                          Mitch Levin

                                                          Adam Elias

                                                          Ruth Burkowsky

 

The Technology Committee is a group of BSRC congregants that works on technology systems and tools for use by the BSRC community to more effectively and efficiently use our resources.  Included in the Technology Committee's efforts are management of our internal computing resources including both the hardware and software environments, support of our web pages and email lists, and general consulting for BSRC staff on technical issues.

Youth Committee 

Chairs:  Joel Bloom  (joeldbloom@gmail.com) and Liz Davis  (lizdavis@nycap.rr.com)

This committee serves as program support and policy-making committee for youth group.  Our Senior Youth Group, YOBS, serves students in grades 9-12.

Volunteer Activities 

Glen Charles, chair  Gchar67753@aol.com

Now there is an easy and convenient way to get involved: with the help of our Volunteer Activities Committee!  Our mission is to match willing congregants with opportunities to help "fill in the gaps" for other committees, as well as to assist with special projects or activities that arise within the synagogue during the year.  Do you have an extra free hour or two every week or month, or would you be willing to be called upon for a one-time task? Have you been thinking about joining a committee, but don't feel you have enough time to devote? This might be just what you're looking for.  The time commitment need not be large.

And if you're interested in joining the Volunteer Activities committee to help shepherd this project, please contact Glen.