Committees

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.
    
    
Our 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.
    
Adult Education
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 9:30-11:00.  Once monthly, we enjoy extended Torah study 9:30 – Noon with bagels, lox, coffee and whatever shows up!
 
B’nai Sholom Representation on B’Yachad Board
Julie Novkov- Bloom (current B’Yachad Board President through June 2019) julienovkov@hotmail.com
Julie Friedman (term expiring June 2019) jbfriedman8@gmail.com
Laura Kaplan (term expiring June 2020) lckaplan79@gmail.com
The B’Yachad Board meets regularly to set policy, review the budget, and monitor the educational programs. The Board evaluates the
Religious School Education Director and makes recommendations to the member congregations. Board members serve as liasons between
their respective congregations and the B’Yachad Board.
Caring Community
B’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 CommunityWe 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, Chair  taberdar53@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

Benjamin Marvin, Chair bamarvin4574@gmail.com

The Communications Committee keeps congregants and the wider Jewish community informed about events and activities taking place at B’nai Sholom. We maintain the congregation’s website, Facebook page and Twitter feed, coordinate and often author articles for the B’nai Sholom bulletin, write press releases, take pictures of events that have occurred for publication in the bulletin and on Facebook, Twitter and our website, create flyers and posters and design advertisements for inclusion in local newspapers. The committee meets the last Monday of the month and we welcome new members.  If you enjoy writing, and/or taking photos, or creating eye catching flyers, please get in touch with Ben!

Our 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!  Contact Christine Blackman, office manager.  Click here for Bulletin Submission Deadlines.

Disabilities Committee

Roy Fruiterman, Chair lebelge@nycap.rr.com

The Disabilities Committee is an initiative inspired by the Jewish Federation of the Capital District.  It is B’nai Sholom’s goal to make the synagogue, both the congregants and physical building, more accessible to those members of the Jewish community with special needs.  The committee attempts to identify the barriers that exist for those congregants and potential congregants with developmental, physical, and emotional disabilities.  We are trying to identify and enable actions that can be taken to offer these people a more friendly and inclusive environment in which to pray and socialize. 

If you are intested in being a part of our committee, contact Roy Fruiterman.

Finance Committee

Joan Savitt, Finance VP,  Chair  jnsavitt@yahoo.com

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

Fundraising Committee 

Lois Gordon, Chair  rgordon1@nycap.rr.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

Linda Strohl, Chair lstrohl3772@gmail.com

Want to host an Oneg Shabbat?  Contactl Linda.  Click here for important Oneg Guidelines

House Committee

Phil Teumim, Chair  philteumim@gmail.com

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

Judaica Shop

Sheila Schwartz, Chair Momsdacook@aol.com

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.

Legacy Campaign

Mimi Bruce, Chair mbrucemd53@gmail.com

The BSRC Legacy Campaign Committee is a small group of congregants who have committed to educating fellow congregants on the value of and the means for developing an endowment for B’nai Sholom.  By encouraging fellow members to include B’nai Sholom in their estate planning, the Legacy Committee hopes to guarantee the future of our synagogue in the Jewish community of the Capital District.  If you are interested in working with the committee, or in providing for B’nai Sholom through your will or some other financial instrument, please contact Mimi Bruce.

The Legacy Society is that honored group of individuals who have committed to providing a gift now or in ther estate for B’nai Sholom.

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

Libby Liebschutz, Chair 518-439-5089 or libbyliebschutz@gmail.comThis committee is dedicated to finding and welcoming newcomers to our congregation, helping to forge connections between B'nai Sholom 
and unaffiliated Jews in the Capital region, and disseminating information about the congregation and the benefits of becoming part of the
B'nai Sholom community.

Member Events Committee
Bettina Stoller, Chair  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
Libby Liebschutz, Chair libbyliebschutz@gmail.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.

Ritual Committee

Melissa Putterman-Hoffmann, Chair 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
  • providing lay leaders to fill in when the Rabbi is away.

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

Co-chairs: Becky Marvin rmarvin@nycap.rr.com  and Valerie Tabak walksing53@aol.com

B’nai Sholom is a Brit Olam Congregation.  As such, 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 public officials about Reform Jewish positions on current issues and legislation, and encouraging congregational engagement in associated activities.

The Social Action Committee currently focuses on:

  1. Advocacy:  Tools for our congregation
  2. Childhood literacy
  3. Homeless families
  4. Hunger programs
  5. Universal Health Care

Projects and programs continuing in 2018-19

            -Advocacy training for congregants, through programs and literature
            -Civic engagement
            -Being active participants in work that aligns with our Brit Olam responsibilities
            -Establishing and maintaining a small book nook at The Schuyler Inn, a homeless shelter in Albany (estimated start late September 2018)
            -Books For Babies-providing new books to expectant parents in homes where reading is not a tradition.  At present, we work with The Baby Institute in Albany and are always open to new joint ventures.
            -Family Promise- interfaith community support for homeless children and their families
            -Empty Bowls- Hunger Action Fundraiser
            -Soup Kitchen partnering with Congregation Beth Emeth
            -Support for Capital District Alliance for Universal Healthcare
            -Semi-annual clothing drives (November 2018 and Spring 2019)

The Social Action Committee meets monthly at the synagogue, on the second Thursday of the month at 7:00 pm.  We welcome new members and are always looking for additional ways that we can be a presence in the Capital District.

Technology Committee

Looking for a chair

The Technology Committee is a group of BSRC congregants that work 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 Jodi Kerper jodi_kerper@yahoo.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.