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
 
Barney Horowitz, Chair  horowitz28@verizon.net
At B’nai Sholom, mindful that “the advancement of learning is the highest commandment” (Maimonides), 
we are a congregation of lifelong learners, where Adult Education allows us to explore Judaism and the 
whole world through a Jewish perspective. The Adult Education Committee meets occasionally throughout 
the year planning a range of programming from classes to movies to lectures and concerts. Volunteers are 
always welcome. See elsewhere on this website or check our bulletin for current listings.

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 liaison between their respective congregations and the B’Yachad Board.

Caring Community
 
Amy Koren-Roth, Chair amykr76@gmail.com

The Caring Community can call on congregants who are willing and able to mobilize quickly when events such 
as births, bereavement and accidents make their inevitable way into our lives.

If you or someone you know needs assistance, help and support when:

  • someone is sick or confined
  • a new baby arrives
  • there’s been a death in the family
  • there’s a tragedy, accident or trauma
Please call the office manager and/or the rabbi – 518-482-5283 – to notify us of the situation so we can 
initiate our support services. “On three things does the world stand: On Torah, on worship and on deeds 
of lovingkindness” Pirkei Avot 1:2.

 

Cemetery Committee
 
Bill Schwartz, Chair  taberdar53@gmail.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 rfruiterman@gmail.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 and 
fun activities and events.  New ideas are always welcome while more tried and true ones may rotate from year 
to year. In the past, the congregation has enjoyed Chilipalooza (our chili cook-off), the biennial Goods and Services 
Auction, Shalach Manot bags, Fair Trade Sale and Honey From the Heart fundraisers. We look forward to another 
year of FUNraising.

 

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?  Contact Katelyn DiPaola (518) 225-2843 or k.ouellette89@gmail.com 

The Hospitality Committee schedules weekly Oneg hosts for our Shabbat services, assists the office manager with 
maintaining basic kitchen supplies and cleanliness of the kitchen, and assists other committees with coordinating 
special events' food as needed. Each Oneg Shabbat is provided and hosted by a B'nai Sholom member or family.  
Guidelines ( Click here for important Oneg Guidelines ) are provided that tell you everything you need to know, 
from beginning to end.  The Hospitality Committee calls congregants to ask that you become a host.  If you prefer 
to pick your own date early, please contact Katelyn Ouellette DiPaola at (518) 225-2843 or k.ouellette89@gmail.com

 

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 
there 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  libbyliebschutz@gmail.com
B'nai Sholom welcomes newcomers to our congregation, including people in mixed marriages and of all races, abilities, 
sexual orientations and gender identities.  The Membership Committee seeks out and forges connections with unaffiliated 
Jews in the Capital Region who are looking for an active Reform temple that provides opportunities for spiritual growth, 
continuous learning, social action and a warm, welcoming community.  We work to introduce and orient new members
to our vibrant community, and we create programs to deepen and broaden the engagement of both current and prospective 
members in Jewish life and service, such as Music Bridge, which brings our teen musicians to entertain nursing home residents,
 and Tot Shabbat, a Friday night worship service for families with young children.  We’re always looking for new ideas and 
new committee members!

Member Events Committee
Bettina Stoller, Chair bfstoller@gmail.com
The Member Events Committee fosters B’nai Sholom congregants getting to know and enjoy each other, by sponsoring a 
series of celebrations to increase their sense of connection.  Every year, we facilitate Rosh Hashanah luncheons at 
congregants’ homes.  Events that are scheduled every other year include the Progressive Dinner, the Wine and Cheese 
Tasting, the Longevity Dinner/Shabbat, and the Volunteer Dinner/Shabbat.

 

Nominating Committee

 

Barbara Devore, Chair barbaradevore1@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 mputtermanhoffmann@gmail.com

The Ritual Committee works directly with the Rabbi to maintain and enhance the spiritual life of the Congregation. In fulfillment 
of this goal, the Committee’s efforts include:
  • Understanding the evolving spiritual needs of the Congregation and creating service content and other events accordingly;
  • Proposing policy involving life-cycle events;
  • Preparing for festival events such as Tu BiShevat and Purim;
  • Composing and/or formatting services for special occasions;
  • Recruiting and preparing lay readers for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur;
  • Training and scheduling 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.

 

Social Action/Social Justice Committee

 

Co-chairs: Becky Marvin beckymarvin4574@gmail.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.

B'nai Sholom Albany NY