Meeting of the Board of Directors, Oak Park Temple B’nai Abraham Zion

Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 7 pm

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu melech haolam asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu la’asok b’tzorchai tzibur.

Praised are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, who sanctifies us through mitzvot and has commanded us to engage in the needs of the community.

Present: Cindy Gould, Lauren Levrant, Susan Cicelsky, Marc Imowitz, Dan Zoloto, Allison Cowett, Brian Hammersley, Sarah Lewensohn, Ali Mandell, Maurie Stern, Marci Sperling Flynn, Carolyn Sherman, Olga Vydra, Janice Moskoff, Elliott Regenstein, Aaron Lebovitz, Jennifer George, Doris Angell, Jimmy Korshak, Amy Drescher-Crumpley, Karen Muriello, Rabbi Max Weiss, Shari Schindler, Alan Fox

Absent: Robin Arbetman, Deb Holdstein, Liz Simon, and Sheri Gilley

  1. Rabbi’s Comments and Icebreaker: We have 530 families with 1,500 members. Board members are responsible for this community; we are cheerleaders, representatives of the community, including the entire spectrum of Judaism. OPT is thriving rather than retrenching, and we’re building for the future. Exercise: In groups of 3-4, tell each other our own Jewish story; soon we will get Starbuck gift cards with which to take out a member you don’t know well; get to know him or her.
  2. Shari: Sign up to be present at B’nai Mitzvah services, not necessarily to give presentation; also, want board members to attend regular Shabbat services even if there’s no B’nai Mitzvah. Alene in the office will remind us in advance if we are to do a Board presentation. [She circulated a signup spreadsheet.]
  3. Previous Minutes: December 2016 minutes were approved unanimously; Ali Mandell will send Alan some minor revisions.
  4. B’rit Avodah: A document describing the duties of Board members. Shari outlined the document, which must be signed by all and accepted by Oak Park Temple. Most in attendance signed their copies at the meeting. If you did not sign, please do so and send (scan/email OK) to Alan.
  5. Caring Community (Maurie Stern, Ali Mandell, Karen Gillett)

    Ali Mandell introduced the Caring Community. Started last High Holidays. Outreach within our community. 4 subcommittees: bikur cholim, ozerim, life cycle, drivers. 70 volunteers. 9 subcommittee co-chairs. CC has provided an email address to request services; getting the word out. Coordinated Mitzvah Day. Maurie asked for a budget line item of $2,000 in November. Aaron: will start budgeting for next year. Maurie: need money now: e.g., shelves for Ozerim closet, lasagna, Caring Community mugs, etc. Rabbi: discretionary fund will cover it. Karen: will post in the Messenger a form to request services; want more volunteers. It was requested that a description of Caring Community be circulated.

  6. URJ Event 2/19 and Super Team Webinar Recording

    Part of youth conference, afternoon of learning, 4 sessions, engage congregation, super team, at downtown hotel. Shari & Jenn going. Suggested: will circulate email with details. Susan: these presentations are really useful, especially for those not attending the Biennial.

    Last week there was a webinar titled “Your board as a super team.” Shari will send link to webinar.

  7. New Business Introduction: Professional Staffing, Constitution update, Mission update

    Every 5 years [not every 2 years as stated in meeting] must review constitution. Think about who wants to be on committee.

    For next meeting every board member must read Mission statement, on web site.

  8. Old/Other New Business:

  9. Auction in 2018; takes at least a year’s planning. Co-chaired by Preschool and rest of OPT. Jenn: OPT co-chair doesn’t have to be Board member; need 2 strong chair people.
  10. 20th Anniversary: Need committee and chair for 20th anniversary of Julie’s work at OPT, Max’s 20 years as Rabbi, and Marci’s 20 years running the preschool. Shari: at the next meeting will ask for volunteers.
  11. Passover 2nd Seder: need ideas & staff. Amy did it 2 years ago, and will do it again this year, but needs help. Super easy; will use the same caterer. Deeply touched by people who didn’t have a home to attend a Seder.
  12. Retreat: Jimmy—March 17-19; theme is “Unity in the Community, Together Through Life’s Challenges.” Low numbers signed up so far. Encourage people to go, especially families with children. If money is a concern talk to Jimmy, Shari, Rabbi Max or Danielle. Danielle pointed out many haven’t been to retreats.  Jenn: wonderful as family, place to connect with new & old friends; sense of community. Jimmy: also is great for adults w/o children. Max: OSRUI has room for 95 more. Randy: met many people at retreat when first joined; amazing introduction to OPT. Brian: real family experience.  Danielle: share your enthusiasm with others. Jenn: there’s some resistance from people whose partners aren’t Jewish; don’t have to go to all programs; all are welcome. Randy: all 4th graders and their families should attend; it used to be required for all 6th graders but it now emphasizes 4th graders to build a sense of community among the kids before their B’nai Mitzvah.
  13. Biographies: Lee Kantz wants short bios of all board members for the website, including photo. Karen Muriello will collect them. Lee will pester you if you don’t send your bio.
  14. Bagel Boys Steak & Scotch: February 25.
  15. WoOPT Bake Sale Sunday: bring money for bake sale & Adult Ed program.
  16. Junction Diner dinner this Sunday.
  17. Scientists in Synagogue (Max) we’ve finished our work, now other congregations are involved.


Upcoming Events:

  1. Services Friday night, Saturday morning, Minyan Sunday morning
  2. February 12 – JUF Brunch & WoOPT Bake Sale
  3. February 19 – URJ Afternoon of Learning
  4. February 25 – Bagel Boys Steak and Scotch
  5. February 26 – Green Lecture w/ Emily Paster
  6. February 26 – Bags Baubles & Bubbly. Silent auction for gags & baubles, bubbly will be served.
  7. March 3 – Lee Gordon Guest Speaker @ Services. Hand in Hand Arabs & Jews, school for Israeli children.
  8. March 8 – next Board meeting, 7 pm
  9. March 17-19: Retreat at OSRUI
  10. May 3: Shabbat Across America. Marc will send info.


Reminders and Homework:

  1. Sign up to attend Shabbat services without scheduled B’nai Mitzvah: May 27, June 6, September 2-10-14, November 25. Contact Alan with desired date.
  2. Read Constitution, Bylaws and Policy Manual before March meeting. Available at > Important Documents.
  3. Brit Avodah: if you haven’t signed yours, please do so and give to Alan (scan & email OK) or bring to office.
  4. Biographies for web site: provide brief bio with photo to Lee Kantz.


Adjournment: Meeting adjourned at 8:30.


Respectfully submitted

— Alan Fox, Secretary

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