Page 1

Bnai Keshet Montclair, New Jersey By-Laws ARTICLE I NAME This Congregation shall be called BNAI KESHET.

ARTICLE II OBJECT The purpose of this congregation, which is affiliated with the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, is to create a supportive, caring, and inclusive community that will: foster Jewish spiritual life, observance, and culture; provide a stimulating environment for Jewish learning from early childhood to late adulthood; and commit itself to tikkun olam/repair of the world.

ARTICLE III MEMBERSHIP 1.

A member is: (1) a Jewish person who supports the objectives of the synagogue and who

sustains the synagogue through the payment of dues and assessments; or (2) a non-Jewish person who is in a familial or household relationship with a Jewish member who supports the synagogue’s objectives and the family’s commitment to maintain a Jewish home and raise their children as Jews. If the Jewish person dies, divorces, or otherwise leaves the Congregation, the non-Jewish person will remain a member as long as she/he is committed to the objectives of the synagogue, maintains a Jewish home, raises the children as Jews, and pays dues and assessments. 2.

Any Jewish person or non-Jewish person as described in paragraph 1 above eighteen

years of age or older shall be eligible for membership in the Congregation; however, any child or parent of a member who receives more than 50% of his or her financial support from a member shall be ineligible for membership. It is the intention of the Congregation that members and their


families shall participate fully in all aspects of synagogue life in accordance with ritual policy. Each family unit in good standing shall have one vote. 3.

Application for membership shall be made in writing to the Membership Committee for

presentation to and approval of the Board of Trustees; however, any application by a former member who has been suspended or expelled shall not be approved automatically. 4.

Suspension from membership may be ordered by the Board of Trustees for failure to pay

dues within a time limitation to be determined by the Board of Trustees. Payment of all arrears shall result in automatic reinstatement. Reinstatement in other circumstances shall be at the discretion of the Board of Trustees. 5.

Expulsion from membership may be ordered by the Board of Trustees for: a.

failure to pay dues following suspension within a time limitation to be determined

by the Board of Trustees, or b.

conversion by a Jewish person to another religion.

6.

Resignation shall be in writing addressed to the Board of Trustees.

7.

Suspension, expulsion, or resignation shall not relieve a member from obligations

previously accrued. 8.

Suspended members and their families may continue to participate in synagogue

activities; however, children of suspended members shall not be permitted to attend religious school.

ARTICLE IV MEETINGS 1.

The President shall designate the date of the annual congregational meeting to be held

between April 1 and June 30. The business of the annual meeting shall consist of the election of officers, reports of the officers and committees, and other business as the President may determine or any three Trustees or ten members may request.

2


2.

Congregational meetings shall be called twice annually. Special meetings may be called

by the President or at the request of ten members of the Congregation or three members of the Board of Trustees. Request shall be made to the President and shall state the purpose for the meeting. In the event the President fails to schedule the special meeting within five days after the request, any officer may schedule it. 3.

Notice of congregational and special meetings shall be mailed by the Secretary to all

members not less than 15 days prior to the meeting. If an emergency meeting is needed, the Board of Trustees shall endeavor to notify all members of the date and purpose of the meeting both by mail and in a manner other than by mail, such as by recorded telephone message and email. 4.

At all meetings of the Congregation a quorum shall be necessary for the transaction of

business. A quorum shall consist of 20% of the total voting membership of the Congregation, unless otherwise stated in the Bylaws. Written proxies and absentee ballots shall count for purposes of establishing a quorum. 5.

Any action may be approved by a simple majority of the family voting units present at a

meeting, except as otherwise required by law or these Bylaws. Members may vote at annual or special meetings either in person or, if authorized by the Board of Trustees, by written proxy or absentee ballot provided to the Congregation in the mailed notice of meeting. The written proxy or absentee ballot must be submitted to the Vice President -- CommunicationsSecretary or other officer who will be present at the meeting. A family unit may submit only one written proxy or absentee ballot. The written proxy is only valid for one meeting and shall specify that the absent family member(s) grant to another member the right to vote on behalf of such family on one or more matters to be considered at such meeting. The Board of Trustees may make such rules as it deems necessary or appropriate for proxy and absentee ballot voting, provided the rules do not otherwise conflict with these Bylaws.

3


ARTICLE V ELECTIONS 1.

There shall be a standing Leadership Development Committee, the purpose of which is to

cultivate, recruit, train, and nominate leaders for Bnai Keshet. 2.

At its initial meeting, the Leadership Development Committee shall devise procedures to

invite all interested members of the Congregation to run for office. 3.

The slate shall be selected from among those Jewish members expressing interest in

holding office based upon the Leadership Development Committee’s assessment of the needs of the Congregation. 4.

Included in the notice of the annual meeting shall be a notice of the slate of candidates.

Any other member in good standing interested in running for an office that is up for a vote shall submit in writing, to the Vice President – Communications Secretary, the office which the member wishes to hold, not later than 10 days prior to the annual meeting. In order to maintain continuity on the Board, there shall be staggered terms so that, at each annual election from one to five officers can be up for re-election. Officers whose terms have ended shall be elected in the following order: a.

President

b.

Vice President - Education

c.

Vice President - Development

d.

Vice President - Religious Life and

d.e.

Formatted: Bullets and Numbering

Vice President – Tikkun Olam

e.f.

Vice President - Membership and Community EngagementDevelopment

f.g.

Vice President -- FinanceTreasurer

g.h.

Vice President – Communications Secretary

If more than one member is interested in running for the same office, a member may indicate availability to run for an alternative office. If an officer agrees, at the request of the Leadership Development Committee, to run for re-election for an additional partial term of less than two

4


years, that position will be voted on at the next annual meeting immediately preceding the conclusion of that officer’s partial term.

ARTICLE VI OFFICERS 1. The officers of the Congregation shall be: a.

President

b.

Vice President - Education

c.

Vice President - Development

d.

Vice President - Religious Life and

d.e.

Vice President – Tikkun Olam

e.f.

Vice President - Membership and Community EngagementDevelopment

f.g.

Vice President -- FinanceTreasurer

g.h.

Vice President – Communications Secretary

Formatted: Bullets and Numbering

The Executive Committee shall be composed of the officers. 2. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Congregation, the Board of Trustees, and the Executive Committee. The President shall sign all agreements, contracts, deeds, notes, and other documents on behalf of the Congregation. The President is empowered to sign vouchers and checks on behalf of the Congregation. The President, in consultation with the appropriate officers set forth herein, shall appoint the committee chairs. The President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees without the right to vote. The President shall designate one of the Vice Presidents to exercise the powers of the President in the President’s absence or temporary incapacity. 3. The Vice Presidents shall have such duties and powers as the members of the Congregation, the Board, or the President shall determine; shall actively assist the President in the exercise of the President’s powers and duties consistent with their special roles as set forth herein; and the Vice President so designated by the President shall have and may exercise all the powers of the

5


President during the absence of the President or in the event of the President’s temporary incapacity. ·

The Vice President - Education shall oversee and serve as the Board’s liaison to

the Religious School and Adult Education Committees and any other ad hoc committee dealing with issues of education and, in conjunction with the President, shall appoint the chairs of these committees. ·

The Vice President - Development shall oversee long range planning and

fundraising, serve as the Board’s liaison to the Capital Campaign, New Building, and Scrip Committees and any other ad hoc committee dealing with issues of fundraising and development, and, in conjunction with the President, shall appoint the chairs of these committees. ·

The Vice President - Religious Life and Tikkun Olam shall oversee and serve as

the

Board’s liaison to the Religious Lifeitual , Tikkun Olam, and High Holiday

Committees and any other ad hoc committee dealing with issues of religious life and tikkun olam, and, in conjunction with the President, shall appoint the chairs of these committees. The Vice President – Tikkun Olam shall oversee and serve as the Board’s liaison to the Tikkun Olam Committee and shall be responsible for expanding, overseeing and coordinating all the tikkun olam-related activities of the congregation. ·

The Vice President - Membership and Community EngagementDevelopment

shall oversee the Membership, Public Relations, and Hesed Committees and any other ad hoc committee directly dealing with attracting new members and maintaining current members, deepening the engagement of all congregants with the life of the congregation and, in conjunction with the President, shall appoint the chairs of these committees. 4. The Vice President – Finance Treasurer shall administer the dues structure, including preparation of dues statements and collection of payments; receive financial information from members; and have sole discretion (exercised either directly or via a designee) to decide

6


adjustments to the dues structure for particular members’ situations. However, if a member in a particular situation is dissatisfied with the decision of the Vice President – Finance or his/her designeeTreasurer, the member may request that the Vice President – Finance Treasurer convene an arbitration panel composed of three members of the Congregation selected as follows: one by the Vice President – FinanceTreasurer, one by the dissatisfied member, and one by the President. The decision of a majority vote of the arbitration panel on the adjustment to the dues structure for that member for that year shall be final. All financial information received by the Vice President – Finance or his designeeTreasurer shall remain confidential except for that information necessary to decide an adjustment to the dues structure, which shall be provided in confidence to the arbitration panel. The Vice President – FinanceTreasurer shall prepare all financial statements and budgets for the Congregation, and shall oversee preparation of the Congregation’s tax returns and the bookkeeping function. At each meeting of the Board of Trustees, the annual meeting, and at special meetings, the Vice President – FinanceTreasurer shall present a written report of the finances of the Congregation. These reports shall be attached to the minutes of each meeting. The Vice President – Finance Treasurer is empowered to sign vouchers and checks on behalf of the Congregation. 5. The Vice President – Communications Secretary shall record minutes of all meetings other than committee meetings, oversee all publicity efforts, prepare Congregation correspondence at the direction of the Board of Trustees or the President, oversee communications, including the Rainbow Reporter, Synagogue mailing, and Congregational emails, and coordinate communication with other Board members.

ARTICLE VII BOARD OF TRUSTEES 1.

The management and administration of the affairs of the Congregation shall vest in a

Board of Trustees consisting of the following voting members: the President, Vice President -

7


Education, Vice President - Development, Vice President - Religious Life, Vice President – and Tikkun Olam, Vice President - Membership and Community EngagementDevelopment, Vice President – FinanceTreasurer, Vice President – Communications Secretary, and other members of the Congregation appointed by the Executive Committee, the total number of such voting members of the Board not to exceed 25 and to be no fewer than 15. The appointed trustees shall be selected from the members. Each enumerated officer shall serve for a period of two years. Other members of the Board may serve for a longer term at the discretion of the Executive Committee. Any member of the Congregation may attend Board meetings but does not have a vote. 2.

The Board of Trustees shall have the following powers and responsibilities, including but

not limited to: a.

operation and administration of the daily affairs of the Congregation, including

supervising the Administrative Director and the paid staff; b.

management of the real and personal property of the Congregation;

c.

management of the Congregation’s finances in a responsible and prudent manner;

d.

entry into contracts, agreements and deeds on behalf of the Congregation; and

e.

receipt of reports from all committees, to consider and decide upon committee

recommendations, except for such recommendations which a majority of the full Board of Trustees votes to submit to the Congregation for action. 3.

The Board of Trustees will hold regular monthly meetings. One-third of the voting

members of the Board will constitute a quorum, and a majority of the voting members present at a meeting shall decide any question, unless otherwise provided by law or these Bylaws. 4.

The Executive Committee of the Board will consist of all the elected officers of the

Congregation, with the President acting as Chair. The Executive Committee has the power to take action regarding any matters which may arise and which, in its opinion, cannot await a regular or special meeting of the full Board. A majority of the votes cast by the Executive

8


Committee on any matter shall decide the matter. In an emergency, the Executive Committee may hold a meeting by telephone. 5.

If, in the opinion of the Board, any Board member is unable or unwilling to fulfill the

responsibilities of that position, that person may be removed by a majority of the voting members of the Board. In the event of a vacancy on the Board, however caused, the President, with the approval of the Board, may appoint any eligible member of the Congregation to fill the vacancy for the balance of the unexpired term.

ARTICLE VIII COMMITTEES 1.

The Board of Trustees shall conduct a review of the needs of the Congregation and shall

maintain or establish such standing and/or ad hoc committees as the Board deems necessary to accomplish the work of the Congregation. The Executive Committee shall delineate the duties of all such committees at the beginning of the President’s term and at such other times as it deems necessary. The committees shall report regularly to the Board of Trustees and to the Congregation at the annual meeting. 2.

Unless otherwise directed by the Board of Trustees, each committee shall determine its

own agenda. Each committee shall be supervised by the vice president designated in Article VI of these Bylaws. 3.

Committee members shall be selected by each committee chair from the members of the

Congregation, in consultation with the appropriate vice president designated in Article VI of these Bylaws. 4.

The President, with the approval of the Executive Committee, may appoint a member of

the Congregation to chair an ad hoc committee to address a particular issue of importance to the Congregation. The chair of the ad hoc committee will select its members from among the members of the Congregation and will consult with the President about the committee’s agenda.

9


Any proposal recommended by the ad hoc committee is subject to approval by the Board of Trustees, unless these Bylaws require a vote by the Congregation. The quorum and voting requirements set forth in the Bylaws applicable to the issue in question shall apply.

ARTICLE IX RABBI 1.

The pulpit of this Congregation shall be occupied by a rabbinic graduate of an accredited

rabbinical school or student Rabbi. 2.

The appointment of a new Rabbi shall be approved at the annual meeting or at a special

meeting of the Congregation called for that purpose. Approval of a new Rabbi shall require (a) the affirmative vote of at least 60% of the votes cast and (b) the affirmative vote of at least 30% of the family voting units of the Congregation. Family voting units may cast their vote by written proxy or absentee ballot, in accordance with the procedure set forth in Article IV, paragraph 5 of the Bylaws and any other rules established by the Board of Trustees. 3.

The decision to offer a contract reappointing an incumbent Rabbi shall be made by the

Congregation, upon recommendation of the Board of Trustees, at its annual meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose, by a majority vote of the family voting units in attendance. 4.

The Rabbi shall be the spiritual leader of the Congregation and primary advisor to the

religious school and to the Ritual Committee. 5.

The Rabbi shall be subject to dismissal by the Congregation only at a special meeting

called for that purpose. The affirmative vote of at least 60% of the votes cast and the affirmative vote of at least 30% of the family voting units of the Congregation shall be required for dismissal. Family voting units may cast their vote by written proxy or absentee ballot, in accordance with the proxy procedure set forth in Article IV, paragraph 5 of the Bylaws and any other rules established by the Board of Trustees.

10


ARTICLE X CANTOR 1.

The appointment of a new Cantor shall be approved at the annual meeting or at a special

meeting of the Congregation called for that purpose. 2.

The decision to offer a contract reappointing an incumbent Cantor shall be made by the

Congregation, upon recommendation of the Board of Trustees, at its annual meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose. 3.

The duties of the Cantor shall be guided by the Ritual Committee.

4.

The Cantor shall be subject to dismissal by the Congregation only at a special meeting

called for that purpose. The affirmative vote of at least 60% of the votes cast and the affirmative vote of at least 30% of the family voting units of the Congregation shall be required for dismissal. Family voting units may cast their vote by written proxy or absentee ballot, in accordance with the proxy procedure set forth in Article IV, paragraph 5 of the Bylaws and any other rules established by the Board of Trustees.

ARTICLE XI MISCELLANEOUS 1.

The synagogue’s fiscal year shall run from July 1 to June 30.

2.

These bylaws may only be amended by (a) an affirmative vote of at least 30% of the

family voting units of the Congregation and (b) by a majority of the votes cast. 3.

Unless specifically set forth herein, Robert's Rules of Order Revised shall govern the

conduct of meetings, actions of officers, the Board of Trustees and committees, and shall serve as a guide in construing these Bylaws. 4.

The synagogue shall conduct its activities in conformance with the Resolutions of the

Montclair Zoning Board of Adjustment dated January 18, 1995, June 22, 1995, and August 16, 1995, copies of which are attached.

11


5.

These Bylaws shall become effective on the date the Congregation votes to approve

them, in accordance with paragraph 2 above.

12

Bnai keshet by laws, with proposed june 2013 modifications tracked  

Proposed by-law updates for consideration at the 6/17/2013 Congregational Meeting

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you