The Latest from BZBI

Summary of January Board Meeting

February 11, 2020

January Board Minutes Summary

Harvey introduced David Haas, the new Communications Coordinator at BZBI. He comes to us with lots of experience, and looks forward to meeting all of you, especially those who will need his services.

December Minutes and the following Committee Reports were approved

  • Ritual Committee is looking for volunteer congregant Torah readers. It is also considering a new policy that would encourage women, as well as men to wear head covering and tallit in services.
  • Membership Committee will assess our membership, dues structure, all aspects of the cost of running a synagogue. Barry Mael, Director of synagogue operations of United Synagogue will advise us.
  • Building Committee is planning new carpeting in the Sanctuary and lighting in the Chapel. Future projects include the storage closet in the Chapel and the stairway and lift in the front of the Chapel.
  • Finance Committee reported that, in general, we are doing especially well in annual giving, but there are other areas where can improve (e.g. Tributes and Memorials)
  • Sisterhood is looking to attract younger members. Upcoming events include a challah baking workshop and a tour of the Liberty Museum.
  • Interim Executive Director reported we are beginning to see transactions run through our new Fidelity Brokerage account. We have converted to Comcast from XO Communications. We had a meeting with Friedman, LLLP to discuss completion of comprehensive accounting compilations reports for the past two fiscal years and plan one for the coming year. We have developed a draft of an Emergency Procedures Plan that addressed security and safety at BZBI. We were reminded that BZBI is now a member of the Amazon Smile Network. If you select BZBI, 0.05% all your Amazon purchase values will become a contribution to the synagogue.

Discussion Items

  • Human Resource reported the tax bill for staff parking places has been eliminated.
  • Early Education reported that a promising candidate has applied for the position to run the early education program, replacing Risa Young, and offer was to be made.
  • Tikkun Olam needs more volunteers to cook and/or serve one meal/month at a local homeless shelter. (contact Rosalie Kurz, We would also like volunteers who would be willing to bring food to people in need, and visit home-bound congregants. (contact Susan Zeelander,
  • High Holidays. Rabbi Yosef has offered to participate in 2020 High Holiday services and we will work with him to secure his services.
  • Adult Programming: Rabbi Annie is teaching a class on social justice issues.
  • Development: Our early request for Annual Giving donations and pledges has continued to reap benefits, with our current commitment in donations and pledges well ahead of last year at the same time (~$192K vs ~$109K). Our donor families contributing to Annual Giving have also increased from last year (124 vs 86). This year we have also had contributions from 21 non-member families! We are ~$38K away from the $230 AG goal – that’s ~$6.3K per month in combined pledge payments and new commitments for the next six months. As noted in the Finance Report, we have collected less this year for Tributes and Memorials – about half way towards out $36K goal.
  • Kitchen fundraising plan: Harvey is gathering data from a local caterer as well as technicians from the appliance manufacturer to gain perspective on costs to updating and repairing parts of the kitchen. This may result in cost savings and allow us to move forward more quickly on the project.
  • Vision Statement/Strategy Update: We are developing a plan to engage the congregation in an assessment of our community’s needs and vision for the future over the next 18 months. We hope congregants will join us in these important discussions.