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Kol ha bayit: leadership and voices

03/11/2019 02:30:38 PM

Mar11

President Robert Jobrack

Beth Sholom Temple has been around for over 80 years, and a lot of people have served on our Board of Directors. Almost all of them lacked the time, the experience, and the specific knowledge to feel entirely confident in this role, but all did it.

I know: as you read this you are thinking “There is no way I’ll ever serve on the board of directors.” In case you are having trouble articulating your reasons, here are four you can use:

        1) “ I don’t have the time”. Excellent reason, and probably the most common rationale. I will tell you that no one has the time to do it, yet people have volunteered over the years. Everyone has lots of other stuff going on. We all have lives, family, jobs, hobbies, etc. All of which create demands on our time. Anyone who is worth a damn has many things going on.

        2) “I don’t know anything about congregational management”. Also an excellent reason, because nobody ever knows what they were doing when first serving as a Director. We all become a lot more knowledgeable after a year on the Board, and the longer we stay the more we learn, but serving with no corporate memory might give you an open mind and a fresh perspective.

       3) “Too much politics.” Well, I guess there should be politics since these are elected positions but in the past few years most meetings have been too mundane with too much consensus. Maybe we’ll have a contentious issue we can’t resolve and there will be politics in the future, but for the past few years there really hasn’t been political competition or disagreements.

       4) “Someone else will do it.” This is my favorite reason for not serving on the Board. Maybe we’ll all take this approach then we won’t have to worry about nominations, ballots and elections. Congregational management will happen magically.

So, why should you serve? Because a congregation with many members who have taken a turn at leadership makes for a more informed organization. Because folks who serve on the Board need time off from leadership to experience life as a regular congregant and someone has to take their place. Because it is a way to have a voice in the direction of Beth Sholom and address questions like: Should we have full time clergy? What repairs are most urgent in our building? How do we better communicate with membership? What local social action should BST engage in? How do we raise more money to do all of the above?

I urge you to consider serving as a Director. t’s only a 12 month term and you will learn a lot about your congregation. After that year, even if you leave the Board, you will be a better congregant.

Most importantly, it’s another way of serving our Jewish community.

Sun, May 26 2019 21 Iyar 5779