Congregation Am Haskalah Board Meeting February 11,2018

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Attending: Anita Goldman, Joy Scott, Izzy Studzienko, Rachel Zane, Jane Levine,

David Smith, Liz Fear  


  • Naches and Chesed:

Naches to Adrian Shankar for the wonderful event Monday Feb.5 at Bradbury Sullivan Center. Rabbi Deborah Waxman, president of the RRC, met with 14 congregants for a dinner meeting where she unveiled the new name for the “Reconstructionist Rabbinical College & Jewish Reconstructionist Communities”. This central organization of the Reconstructionist movement will now be known as “Reconstructing Judaism”.

Following the dinner Rabbi Waxman participated in a very enlightening discussion open to the LV LGBT community about “LGBT people and our positive and negative experiences with faith communities”.

Chesed: Congregants and issues discussed.


Reflection on previous month events

  1. Spiritual Writing and a very interesting Adult Ed (Reconstructionism 101) were conducted by Rabbi Jake on Jan. 14th
  2. A very much enjoyed Tu B’shevat seder was led by Rabbi Jake with approx 15 congregants attending.

RACHEL will follow up w/ potential congregant


  • SWAT summary review…

David Smith reported that there were 3 successful parlor meetings in December. They included 10 congregants from 8 families representing 20% of our member families; all were long-term members of the congregation and 5 were in former leadership positions.

A separate report on responses will be included in a future Shofar, but based on these responses the board approved the following actions:

LIZ will get herself and the director signed up for local college event emails

OLIVIA will publish the board minutes in the Shofar

DAVID will contact our Regional Consultant with RRC  for a meeting addressing ideas for future growth of the congregation. We will plan to set up a steering committee and a visit so we have a personal presence at the RRC. There is also a  Tikun Olam coordinator at the RRC available to discuss social action activities.

LIZ will look into ideas/activities from the National Jewish Outreach Program (NJOP).

RABBI JAKE will write about Deborah Waxman and the Recon rebrand “Reconstructing Judaism” for Hakol.


In this regard Adrian had suggested a new logo for AH –

                  Am Haskalah

            Reconstructing Judaism in the Lehigh Valley



  • Plans for Upcoming events


  1. Next Book Group (3/18 3PM), Spiritual Writing (check with Wilma), Borscht Belt (3/25 3PM)
  2. Wandering Jews dinner Lilly Sushi 2/21
  3. Purim March 1 6:30. Levine Compound
  4. Pesach Yizkor — RACHEL will speak to Jake and Melissa Klein.
  5. JANE will contact Paula Tahler to connect with Melissa Klein.
  6. Recon 102- Jewish law; possibly tied to current events
  7. June 12/13 – Shavuot – what do we do? Input welcome. Generally, evening study in partnership with CBS
  8. Rabbi Committee: others on committee TBA; need to do this as a visible scheduled day of first interviews at RRC

RACHEL will forward Rabbi Internship Survey to Board and email David and Liz about filling out Life & Legacy paperwork.


  • Revisit at next meeting: education grant JFLV due May 11.


  • Finance Report: Full report available upon request.


  • Board also met in executive session to discuss governance.




Sunday March 11, 2018 1200 noon at Anita’s Apartment at Brith Shalom
Respectfully submitted, Jane Levine, Recording Secretary