Congregation Am Haskalah Board Meeting April 15,2018

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

Liz Fear

  • Naches and Chesed:

Congregational status discussed


  • Reflection on previous month events
    • Spiritual Writing held with 3 participants. Rabbi suggested we put the first date on the calendar for next year so all interested parties can meet with the rabbi and plan future sessions. Rabbi should lead with topics with a Jewish theme, such as the deeper meaning of the Sh’ma, or Amidah and what it means to focus and listen, or how do we thank God. Topics not as much for group discussion or sharing personal life as for individual reflection and writing based on the topic.
    • Adult Ed: really interesting Talmudic analysis of a historical Jewish perspective on weapons and gun violence.
    • Wandering Jews dinner Peruvian. Not spicy and unusual. Seating was not as nice as we would have liked, since they don’t take reservations.
    • Book Club: Pride and Prejudice, good discussion.


  • Plans for upcoming events/Ritual
    1. Next Book Group The Gambler by Dostoevsky (5/20), Spiritual Writing (4/29), Borscht Belt (4/29)
    2. Wandering Jews Mediterranean Grill in Fogelsville 4/25 Wed 6:30
    3. Jerry Nippon Celebration of Life. Schedule for early June.
    4. Life and Legacy achieved our goal of 18 donors (almost 50% of our congregation!) this first year, so we will receive our $7000 grant. Save the date notices were sent by JCC for the June 20th recognition dinner for donors, leaders and potential donors. Details TBA. Also meeting coming up for those who would like to participate as team members.
    5. Shalom Lehigh Valley Magazine, the biennial newsletter that advertises all the Jewish synagogues and organizations in the Lehigh Valley, will be coming out this year. We need to buy an ad again; it’s good to keep our presence out there in the valley and support the Jewish community. Rachel will check on details.
    6. Logic puzzles until June 15. Current winner projected to be given a prize of Amazon gift card.
    7. May 19 – Shavuot – Movie idea: The Chosen People: DVD with discussion materials available for one-time purchase with unlimited showing rights. Can be used for Adult Ed on Shavuot with Rabbi Jake and other speakers facilitating discussion of the concept of chosenness. Rabbi suggested contacting the Reconstructionist rabbi director of the Hillel at Lehigh to use their space, possibly in partnership with other groups. This will open our event to the wider community and also fulfil Kline Grant requirement for adult ed. The board gave unanimous approval for Rabbi Jake and Betsy Nippon to pursue this event. We have one free ad left in Hakol to publicize this.

This event will take the place of weekly services for that week.

  1. We need Torah readers for June, will put in Shofar.
  2. Yizkor suggestion from Rabbi: Need to label those Jahrzeits for those in mourning in the current year. Need to mention these in regular weekly services and as part of main holiday services-Yom Kippur, Succoth, Passover and Shavuot.
  3. Rabbi goodbye luncheon Sat. June 16th 12:30p after services
  4. Rabbi Committee: Rachel contacted Mark Stein for copy of rabbi’s job description. Needs to be received by RRC by May 1. Rachel will facilitate and look for other committee members.
  • Communications:
  1.   Website is back up, paid for the next 5 years. Ann Keller Smith worked on this      with Olivia, and all is in GoDaddy and administered by amhaskalahdirector. Liz            will work on keeping the website updated.
  2. Work to begin on updating Membership directory emails and phone numbers, for our use and to send to RRC for newsletters from them.


  • Finance Report: Full report available upon request.
  1. JFLV Grant: Rachel and David will write grant proposal due May 1.
  2. Klein Grant received
  3. NJOP Grant received


NEXT MEETING:  Sunday May 6, 2018 1:00 PM at Anita’s Apartment at B’nai Brith


Respectfully submitted, Jane Levine, Recording Secretary