Last Sunday, your Board of Directors, along with Lynda and Rabbi Brett, met for our annual Board Retreat. In my opening remarks at the retreat, I listed all of the accomplishments in the past 12 months made possible by our hard working Board and I want to share these with you. They are listed below. As you read them, you will notice there are a lot of ways you can volunteer and get involved in the coming months. If you are interested and willing to help with any of the upcoming tasks, please let me know. We want and need all of our members to volunteer to help our organization.
But before you read them, let me update you on a couple of other things: Members of the Board, Sisterhood and Brotherhood will be reaching out to you in the next three weeks before the High Holidays to wish you a Happy New Year. If you are willing, please share your positive experiences over the last year and let us know how we all can do better. In addition, you will be receiving two packets in the mail in the coming weeks. You will soon receive your High Holiday packet with your tickets, info on High Holiday activities and opportunities. Shortly after that arrives, you will receive information about the Annual Campaign at the High Holidays. In our continuous desire to be transparent, we have included financial information, as well as some frequently asked questions so you will understand why we do this annual fundraiser. Please take the time to read through all of the information, but most importantly, please give! It is our goal that 100% of our members will participate. So, please do your part! All the work our staff and Clergy do needs your financial support. It’s up to us!! Let’s do this!!!
My Opening Remarks at the IHC Board Retreat 2015:
Welcome to the 2015 IHC Board Retreat. I want to take a minute to pat us all on the back for the great work we did last year and summarize where we are to date.
Rabbi Fox started July 1st and the reviews have been fantastic. Rabbi Brett and Rabbi Scott’s planning over the Spring has paid dividends and it’s nice to see the teamwork in action. We also hired a communication/marketing coordinator, Maddy Anderson, who will be starting on September 1!!
The Retreat today will highlight some of the work you all have been doing. A couple years ago, when Rabbi Wolfman joined us at our retreat, he pointed out weaknesses of our staff and Board and questioned our leadership. Today I feel (and I hope you agree) we are a strong board with leadership direction in the areas he highlighted.
- We have a leadership succession plan taking shape. We have the next 5 years of leadership in place for the first time in a very long time with Patti Freeman Dorson and Marc Katz. With the help of a few we have targeted over 25 potential leaders and will be continuing to reach out to them.
- The Commitment Task Force led by Mitch Katz and comprised of both Board and lay members met more than 12 times over the past nine months and is helping us redefine our commitment policies. It has been pointed out that we need to better communicate our policies and find ways to engage our members so that IHC will remain meaningful and relevant to our current and future members. The Commitment Task Force report shows what lay leaders and congregants can accomplish when put to a task. It’s truly why I believe IHC will remain the strongest and largest temple in Central Indiana.
- With the help of the Federation and a grant from the Grinspoon Foundation, we finally have our Planned Giving initiative off the ground: “Life and Legacy“. This will be the core for sustainability in the future, led by Carolyn Hiser and Sonja Kantor and a strong team. This fall, our members will be hearing more about this campaign.
- The Governance Committee has put an employee review process in place and we have reviewed our Clergy and Executive Director, who in turn, have reviewed their staff.
- The Board has again participated in a survey of its own performance, in an effort to monitor our progress and make improvements as a governing body.
- The Governance Committee has been actively working to improve our HR systems and has begun work to fine-tune our organization. Thanks to Carly Turow for her leadership
- With the diligent work of the Cemetery Task Force (as approved by the congregation) and some help from me, we executed an option agreement to sell excess property adjacent to our north side cemetery.
With all of that said, we have much more work to do.
1. First and foremost we have an Annual Campaign that needs to be successful. We need to raise $100k and it’s up to all of the Board to not just participate (which is mandatory), but to reach out to our congregation.
2. We need to hire a Director of Lifelong Learning and start making plans both for the transition leading up to Cantor’s retirement in 2017 and the hiring of a new Cantor. Marc Katz will be heading up the Cantor Transition Task Force and Sonja Kantor will be heading up the Cantor Celebration Task Force.
3.Our by-laws need to be reviewed and I have asked asked Miriam Dant and Andy Kleiman to head up a By-Laws Task Force. We have not looked at them since we merged the boards of the Congregation and the Foundation about 10 years ago, and it is time to see if any tweaking is needed.
4. We need to start the discussion of IHC’s 160th birthday and how we want to celebrate.
I’m sure I’m missing some things but as you can see we are working to make IHC strong spiritually, financially, and socially.
July 20, 2015
I hope you are enjoying the summer. Rain, rain go away!!!! I’ve been on my second annual lacrosse excursion to the east coast with my son Charlie. We have had some great quality time together, but I have been gone most weekends since the beginning of June. I hope many of you have had the opportunity to welcome Rabbi Scott and Dori to the community. It was a bummer the weather didn’t cooperate for our Klezmer night at the park but I appreciate the staff turning a quick 180 and setting it up at the Temple. As we start preparing for the High Holy Days at IHC, I want to use the Blog as well as other means to get the message out quickly and directly: “IHC, Our Temple, Needs Your Continued Financial Support!!!” The Board and Staff are preparing wonderful programs for the coming year and we need the financial resources to make this happen. We are in the process of hiring a marketing/communications staff member who will work directly with Rabbi Brett to help keep us all informed about programs, events, services and developments at IHC. We should all be better served when this team member is on board. Erni has really dug in as our Clergy administrative assistant, helping our clergy staff stay organized and apprised of appointments and commitments. These may seem like simple things, but they make a huge difference in our ability to serve you…our community. Of course, with Rabbi Scott on board, our ability to respond and serve our community increases significantly. I have always been a straight shooter and that’s not going to change, so here is what we need: We need all of you to honor and pay your commitments. We have $90k of commitment receivables from 2014 that have not been paid. On a $1.4 million dollar commitment budget, that amount funds 2 to 3 members of our staff. Considering our size, and the amount and quality of programs, classes and services we offer, we operate on a limited staff already … we need to collect that 90k!! PLEASE CONTACT LYNDA if you have a balance due from 2014; we need to collect the money. In addition, Rabbi Brett and I will be sending out our letter to the congregation soon to remind you about the upcoming Annual Campaign at the High Holidays. This Campaign is included as part of the budget. We received over $100k in Year 1 but less than $40k last year. (I hope that wasn’t a reflection of the change in lay leadership!! ;))C’mon friends — I am counting on all of you to participate in the Campaign. In order to balance our budget, WE NEED THE CAMPAIGN TO RAISE OVER $100K THIS FALL … PERIOD. END OF STORY. Participate with me. If you want to contribute early, by all means do it. Call Lynda or just send in a check and put HHD Campaign on the memo. As we approach this important time in the Jewish calendar, please have the conversation about how much, not whether, I/we should contribute. As always, thank you for your support!
Take Care Greg
June 7, 2015
Happy Summer To All
I want you to know even though summer is here, 6501 is never on vacation :). We finally welcome Rabbi Scott and Dori to Indy! They moved this month and Rabbi Scott will be rocking and rolling starting July 1st. What a perfect day to start (my 55th birthday). Make sure you mark your calendar for our 3rd annual Klezmer Shabbat in the Park, Friday July 10th. It’s been a huge success and we look forward to seeing many of you for a midsummer evening under the stars.
The Board has been busy. We welcome new Board Members Andy Kleiman, David Wiener, and Diane Lutz as well as Taylor Guba, and Jared Schaffer. I will conduct a New Board Orientation before the June Board Meeting. Mitch Katz and the Commitment Task Force have been busy at work with a hope to have a presentation at our summer board retreat in August. The Governance Committee will be reviewing both the Rabbi and Executive Director this month as well as conducting a self assessment survey of the Board. Sonja Kantor and Carolyn Hiser are leading our effort in the Life and Legacy Project in conjunction with other Central Indiana Jewish organizations. The time is right for all of us to start the process of planned giving and specifically having a bequest to IHC. If you have already included us please contact Lynda and let her know. Finally, IHC executed an option agreement with Gershman Properties to sell a portion of the north cemetery property. I want to thank David Kleiman, Carolyn Hiser, Jerry Ancel, and congregant Ben Pecar for all the hard work they put into these negotiations.
The Staff has also been busy putting the plans together for the upcoming religious school year and they now have a fantastic team that will be leading us. Rabbi Brett will be communicating the details very soon. We also are looking for a Communication Coordinator. We have the job posted on many Jewish search sites. If any of you have potential candidates to fill this position please contact Lynda ASAP. Our DLL search committee will be reconvening after the HHD’s. We will be aggressive in our search but I promise you we will not settle.
Finally, I’m starting early since the HHD’s are early this year. We will be sending out our HHD packet in August and we hope that all of you are current on your Commitment for 2015. We have cash needs every month and by membership waiting to pay their Commitment it puts much stress on our ability to operate efficiently. If you haven’t made your full 2014 Commitment, please do so immediately and if you can find an opportunity to pay 2015 early we all will benefit. That’s it for now. I don’t think the King can carry the Cavs by himself but I’m rooting for the city of Cleveland!!
May 18, 2015
I want to apologize to all of you who tuned in to WICR to listen to the annual meeting. I know most of you were disappointed when you found out you actually had to come to Temple to hear my comments along with Rabbi Brett’s!! We missed you! The meeting highlighted many accomplishments over the last year and gave attendees a framework of where we hope to lead the congregation now and in the future. I attached my comments below. I hope you all have a nice Memorial Day Weekend and I will blog to you in June!!
Welcome to the 2015 Annual meeting of IHC. I have a few remarks I want to make. I want to thank our wonderful Clergy, Staff and Volunteers who work diligently day in and day out to give all of us our Jewish place of learning, our Jewish place of worship and a place to celebrate and connect. I want to take a minute to again thank Marcia Goldstein for 26 years of teaching and giving back. I also want to thank Joel Lisker for leading our Temple Brotherhood the last couple years and being an integral voice at our board meetings. Now let me update you on a few of the successes the board had in 2014/15 and a few of the to do’s going forward
- Revised Governance Committee-The committee made up of Tom Doehrman, Marc Katz, Beth Weinberg and Carly Turow engaged in looking at the By- Laws and making sure we as a Board were following defined procedures. We implemented:
- Board Surveys
- Reviews of policies and procedures
- Set goals and expectations for direct reports
- Reviewed contracts and negotiated contracts for new clergy hire
- We also discussed initial stages of a leadership program
- Organized 3 Task Forces
- Search for Associate Rabbi and completed with hire of Scott Fox
- Search for Director of Life Long Learning which is still ongoing
While the 2 years that we’ve been working on this seem like a long time, the process from the educator’s standpoint is quite defined, as we have learned. We spent the first year talking to congregants, staff, teachers, and parents to determine what they wanted in their next educator. From there we developed a thorough job description and application.
NATE is the National Association of Temple Educators. We worked through NATE to post and recruit for this position, as the majority of qualified candidates are going to be members of NATE.
- We posted our application with NATE in October 2014.
- We received 10 resumes and 3 additional inquiries.
- We conducted 8 interviews.
- We brought in 2 candidates for a site-visit.
- We made 1 offer and that candidate chose a different congregation.
We currently have no additional potential candidates, and because of the cycle, are not likely to see more resumes until January. The committee feels like the process was a solid one – it just didn’t yield the results we were hoping for. Sometimes that is just a matter of timing.
We have a search committee whose continued diligence toward this very important endeavor is strong. We remain committed to finding the right person for this position and for IHC and plan to continue the search this coming year! In the meantime, it is important for the congregation to know that the 2015-2016 school year planning is almost complete
We have an interim plan in the works, and as soon as it is finalized, it will be announced.
- Congregation Commitment Task Force which Mitch Katz will discuss along with our financial information
2. Started my monthly President’s Blog
- Helped define our Organizational Structure
- Volunteers with background in organizational structure audited our staffs roles and functions. The results have been shared with staff and new procedures are now being implemented
- Mitch has put structure into the budget process and we now have a better since of accountability and ownership
- Met Bi weekly with Brett and Lynda to discuss current issues
To Do’s for 15/16
- Complete the search for the DLL
- Organize a Task Force to begin the search for a new Cantor
- Implement our findings in the Congregation Commitment Task Force
- Begin the discussions with Past Presidents, Board members, and congregants about separating the Foundation Board and the IHC board.
- Organize control and redefine the different funds of the Temple and Foundation
- Continue the Fund Raising initiative during the High Holidays
- Continue Blogs
- Work on Leadership development
- Initiate the Life and Legacy campaign
IHC is one of 12 Jewish Organizations in central Indiana that has been chosen to participate in the Life & Legacy endowment program. The program is designed to help us create permanent legacy gifts to IHC and other local Jewish causes you care about. The IHC team will be developing their plan over the next year. Our team will be headed by Carolyn Hiser and Sonja Kantor. We have many volunteers already on the team. The success of the program relies on our IHC family. Please include us in your estate planning. If you would like to join the team, please contact Carolyn, Sonja, or Lynda. Our Endowment is 5 million. For us to sustain the operations of the temple we have a goal by 2020 to have 15 million either received or pledged.
- Help Patti transition into her Presidency.
- Redefine the committee structure and board role
Finally, I want to call up David Kleiman, Beth Weinberg and Phil Larman. All 3 outgoing Board members have given so much time to the temple and have been instrumental in the growth, preservation, and financial stability of the temple. They have run capital campaigns, the Foundation, been part of Governance, have been officers and the list goes on and on. Please join me in thanking all 3 for their volunteerism.
May 2nd What a day! Weather is beautiful. The Mini runners/walkers have finished their race. We have the Derby, the defending champs are on the brink of elimination in the NBA and there is the “Fight of the Century” tonight. If you all aren’t into sports then it’s a beautiful day to be outside!! It was a beautiful night to be inside at IHC last night! We celebrated Shabbat with Marcia and her family. We laughed, we cried, but most importantly we honored Marcia for 26 wonderful years of service to our congregation. I couldn’t be prouder of our team of volunteers and staff that once again showed our community how working together and coming together is how we enjoy being IHC members. The representation of past presidents, board members, students, teachers, staff, clergy, present members and many past members was a statement on how Marcia touched and affected our lives. I want to take a minute and remind the whole congregation you have a chance to watch me perform on Monday, May 11 at 7:00 pm. I am sure that date was already on your calendar but for the few of you that forgot I am reminding you now!!!!!! The Annual Meeting gives me an opportunity to communicate to you some of the areas the Board has been focusing on as well as areas we will be focusing on next year. It gives us an opportunity to thank outgoing Board members and an outgoing Brotherhood President. All have given so much to our Temple and we will miss them in the board room. I also am honored to have the opportunity to recognize 3 members of our community who have given their time not only to the Temple but especially to the Board in matters we needed advice on and help. Please join me in honoring Michael Blickman, Sonja Kantor and Diane Lutz during the meeting. Alright time to have my first Mint Julep and sit down and watch a whole heck of a lot of sports!! Greg
March 31, 2015 What a month at 6501 I am proud to be the President of our Board all the time, but this month gives me goose bumps. The Staff and Clergy knocked it out of the park again. From our Purim celebration to the Sisterhood Women’s Seder to the hosting of the NFTY Ohio Valley Spring Kallah, IHC was hustling and bustling. We had a full house at Shabbat Services Friday night to listen to Menachem Leibovitz, Vice Chairman of the Jewish National Fund in Israel. I hope you had an opportunity to see us in action at one of these events. The Board has been busy also. We welcomed Nicole Jahr to IHC the week of the 16th. Nicole is a candidate for our Director of Life Long Learning position. Nicole and her husband Herb will be back in Indy the weekend of April 17th-19th. Mark your calendars to stop by the Temple and welcome both Nicole and Herb. We are excited that Nicole has shown a strong interest in joining our team and community. We also have been busy doing strategic planning. We have developed a couple of Task Forces that are critical to the sustainability of IHC for generations to come. Mitch Katz is heading the Task Force on Commitment which will be diving into our financial commitment policy and how it interfaces with our vision for engagement and growth, how the policy is affected by our changing demographics and how we can spur both growth in membership and higher levels of giving. We hope to have many discussions in the next 3-4 months, some of which will include you. Please participate when the opportunity presents itself. We also have been asked to participate along with many other Jewish organizations in the Life and Legacy Partnership. Special thanks to Carolyn Hiser and Sonja Kantor who have agreed to be Co-Leaders of our team and to Amy Isaacs who will be participating as well. The Life & Legacy program helps communities across North America promote legacy giving to benefit the entire Jewish community, Jewish Federations, Agencies, Synagogues, social service organizations, day schools and others. The program gives all community members an equal opportunity to do something significant during their lifetime for the organizations they value!! It allows you to do so without requiring a current cash gift. The Harold Grinspoon Foundation has partnered with Indianapolis to become a proactive community in legacy giving. For more information on the program please Google either the Life and Legacy Partnership or the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. Finally, from my family to yours, Happy Pesach!! Greg ******************************************************************************************February 20th I’m waiting for Bolls Heating and Cooling to come to my house and figure out why my furnace isn’t working. My thermostat is showing a balmy 58 degrees. Oh well it gives me time to communicate to you what is up at IHC!! There is a lot up!! Please take a look at E-News every week to keep up to date on all the happenings. One new program we have started is late afternoon coffee discussions with Rabbi Brett. We are calling the program “On Holy Grounds”. We have had a couple conversational gatherings already and the next opportunity to meet will be March 19th at 5:00. This is another opportunity to hear Rabbi Brett’s vision for IHC and to discuss issues that might be on your mind. I hope you all see the effort the staff and board are making to hear you and to communicate to you more timely. If you have concerns please don’t hesitate to contact me. I want to take a minute and discuss the needs we have for you to volunteer. IHC depends on us as volunteers to run the Temple and its programs. I am going to list a few areas you can help us and I hope you will step up.
- We are forming a committee to look at ways to communicate our commitment vision to both members and non affiliated Jews. There have been quite a few studies done and we want to look at these studies and model a structure that incorporates all aspects of Jewish culture, values, and practices. The word “Engagement” is the driving force for members to want to give. We want all members to feel engaged. Mitch Katz will be heading this committee. You can contact Lynda, Mitch or me to discuss in more detail or just let us know you would like to be involved.
- The IHC Foundation manages our endowment and also is charged with growing our endowment. The Foundation Board and the IHC Board are made up of the same members. All of you, who know me, know I am a straight shooter and I am the first to tell you we have done a poor job of growing our endowment. We, the Temple, had our Generations Campaign several years ago and since then we have been focused mainly on Temple business more so than Foundation business. Our Temple business is important, but to sustain the operations of the Temple, we must grow our endowment. Our endowment is five million dollars and we use approximately 4% every year in our Temple operating budget. The goal is to have returns larger than 4% to not only take care of the Temple, but grow the principal amount. Over the past five years our endowment has grown at about the same pace as the amount we take out so the principal hasn’t changed. We need leaders of the Foundation to put a plan together to discuss with our members their planned giving and understand whether IHC is included. If we aren’t included, why aren’t we? We have to make an effort to meet with our members and discuss this. We are looking for a member to lead us in this endeavor. My hope is by the end of my term we have our plan and vision in place ready to execute. Please contact me if you have an interest in being the leader of our Foundation. This is very important work and I look forward to discussing in more detail.
- Finally, we are just a few months away from our Annual Meeting and the election of our new Board. We are looking for three new Board Members. If you have an interest in learning more about the duties and time commitment of a Board Member contact me or Lynda. Our future leaders are amongst us. If you would like to be on the Nominating Committee or have someone you would like to nominate that meets the requirements to be on the board let me know.
I rambled today but Bolls hasn’t shown up yet so at least my fingers have been moving!! Until the next Blog, Greg **************************************************************************************** January 20th Happy New Year! Patriots did what the Patriots do. Better luck next year. Oh well, the Seahawks Packers game was an incredible ending and just goes to show you in sport as in life “never give up”. I waited until after the board meeting to give you an update. The Search Committees for both the Associate Rabbi and Director of Life Long Learning have been busy over the holidays. We hope to announce the hiring of a new Associate Rabbi in the next week or so. I want to thank in advance the diligent work of the committee. They interviewed many candidates. Once they knew who they wanted they executed a plan and went out and wowed him. We all should be proud as he had many choices and when it came down to decision time he felt the IHC family was the easy choice. We are welcoming to the congregation, the weekend of Feb 6th-8th, Rabbi Lauren Cohn and her husband Matt. Rabbi Lauren is a candidate for the DLL position. You will see more details of their visit in the next couple weeks but we would love for you to join us for Shabbat on the 6th or come by and visit with Lauren during RS on Sunday the 8th. Rabbi Brett had his first open coffee roundtable last Wednesday. A half dozen congregants showed up. Rabbi Brett’s hope is as the word of mouth spreads and as we publicize the times more, you will come by and take some time to chat. There is no agenda just a chance to discuss any topic on your mind. If any of you are around the office please congratulate Erni Slater on her new position as Clergy Assistant. In any organization it’s nice to promote from within and we are excited for Erni. Finally, I think it is worth mentioning we welcomed 30 new families to IHC in 2014!! I know each family had choices and we are excited they chose IHC. We need all of you to either turn in your commitment card for 2015 or contact Lynda ASAP. It is an important part of the financial budget process for us to get as accurate a dues commitment number as possible. Please respond I hope you all have a wonderful week Greg ************************************************** December 16 Happy Hanukkah from me to you! As usual we have had a busy couple weeks at 6501. First off, please join me in welcoming Rabbi Mark to our staff. Although it is temporary, we are so fortunate to have him working with our Clergy during this time of transition. I want to thank everyone who spent some time with Rabbi Scott and his wife, Dori. IHC shined and, as the search process goes forward, we will continue to rely on our most important asset “you”!! Let me again thank Rabbi Brett, Cantor Roger, Marcia, Lynda and the entire staff for preparing and leading program after program the last few days and in this coming week. We have been rehearsing for the ECC Hanukkah play that will take place Wednesday at 3:00. We had Torah Talk for over 30 participants. We served as IHN hosts for 4 homeless families for a week. We celebrated at Klezmer Shabbat this last Friday night including our very own 65th Street Klezmer Band, our congregational choir and our Chai Notes (youth choir). On Sunday alone, 23 kindergarteners were consecrated and Brotherhood cooked and served latkes to our religious school students. Our Social Justice Committee has collected clothing and household goods for Crooked Creek Center and our Sisterhood has been collecting and packing food and clothing for children at Greenbriar Elementary School. The sanctuary was swinging as Cantor Roger & Jimmy Guilford delighted us with songs from the American songbook at the Second Sunday concert. Finally, we are preparing for Hanukkah-Palooza this coming Saturday. NONE OF THIS HAPPENS WITHOUT YOUR SUPPORT – FINANCIAL, SPIRITUAL AND COMMUNAL!! To all of you, thank you!! Again have a Happy Hanukkah!! Greg ******************************************** November 26 Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope you all are enjoying time with family and friends. We have been busy at 6501 and I want to give all of you an update. During this holiday I want to thank our Board, Clergy and Staff along with the numerous volunteers that help us sustain and build a progressive Jewish community. What is happening? The Search Committees for both the Director of Lifelong Learning and Associate/Assistant Rabbi are busy interviewing candidates for both positions. We are very pleased with the initial pool for both positions. For any questions you might have, please get in touch with Sara Cox regarding DLL and Patti Freeman Dorson for A/R. The Budget committee submitted a preliminary balanced budget to the Board at our November meeting. The hope is to pass the 2015 budget at our January meeting. You will be receiving your 2015 statement in a couple of weeks. We build our programming around the amount of cash we assume will come in every year. Obviously, if the amount of cash that comes in is less than budgeted we must make difficult decisions about the programming we can provide. None of us want that. To many of you, IHC creates personal connections daily, weekly, or monthly. Others might only want to engage during the HHDs. But do remember, IHC might become very valuable to you in a minute and we want to provide the very best for you whenever you need IHC. Thinking in that way, please consider raising your 2015 commitment from 2014. The Budget Committee, which was comprised of many dedicated volunteers-fellow congregants like you, came to the board and proposed a small increase to the budget. To be able to do this we must raise the amount of commitment income. There are not many ways to increase revenue. Our fund raising efforts will continue year in and year out, but they have not always produced predictable results. In fact, in 2014, fundraising has fallen below our hopes. Annual commitments are 70% of our budget so any shortfall has to come from our pockets. During this season of giving please consider raising your 2015 IHC commitment. We need you!!!! Thanks in advance Greg ******************************************** October 27 Weekends ahh. I hope everyone enjoyed this last one. Mother Nature is definitely cooperating. It has been a few weeks since my last communication and I wanted to catch everyone up on all that is happening at 6501. It has been a busy time: The Confirmation Class had a wonderful time in NYC. Rabbi Brett came back with a cold, but said the trip, as usual, was a fantastic opportunity to teach and connect. Last week the Board took the staff out to lunch to recognize and show our appreciation to each of them for all of the hard work that comes from the High Holy Days. Also, Rabbi Brett hosted the Past Presidents at an informal round table discussion and lunch. The attendance was fantastic. We discussed the Rabbi’s vision, shared comments on the HHD’s and discussed the financial situation of the Temple. Our Social Justice Committee is under the leadership of Marilyn Smith. We met, along with Board member Miriam Dant and Rabbi Brett and discussed the Rabbi’s vision. Our Mission includes Tikun Olam and the Board is very excited to partner with Marilyn and her committee. We had the October Board meeting last Thursday night. The Board and Staff spent a great deal of time discussing observations, both positive and negative, regarding the HHD’s. There was an overwhelming positive tone to most everyone’s comments. I would love to get your feedback. The real concern, however, was the lack of participation from the Congregation towards the Annual Campaign. Our participation rate was less than 20% and we collected less than $31,000. Last year we collected over $120,000 and we set a budgeted goal this year of $85,000. This shortfall goes straight to our bottom line. All of us need to understand there will be consequences. Obviously, our wonderful programming takes money to run and we don’t want to cut programming, but we are sending a message to our Board, Clergy and Staff that for whatever reason, cuts are on the table. Mitch Katz, Temple Treasurer, and Lynda have been conducting preliminary budget meetings and again I am so impressed with the Congregation’s involvement. Our budget is critical and it is so nice to get the input from our caring members. I will be blogging more in the future about our financial sources and uses of funds. Don’t forget if you want to understand our budget, the Committee meetings are open to all members. We would be happy for you to participate. Finally I want to thank Sonja Kantor for organizing and leading our fund raising efforts. Although the “Come Together” parties didn’t financially materialize like we had hoped, for those of us who did participate, it was a wonderful chance for our members to connect and that was the hope of the Board when we engaged in this endeavor. By the way, there are more parties this fall to sign up for!! Have a good week! Greg ********************************* September 9th Fall is in the air!! My favorite time of the year and it’s not only because of football!! It’s High Holiday Season and I’m excited for all that is happening at IHC! You should have received your High Holiday Packet in the mail either yesterday or today. If you haven’t received it by Thursday, call Lynda and let her know. As you read the letter from Lynda note that the Intergenerational Service has been redesigned. The Service will be most appropriate for school age children and their families. This will be a wonderful service that will include our IFTY kids helping with the Yom Kippur morning service. Also included is a sign up for the balance of the Come Together parties as we wind down this very successful fund raising event. I again want to thank Sisterhood for their help in organizing all of these wonderful opportunities for us to meet and enjoy each other in a social setting. I also want to thank all the hosts for putting on these events. Your financial and human commitment is greatly appreciated. The Director of Lifelong Learning and Associate Rabbi Task Forces have job descriptions prepared and both will be posted right after the HHD’s. I want to thank all who participated in the DLL open forum discussions during our Religious School sessions. The feedback was insightful and I believe will help in choosing our next Director. I like to use the blog to remind all of you of what is happening behind the scenes at IHC. I again want to thank our staff for pulling off another event packed weekend at 6501. Friday we had 2 services and 2 Onegs, one before service and one after. Saturday we had a Bar Mitzvah, a luncheon and after the luncheon we sat up the Social Hall for Sunday’s Sisterhood brunch. Sunday we had 2 sessions of Religious School and the Sisterhood Brunch honoring Marcia Goldstein. Wow! And most importantly you, the members were served. Don’t forget to thank any and all the staff the next time you are in the building. One more little tidbit before I sign off How many new families have joined IHC the last 18 months??? I bet none of you guessed 78!! We have it going. Let’s keep it going!!! Greg ********************************************** August 22nd I hope everyone is enjoying the week. The yards and plants are very happy. Just a quick update as we are all gearing up for the High Holidays. Sunday and Wednesday we will be discussing with the Congregation where we are in the search for a new Life Long Learning Director. The Task Force will be available at both sessions of Religious School on Sunday and at Derech Torah on Wednesday. Please come and listen and give your input as we are getting ready to dive into the search process. As I mentioned last week you will be receiving a call from a Board member leading up to the HHD services. Our database is a little light on personal cell numbers so we will be calling most of your homes. We will be leaving voice messages if we don’t get a hold of you so please if you have any comments, concerns, or praise contact us back. Times are a changing as I very rarely answer my home phone anymore. A couple quick announcements, sign up for the Fall Come Together Parties. There is a party for everyone and proceeds go to the Sisterhood and IHC. Definitely circle the party on Oct 19th at my house “Meet the Prez” I promise you a great brunch a little Sunday mid morning music and we can talk Temple if you want. Also the IndyChai’s are having a picnic at Eagle Creek on Sept 7th from 12:00 – 4:00. If you have any questions visit our website or contact Marla Wald. That’s it for now. Have a great weekend! Greg ********************************************************* August 14th For all of you that have school aged children, I hope you had a nice summer! Fall semester has started! So has the workings of our Board. We had a wonderful retreat on Sunday. Our turnout was almost 100% and we started the process of discussing the agenda I hope to have in place by the time our next President is installed. The main discussion points were the process of evaluating both the Board and our direct reports, the Senior Rabbi, the Executive Director, and the Cantor. The Governance Committee will be overseeing this going forward. We also spent a few hours discussing the structure and functionality of our existing committees. We split up the tasks between board members and reported back to the full board our findings. The committees we took a look at were House, Connections, Budget and Finance, Religious School, Early Childhood, Worship, Cemetery, Social Justice and Fund Raising. We have a long to do list. My hope is by the end of the school year we have charters and missions for each committee and committee members know they have a liaison to the board through one of its members. Finally, we spent quality time with Rabbi Brett conversing on different ways to connect our IHC family. We understand many Congregants need more than a spiritual connection to their Synagogue and we hope to continue the work of the past. Our goal is to touch every one of you in a “meaningful” way. Meaningful has different definitions so it is important we understand what meaningful means to you. My hope is that by the High Holy Days each of you have been touched by one of us (the Board). Let us know how IHC can better serve you!! It is extremely important to me and I will reach out to as many of you as I can. I am meeting some of you for coffee (if there is something you want to discuss lets discuss) Just this week I met with newly married Congregants, Congregants whose family is getting ready for a celebration and Congregants who still want to discuss issues that happened last spring. I promise you I will meet with you and listen to you. I’m excited because the Board is doing the work to build our future. Join us by being a part of a committee, volunteering, or experiencing one of the many programs we have in place for you. I’m looking forward to seeing you soon Greg ****************************************************** Tuesday, July 29 I’m back!! It’s been an enjoyable 6 weeks following my youngest, Charlie, around the East Coast and Midwest as he played in lacrosse tournaments. I’ve had great quality time with him, which I will always remember. We have been very productive at IHC this summer gearing up for the new school year and the High Holy Days as well as laying the groundwork for both the Director of Life Long Learning search and the Associate/Assistant Rabbi search. The Board has an August 10th retreat that I’m very excited about. We will be discussing the results of an internal Board Evaluation Survey we did in May. We will be spending time with Rabbi discussing Relational Judaism. A good portion of the meeting will be spent discussing our Committee structure, as it exists today, their function, their mission, what might need tweaked, and the hope that committees are a great source to find Lay leaders. Our committee volunteers do a fabulous job. One of my main goals during my tenure will be to make sure the Board and the Committees are in tune and moving IHC in a parallel direction. I’m very excited to dive into this. The Board has been in contact with the committee leaders and assigned staff, laying the groundwork for a very productive session. I will keep you posted. Have a nice week. The weather is beautiful! Greg ********************************************* June 23, 2014 Hi Everyone We had a really productive board meeting Thursday night. As part of our meetings Rabbi Brett has asked the Board and staff to read chapters of the book “Relational Judaism” by Ron Wolfson. Wolfson discusses a model of transforming Jewish institutions into relational communities that offer meaning and purpose, belonging and blessing. We discussed and debated what primary and secondary Jewish activities are and we also started the conversation of how can we get the fastest growing segment of our Jewish population interested in IHC. This segment is the “Nones” who have no spiritual community and are choosing the sidelines rather than to affiliate. We talked about listening to our congregations input and responding to our congregants so they know we listened. Like Tom Doehrman said in an email after the meeting “ Only on a Jewish board would that discussion take place”. This is part of Rabbi Brett’s vision and I’m glad to be able to use some of the Board meeting to discuss. We also are spending a few minutes each meeting letting staff talk to us about what’s happening. Cantor Roger described her work and her workload. I’ve come to know the job responsibilities of our Clergy and staff, all I can say is “Wow”. When you see them thank them and give them a big hug. They can use the support from all of us. Finally, I think you will be interested to know we are being very proactive on our budgetary process going forward. We are going to challenge the staff to look out into years 2, 3 and 4 and start discussing potential programs for the temple and then the Finance committee can look for ways to provide funding. We, as a board, hope you are feeling the positive vibes and look forward to continuing feedback on how we are doing. Don’t forget to sign up for Come Together parties. I’m looking forward to tasting a bunch of different wines at the Herman’s this week. I have the Uber app so no problems!! Chat Greg **************************** June 6, 2014 Hi Everyone, I very much enjoyed our Confirmation/Shavuot service this past Tuesday. Our young adults conducted a wonderful service. The breakout study sessions were a change from past years and were also led by our Confirmands. You all should mark your calendar for next year. It’s a treat to be part of our children’s Confirmation. The Board will be busy over the summer highlighted by our annual retreat in early August. Our initiatives that we are working on are continuing our organizational development, working to better articulate Rabbi Brett’s vision as it relates to the Board and refining the Boards involvement in our active committees. As most of you know, the Board has assembled an Associate/Assistant Rabbi Task Force that will convene shortly. Rabbi Brett and Cantor Roger are continuing to use local help as well as looking into bringing students over from Cincinnati to help in the interim. We have accumulated over time information from you regarding specific programs or committees you want to get involved with. We want you and need you to help make IHC fulfill its vision. Please contact me anytime. Hearing from you is the best measuring stick on how the Board and staff are doing. Talk soon Shabbat Shalom Greg *********************************** June 2, 2014 Hi Everyone, Thanks for clicking on the President’s blog icon. I plan on updating the blog when there is pertinent information to talk about. I want everyone to know a couple changes. First of all our Board meetings will be on Thursday nights. Please check the calendar on the website for exact dates. Remember, Board meetings are open to all members. If you come and have a question or comment email or call me in advance so we can discuss. We want to hear from all members, but we also have to respect time allotments of the meeting. There also might be a better avenue for discussion. Second, you can find most Board information by clicking on the “Who We Are” tab on the Home Page then click “Board of Directors”. We covered a lot of topics at the Board meeting. Some bullet points you might find of interest are: !. Patti Freeman Dorson will be heading up our Rabbi search task force. This TF will be charged with developing a job description, convening a Search Committee, and communicating with the membership as the process unfolds. My hope is their job will be complete by summer’s end and the job of searching for a Rabbi will officially begin. If you have any questions or comments please direct them to Patti. Her contact info is available online or in the directory. 2. The Board has also been charged with looking at the Temple’s committee structure and what role the Board should have in the committees. Committee involvement is a fantastic way to develop strong leadership. The Board will be divided into small working groups to discuss internally and with committee members the functionality of the committees. 3. Summer is here and right around the corner is the start of school and the beginning of our High Holiday season. We need volunteers to help during this year of transition. We hope to fill some of our Clergy duties using students from Cincinnati and local Clergy who have offered their services. We can always use your help to greet on Shabbat or offer to help with our Caring Community during the week. Please contact Lynda or Andrea if you are able and willing There is much more happening including the Come Together Parties starting in June. If you haven’t signed up for a party please do so. It is a fantastic way to connect with our IHC family. Well I’m shutting down the pecking for the night and I’m going to watch Game 5 and root on the Pacers!! Talk soon Greg