MRJ Homepage


Steven Portnoy

1st Vice President
Rob Himmelstein

Vice Presidents
Gary Brock
Brian Hatkoff
Tony Perry
Stephen Sherman

Paul Cohen
Assistant Treasurers
Andy Chait
Dan Checkman

Larry Pepper
Assistant Secretary
Larry Krasnoff
Alan Moskoff


Howard Bellet
Aaron Bloom
Michael Fein
Buzz Deitchman
Harvey Harris
Bob Ingrum
Michael Kaplan
Stu Leviton
Ken Moskowitz
Charlie Niederman
Howard Oppenheim
David Schuster
Brian Serle
John Shallet
Irving Shnaider
Ira Warshawsky
Tom Wiener - Immediate Past President








Article IX of Constitution

SECTION 6. Nominating Committee
The President shall appoint the Nominating Committee, which shall consist of the Chairman, and not less than six (6) nor more than sixteen (16) additional voting members of the EC.  
At least 70 days before the first session of each Biennial Convention, there shall be sent to each Affiliate, the names of the chairman and members of the Nominating Committee.  The notice shall also inform each affiliate of its right to make recommendations to the committee of candidates for nomination to be elected members of EC as provided in Article VIII.
A copy of the recommendations shall be sent to each member of the Nominating Committee by the MRJ Office not less than 60 days before the first session of the Biennial Convention.
Recommendations may be made in writing by no less than seven (7) members of the EC or by resolution of an Affiliate.  The recommendation(s) shall be sent to the office of the MRJ, not less than 45 days before the first session of the Biennial Convention.  
Not less than 30 days before the first session of the Biennial Convention, the Nominating Committee shall report and publish nominations to the EC.  Tom Wiener Chairs Nominating Committee -




Meeting convened at 9:00 am by President Steven Portnoy.

The following Reports were given to the EC:

1.         Report on forthcoming MRJ Convention.  Convention will be held in July, 2017, at the Marriott in Crystal City outside of Washington, DC.  Our convention will be held at the same time as the FJMC convention, although certain events, and, in particular, religious services, will be conducted separately.  Several prominent speakers have been invited, and are expected to attend and address the attendees, including former Congressman Barney Frank, and possibly other present and/or past government officials such as Rabbi David Saperstein, Ambassador for religious affairs in the Obama administration and former director of the Religious Action Center.
2.         Report on ideas and suggestions for fund raising was presented by Larry Krasnoff.  This committee has adopted the name GELT- for Giving Embraces Lesson of Tzedukah. Presentation of fundraising suggestions were:
a)         EC members committing to make annual contributions;
b)         Voluntary member donations from men belonging to Brotherhoods and/or others
3.         Rob Himmelstein spoke about revisions to the constitution and by-laws of MRJ. Some minor changes have been made but more significant revisions should be ready by the July convention and a final version should be ready for review and discussion by that time.
4.         Bob Ingrum gave a report on the Committee for Social Action (CSA).  Bob sits on this committee (it is a Religious Action Center {RAC}) committee) and, in particular, on a sub-committee regarding sexual assault on campus.  He related his experience at the most recent meeting and a discussion ensued about the extent of “social action” which included whether or not the URJ, and especially MRJ should become involved in politics.  One topic of discussion was whether we should make any statement regarding cabinet appointments and, in particular, the attorney general nominee, Sen. Sessions.  President Portnoy reported that the RAC had taken a position in opposition to the nominee.
5.         Treasurer’s Report.  In the absence of Treasurer Paul Cohen, Dan Checkman gave an abbreviated Treasurer’s Report.  We have approximately $500 left in Citi Bank and they are closing our account.  Remaining funds are in a segregated account with the Union and a new account will be set up for MRJ.  Our funds that have been held by URJ are being returned to us.  URJ is holding approximately $69,500 of our money.
A Motion was made and seconded to pay the outstanding amount to FJMC.  Motion was passed unanimously.
Mention was also made about a website "" which provides free and/or low cost software and hardware for non-profits. MRJ has purchased a three-user version of Quickbooks 2017 for non-profits. Our Treasurer and two Assistant Treasurers have each received a copy.

Good and welfare followed the announcements and reports.  (Old business and New business were covered in the above reports.)

Meeting was adjourned at 11:50 a.m.

 /s/ Larry Pepper
Larry Pepper
MRJ Secretary



I'm certain that you have heard the writing of letters is a lost art. That is precisely why I am writing you a letter: to revive the custom for the purpose of reaching you on a personal level. By now you have heard from a friend or acquaintance that the Men of Reform Judaism are holding their biennial Convention in Crystal City in the Washington, DC area in July, 2017. You also know that our Convention is being held in tandem with our collaborative partner, the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs (FJMC). The Convention information is readily available at our website, as well as on the FJMC site and I direct you to those sites. You should be prepared to be inspired by what is being offered to you and your significant other. Why, you ask, should I consider attending a Men of Reform Judaism convention in July?  King Lear, on being hectored by his daughters, declares “Ask not the reason why.”  I will say to you that the reasons for attending are too numerous to count, but I will give you some. Conventions are meant for ingathering men (and women); they provide the opportunity for us to learn, to inspire us, to propel us to carry back to our Brotherhoods innovative topics and ideas. In July we all will have the good fortune to be with old friends and make new ones. MRJ will be holding its own convention programs, its own Shabbat service, its own special ruach and camaraderie; but it will also share with our Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs all of its convention offerings. In short, our MRJ Brothers will partake of tandem days dedicated to strengthening the way in which we live Jewishly. But, you say it is an expensive proposition. Grant it. Yet, can’t you see yourself going to your Brotherhood board, your Rabbi, and asking that they assist you in at least partially defraying the cost of attending?  Why would you be denied the opportunity to grow personally and thereby enrich your Brotherhood and your greater Temple community?  You, your Brotherhood, and your Temple actually deserve the opportunity to attend the Convention. I hope to see you there! Shabbat Shalom. In Brotherhood, Gary Brock Member of our MRJ Executive Committee

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HERE IS A LINK TO:  an article published by URJ
in "Inside Leadership"
Jewish Men's Groups Agree to an Unprecedented Collaboration

Link to a story on our collaboration as published by JTA

Further coverage of our collaboration

Originating the position within URJ, is Evan Traylor, who is the "Presidential Fellow for Millennial Engagement"
Here is a link to a blog piece written by Evan on one of favorite topics - Millenials
Look for the shoutout to MRJ and Roc

MRJ was proud to sign on.  Read the statement here:

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