MRJ 2014 Convention Minutes

June 22, 2014, New Orleans, LA

June 22, 2014, New Orleans, LA

Call to Order 10:08

Present: Bob Golosluv, Jean Hughes, Richard Hughes, Tom Weiner, Bob Ricles, Dave Serbin, Dave Schuster, Maury Goldstein, Alan Moskoff, Buzz Deitechman, Steve Portnoy, Rabbi David Wolfman, Stuart Leviton, Dave Oney, Eliot Rosenzweig, John Shalett, Aaron Bloom, Ira Warshawsky, Charlie Niederman, Larry Pepper, Rob Himmelstein, Dan Checkman, Steve Sherman, Rich Fishkin, Steve Friedman Bob Ingrum, Adam Karol. Members joining remotely included: Louis Datz, Irv Tons, Stuart Aaronson, Daniel Faigin, Larry Hotz, Brian Hatkoff, Andrew Fields, Jeffrey Levine, Paul Cohen, Allan Lowenkron, Jeff Light, Michael Feuerman

Overview of MRJ's process of self assessment and change:

  1. Rabbi David Wolfman made presentation of Conflict Levels
  2. Report on progress since Rabbi Wolfman has worked for us. Start explained that MRJ was collision course that would result in its dissolution within the next few years.
  3. New proposals coming re: dues, commitments

President Stuart Leviton calls to session an MRJ Board of Trustees meeting


Dave Oney reviews proposed budget for coming year. New budget is more conservative and streamlined. Projected revenues will be $190,000. This will have to include fundraising. Partnership with URJ will help- accounting functions, software programs, shared services. Total projected expenses: $189,848.00

  1. Motion: Buzz Deitchman to approve budget.
  2. Steve Portnoy moves to amend budget to provide grant funding of $15,000 for Scholar in Residence; subject to availability of funds.
  3. Steve Sherman: There are restricted funds available for use in Scholar in Residence funding.
  4. Buzz Deitchman accepts amendment made by Steve Portnoy.
  5. Second proposed Amendment by Portnoy: Strike designation
  6. Membership Dues change to Financial Support. Dave Oney change to Dues to financial support in the final version of the budget.
  7. Vote on Budget with Deitchman Amendment: Passed with 1 abstention

President Stuart Leviton adjourned the MRJ Board of Trustees meeting.

MRJ 2014 Convention

The MRJ 2014 Convention was called to order.

Amendments to MRJ Constitution: Proposed Article III Amendment: Affiliation and Financial Support

Bob Ricles moves to Accept Section 1 titled Affiliation and Financial Support. Motion seconded.

Article III – Section 1 – Affiliation: As a mission-driven organization that seeks to reach and include all men of Reform Judaism, and as an organization that recognizes and encourages diversity in organizational structures that are appropriate to different groups or groupings of men, MRJ invites and welcomes any local and/or regional group or grouping of men who wish to affiliate with and be a part of a larger grouping of men who wish to affiliate with and be a part of a larger grouping of men, namely MRJ. The EC shall adopt and maintain and affiliation process to carry out the intent of this section.

  1. Discussion follows regarding intent of section and language.
  2. Bob Ricles moves to accept following Amendment to MRJ Constitution.
  3. Buzz Deitchman seconds motion.
  4. Vote: Unanimous

Article III – Section 2 – Financial Support. Recognizing that a fixed financial obligation often can be a barrier to affiliation or an excuse for disaffiliation or an excuse for disaffiliation, MRJ requires only that each affiliate contribute a fair share toward MRJ's administrative costs as determined by each affiliate. The EC shall develop guidelines and recommendations to carry out the intent of this section, which shall be communicated to affiliates, and affiliates are encouraged to follow the guidelines and recommendations as may be appropriate for each affiliate. Fixed financial support shall not, however, be a pre-requisite either for becoming an affiliate or maintaining status as an affiliate.

  1. Discussion followed regarding communication with affiliates as to need to support MRJ but don't want groups to disaffiliate because of dues and financial issues.
  2. Vote: Unanimous (1 abstention)
  3. President Stuart Leviton directed the Constitution and By Laws committee to incorporate these amendments into the constitution and modify any related items in the MRJ constitution and by laws.

MAZON Resolution regarding Protecting the Right to Adequate Nutrition

  1. Buzz Deitchman moves to adopt resolution which was seconded.
  2. Discussion followed regarding endorsing resolution. Is this fundraising? (Rob Himmelstein). Should this be left to local communities? (Elliot Rosenzweig)
  3. Vote: Unanimously passed

Introduction of New Staff: Adam Karol and Rabbi Richie Address

  1. Adam's title will be Engagement Manager and will be working on aligning MRJ with URJ.
  2. Rabbi Richie Address will be rabbinic advisor to MRJ.

Convention adjourned at 10:45 am and reconvened at 11:00 for Good & Welfare.

Respectfully submitted,
Lawrence Pepper
MRJ Secretary