At the November meeting, the board heard several important reports. The treasurer reported that the High Holy Day Appeal has raised more than $30,000, $10,000 above its budget. There is a possible shortfall in dues collection, which we will receive more clarity on in future reports. The board accepted with gratitude a donation from the anonymous Family Foundation in the amount of $93,000, $30,000 of which is earmarked support salaries, and $63,000 of which will be used for various maintenance and improvement projects not included in the operating budget.

The Naming and Dedication Committee presented its final report, detailing a review of the records of past capital campaigns and giving their recommendations for honoring our donors over the years. The board accepted their recommendations.

Elaine Jones presented the work of the Alternative Dues Taskforce. This task force has analyzed our own dues receipts over the years, contacted a number of other synagogues to discuss their dues structure, and studied national reports on various dues models. Their presentation informed the board that our median bill for this year is $1406 and our membership number is stable. They consider the Sustaining Model to be promising – it requires calculating the average amount per family needed to maintain operations, and asking for pledges from each member unit. Their research indicates this usually has a positive effect on both congregational relationships and overall revenues. The board asked the task force to present their full report to the congregation at a town hall on February 10, 2019.

The president informed the board that he was creating a security task force, chaired by Mo Riback and with Jim Liebeskind as staff liaison, to review all our procedures in light of events in Pittsburgh and present any recommended changes to the board.