Temple B’rith Sholom Constitution
We, the members of B’rith Sholom Congregation of Springfield, Illinois, dedicate ourselves to the following principles:
- Judaism is a way of life which we seek to pursue in a broad range of human experience – personal and collective, in worship, in study, in the home, in work, and in the community.
- We seek to enrich and increase the Jewish content of our personal and group existence. In this spirit we strive to create new forms of worship, observance, and Jewish expression which will aid us in our search for spiritual growth. We shall encourage each other to make his or her* own creative contributions to this objective.
- We recognize the universal character of Judaism as a religious civilization. To that end, the congregation shall actively concern itself with the total life of the Jewish community and exercise its influence for the betterment of the Jewish community. It shall also contribute to the welfare of civic life.
- The Congregation shall actively apply the ethical teachings of Judaism to the issues of our society.
- The Rabbi of our Congregation shall enjoy freedom to preach and teach.
- We recognize that we are and have been affiliated with the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and that we support its philosophies, principles and goals.
This Congregation shall be known as B’rith Sholom Congregation of Springfield, Illinois, and the mode of worship shall be in accordance with the custom of Reform Judaism.
* Whenever the term he or his shall appear it shall represent either male or female occupying the designated office. Likewise chairs (chairman) shall represent either male or female occupant of the office.
MEMBERSHIP VOTING AND DUES
Section 1. Eligibility for Membership.
Any person of the Jewish faith, or any person wishing to associate with the Jewish faith, may be elected to regular membership on approval of his or her application by the Board of Trustees. The Board may take into consideration any outstanding financial obligations to Temple Israel. If a majority of the Board of Trustees shall be in favor of admitting said applicant he or she shall be elected. However, in the case of rejection, the applicant shall have the right of appeal to the Congregation. The appeal shall be considered at the next regular or special meeting of the Congregation, and it shall require a majority vote of the members present at such meeting to elect the applicant.
Section 2. Types of Members
The unit of membership shall be the individual, the family or the household. Members in the house over twenty-one who are self-supporting are not considered in the latter categories. A single individual under the age of thirty may be a congregation member for a reduced fee as determined by the Board of Trustees.
Section 3. Resignation from Membership
A member wishing to resign from the Congregation shall signify the same in writing addressed to the Board of Trustees and if it appears that such member is not indebted in any way to the Congregation, the membership shall be terminated in good standing.
Section 4. Voting Rights
Each adult member of the congregation in good standing shall be entitled to one vote on all questions at all congregational meetings.
Section 5. Dues and Assessments
A member shall pay annual dues, fees, assessments and charges in such amounts as established by the Board of Trustees. Upon adoption of this constitution, said dues shall be payable in advance at the beginning of the fiscal year of the Congregation or quarterly in advance thereafter. Any member who is delinquent in payment of dues, fees or assessments shall be notified of such delinquency. If not paid in thirty days following written notice, or if special arrangements are not made with the Board of Trustees for payment thereof, said member, following the delinquent quarter and thirty days after written notice, shall no longer be a member in good standing until all delinquencies are paid, and shall enjoy no rights of membership as herein set forth. The Board of Trustees shall have the right to revise the dues of all members. If a member applies to them in writing asking for relief because of hardship the Board of Trustees may, at its discretion by majority vote, grant appropriate relief.
Section 6. Individuals must be Jewish to serve on the Board.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Section 1. Management Responsibility
The management and administration of the Congregation shall be vested in the Board of Trustees.
Section 2. Board Membership and Terms of Office
- The Board of Trustees shall consist of not less than twelve and not more than twenty-four voting members. The Board of Trustees is hereby empowered to change the number of its members by a two-thirds vote of its body.
- One-third of the voting members of the Board of Trustees shall be elected by the Congregation each year at the annual meeting of the Congregation to serve for a term of 3 years. A voting member shall not be elected to more than 2 consecutive 3-year terms, except in the event a member is President s/he may be elected to an additional term while continuing to serve as President, or, in the event a voting member is nominated to serve as President, s/he may be elected to an additional term. The President shall be limited in all cases to 3 consecutive years as President.
Section 3. Attendance
Any trustee who, except for illness or excused absence, does not attend 3 meetings of the Board of Trustees shall be deemed to have resigned and said office shall be declared vacant and shall be filled pursuant to Article II Section 2. An excused absence may be obtained by contacting the President.
Section 4. Quorum
A majority shall constitute a quorum at all meetings of the Board of Trustees and except as herein provided all matters shall be decided by a majority vote of those constituting a quorum.
Section 1. Nominating Committee Membership
Nominations by all trustees shall be made by a nominating committee appointed by the President, with the consent of a majority of the Board of Trustees, no later than sixty days previous to the Annual Meeting. The Nominating Committee shall consist of 4 members of the Board of Trustees and 3 members of the Congregation at large, and shall not include two members from the same household. The members of the Board of Trustees selected to serve on the Nominating Committee shall not be up for re-election as a board member nor shall they be eligible to be nominated to serve as an officer of the Congregation in the next election.
Section 2. Slate of Board Members and Officers
The slate shall consist of one nominee for each trustee whose term of office shall expire at the close of the then current fiscal year. The nominating committee shall further nominate from those persons having served at least 1 year of a term as a trustee and who is a member of the board, candidates to fill the position of President, First and Second Vice Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer. (Approved at Annual Meeting, May, 2016)
Section 3. Voting Procedures
- Nominations by the Nominating Committee, with the consent of the nominee, shall be reported to the Board of Trustees for approval and notice of said nominations shall be mailed to the Congregation at least thirty days prior to the election. Each individual nomination or the entire slate submitted by the Nominating Committee shall be voted upon the Annual Meeting.
- Nominations for any elective office may be made by petition of any thirty members of the Congregation, with the written consent of the nominee or nominees, and said nominations to be filed with the Secretary at least 10 days before the election and notice of said nominations mailed to the Congregation by the secretary at least 5 days prior to the election, provided however, that the nominations for officers must be from those persons having served at least 1 year of a term as trustee and who is a member of the Board.
- In the event any office or position to be voted upon is contested, the vote shall be by secret written ballot and the person receiving the greater number of votes shall be deemed elected. All nominees and all persons voting shall be members in good standing.
The Officers of the Congregation shall consist of the following members of the Board: President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. As officer of the Sisterhood and Youth Group shall be a board member and shall be a member of Tempe B’rith Sholom in good standing. The immediate past President of the Congregation shall serve on the Board. If his/her term of Presidency co-terminates with his/her service as a member of the Board, s/he shall continue to serve for one year as an ex-officio member without the right to vote. All members of the Board shall have the right to vote.
OFFICERS AND THEIR DUTIES
Section 1. Eligibility
No two persons from the same family unit or household may serve on the Board of Trustees at the same time, except if one member represents the Youth Group or Sisterhood.
Section 2. Filing Vacancies
Any vacancy on the Board of Trustees shall be filled from the Temple membership by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Trustees for the remaining term of the vacated office. Vacancies shall be filled from a list submitted by the Nominating Committee.
Section 3. Board Duties
The Board of Trustees shall govern the affairs of the Congregation, control its revenue and property, determine dues, determine tenure of employees, admit new members and order special meetings.
Section 4. Right to Levy Assessments
The Board of Trustees may levy special assessments upon the members of the Congregation, subject to the approval of the Congregation, by a majority vote of those present, at a regular or special meeting. All special assessments shall be levied in proportion to the dues structure of each member. If a member applies to the Board in writing asking for relief because of hardship the Board of Trustees may, in its discretion by majority vote, grant appropriate relief.
Section 5. Removal from Office
The removal of a Trustee from office shall be initiated by charges submitted in writing by at least 10 members of the Congregation who are not members of the Board of Trustees. The Trustee against whom such charges are directed shall be furnished with a copy of the charges promptly and shall have the right of filing a written response. The President shall immediately appoint a Committee of Inquiry consisting of 5 members of the Congregation who are not members of the Board of Trustees nor the initiating members, who shall promptly consider the charges, answer and hold a hearing if necessary or at the request of the Trustee against whom charges have been filed.
In the event the Committee of Inquiry finds the charges are not well-founded, the parties who filed the charges and the Trustee concerned shall be so notified and said charges shall be dismissed.
In the event the Committee of Inquiry finds that there is probably cause for the charges, the matter shall be reported to the Board with the recommendation of the Committee of Inquiry.
A Trustee shall be removed from office upon the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the Board present and voting at a regular meeting held after receipt by the Board of the recommendation of the Committee of Inquiry.
Section 6. Duties of the President
The duties of the President shall be to act as chair at all congregational and board meetings, to appoint chairs of committees, all of which s/he is to be an ex-officio member, to call special meetings of the Board of Trustees, if called upon by the written request of 3 members, within 3 days thereafter, said written request stating the matter to be brought before that body. S/he shall call a special meeting of the Congregation upon the written request of fifteen members within 10 days thereafter, said written request containing the object of the meeting.
Section 7. Duties of the Vice President(s)
The First Vice President, or, in his/her absence, the Second Vice President, shall exercise the powers and perform the duties of the President in case of death, resignation, absence or other inability of the President and shall supervise activities of all committees and shall be an ex-officio member of all committees. The First Vice President may be the President-
Section 8. Duties of the Treasurer
The Treasurer shall keep a correct and faithful account of all receipts and expenditures, including all funds, except the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund; s/he shall pay all orders signed by the President; and the books belonging to his/her office shall at all times be open to the inspection and examination of any member of the Congregation at proper times and places. The Treasurer shall, for the faithful performance of his/her duties prior to entering his/her office, give bond to an amount to be fixed by the Board of Trustees, unless waived, with two or more approved sureties or surety bond, premium on which shall be paid by the Congregation. S/he shall present to the Board of Trustees a monthly report of all receipts and disbursements of the Congregation and any and all funds belonging to the Congregation except the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund, and shall cause an annual compilation to be made.
S/he shall keep an inventory of all property belonging to the Congregation and deliver to his/her successor in office all monies, books, papers and other property, whenever directed to do so by the President. The Treasurer shall be chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. The Treasurer shall cause to be made an annual compilation of the books of accounts of the Congregation and submit the same to the September meeting of the Board of Trustees.
Section 9. Duties of the Secretary
The Secretary shall attend all meetings and keep a correct record of all proceedings. S/he shall issue all notices to members, attend to the correspondence, and keep all such books and perform such duties consistent with his/her office as the Board of Trustees may direct. The Secretary’s books shall be open to the inspection of the Board of Trustees and to any member of the Congregation at proper times and places and if any errors be found therein, said member shall report the same to the Board of Trustees.
DUTIES OF TRUSTEES
Section 1. Power to Make Rules
The Board of Trustees shall have power to make such rules and by-laws for their own government as, in the judgment, they think proper, if not inconsistent with the Constitution and By-laws of the Congregation.
Section 2. Power to Hire Employees
The Board of Trustees shall appoint employees, except the Rabbi, as hereinafter set forth, fix the salaries of persons so appointed, and have authority to remove same from employment.
Section 3. Ineligible for Compensation
Trustees shall receive no compensation for their services.
Section 4. Meeting Schedule
The Board shall meet on the fourth Tuesday of each month from September to June, and at such other times as meetings may be called, but shall meet no less than 7 times each fiscal year.
Section 5. Report at Annual Meeting
The Board of Trustees shall submit to the members at the Annual Meeting a report containing a detailed statement of the amount of revenue required for the maintenance of the Congregation for the ensuing year.
Section 1. Standing and Ad Hoc Committees
The following standing committee chairs shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the Board, at the first meeting of the Board following the annual election:
Building and Grounds Committee
The following committees are recommended but not mandatory. Chairs shall also be appointed by the President with the approval of the Board, at the first meeting of the Board following the annual election:
Endowment Growth Committee
Social Action Committee
Any other committees as shall be deemed necessary may be established. In addition, delegates to the UAHC (Union of American Hebrew Congregations), JCRC (Jewish Community Relations Council) and SBJE (Springfield Board of Jewish Education) and a computer specialist will be appointed by the President.
Section 2. Duties of the Finance Committee
It shall be the duty of the Finance Committee to make a detailed estimate of the income and current expenses for the ensuing year, and to inspect the accounts of the Congregation. Any proposed major expenditure not provided for in the annual budget of the Congregation shall be made first to the Finance Committee (committee on budget and finance) which shall report to the Board of Trustees at its next meeting. The President of the Sisterhood or any one of its officers shall be a member of the Finance Committee.
Section 3. Committee Membership
The committee chairs shall select the members of their committees, except the Nominating Committee which shall be appointed by the President and approved by the Board of Trustees.
RIGHTS OF MEMBERS
Section 1. Rights
Subject to rules and regulations heretofore and hereafter adopted by the Board of Trustees, a member and his/her family shall have the right and privilege of worship in the Temple, his/her children may, on attaining the proper age, become Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and confirmands. The members (and the members’ spouses) and their dependent children shall have the right to purchase graves and interment in the cemetery of this Congregation, and they shall have the right of being married in the Temple by the Rabbi of the Congregation, in accordance with the religious practices of this Congregation as promulgated by its Rabbi.
Section 2. Rights of the Rabbi
The Rabbi and his/her household shall be entitled to the privileges of membership.
Section 3. Life Cycle Events
All marriage and funeral services for members held in the Temple shall be conducted according to the rites of this Congregation, its Constitution and By-laws, and under the direction of the Rabbi.
MEETING OF THE CONGREGATION
Section 1. Annual Meeting
One Annual Congregational Meeting shall be held not later than June 1 of each year.
Section 2. Meeting Notices
The Secretary shall cause notice of all meetings to be given to the members of the Congregation and such notice shall state the object of such meeting, whether general or for special business.
Section 3. Quorum
A quorum at an annual or special meeting shall consist of forty voting members.
Section 1. Selection
The Rabbi shall be selected by a Pulpit Committee appointed by the President of the Congregation at such salary and for such period of time as shall be determined by the Board of Trustees. The matter shall then be referred to a meeting of the Congregation where a majority of those present shall be required for the election of the Rabbi.
Section 2. Rabbinical Selection according to Guidelines
Whenever possible, and as deemed appropriate by the Board of Trustees and the Pulpit Committee, the method of selection of a Rabbi shall be in accordance with the rules, regulations and guidelines as propounded and as from time to time amended by the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC).
Section 3. Rabbi’s Attendance at Meetings
The Rabbi shall have the privilege of attending all meetings of the Board of Trustees and the Congregation, except when requested for some special reason to be absent. S/he shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.
Section 4. Rabbinical Duties
S/he shall conduct Sabbath and holiday services, perform wedding ceremonies and burial services of members. S/he shall not allow any person to officiate in his/her stead without special permission of the President. It is his/her special duty to act in the leadership of the Religious School connect with the Congregation. S/he shall not be absent from the Temple on Friday evening, Sabbath or holiday without permission of the President.
If s/he should disregard any of the above provisions or conduct himself/herself unbecoming his/her station, the Board of Trustees shall have the power to suspend him/her, and within 10 days thereafter, convene a meeting of the Congregation for the purpose of submitting the case for definite action.
GIFTS, MEMORIALS AND ENDOWMENTS
Section 1. Donation and Loan of Tangible Items
If anyone wishes to present anything to the Congregation for the Temple, the same shall be received subject to the Board’s approval, under the express condition that it remain the property of the Congregation; and if the article is presented as a temporary deposit it is under the exclusive control of the Board of Trustees until its removal.
Section 2. Memorial Funds and Endowments
Any and all Memorial Funds and Endowments specifically established in the name of any individual or family, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees, are irrevocable.
The Fiscal Year for all reporting and billing purposes begins annually on June 1.
RULES OF PROCEDURE
The rules of procedure at all meetings of the Board of Trustees and congregational meetings shall be pursuant to Roberts Rules of Order.
INDEMNIFICATION OF DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES AND VOLUNTEERS
A person serving in the capacity of director, officer, employee or volunteer of this congregation shall be entitled to seek indemnification or advancement of expenses to the fullest extent of the law. However, such person shall not be allowed to seek reimbursement or advancement of expense for a breach of his/her duty of loyalty to the congregation, for acts or omissions not in good faith or law, or for the transaction from which that person derives an improper personal benefit.
Section 1. Changes to the Constitution
Any proposition to amend, alter or repeal the foregoing Constitution or any portion thereof, shall be made in writing at a meeting of the Board of Trustees, and shall lie on the table for a period of at least thirty days for being acted upon when it shall require a vote of two-thirds of the Trustees present to submit the proposition to the Congregation shall require a two-thirds vote of the members present for its adoption.
Section 2. Expiration of Earlier Versions of the Bylaws
By adopting the foregoing Constitution any pervious Constitution and Bylaws are hereby repealed, annulled and declared void.
Section 3. Authority of Constitution
The provisions of this Constitution shall not be suspended or waived at any meeting.
Adopted: June 4, 2000
Revised: May, 2016