AGM brings Board changes

Posted: 28 August 2017

There have been some major changes to Hobart Hebrew Congregation’s Board of Management after the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the congregation held on Sunday, August 27.

Two long-standing members of the Board and holders of executive positions announced they were standing down:

  • Daniel Albert was President from 2006 to 2016 and an ordinary Board member both before and afterwards.
  • Beginning in 1983, Stephen Graetzer served as the shul’s Treasurer for a total of 28 years in two separate terms.

The AGM voted unanimously to thank Daniel and Stephen for their many years of tireless unpaid work on behalf of our community. Daniel commented later that when he started on the Board he was nominated without his knowledge and had no inkling he would stay on for so long.

John Rosenbloom, who had been an ordinary Board member since 2014, also stepped down at the AGM.

Stephen has been replaced as Treasurer by Kalanit Mayer, who had previously been the Secretary of the congregation and is a book-keeper in her day-job.

The new Secretary of the congregation is Louise Knopman. Louise was formerly a professional social worker with users of Australian Sign Language, and has been a member of the shul for many years. She was on the Board for a period several years ago and is excited to be returning to it.

The two vacancies for ordinary Board members have been filled by Lev Fridgant and Jeff Schneider.

Lev lives in Launceston with his wife Maxine Glanger and works as a psychiatrist. He’s the first representative of our growing Northern Tasmanian membership to take a seat on the Board.

Jeff is one of our younger members and together with his wife Lisa Eckstein is the proud parent of two young children. A professional web developer, he’s already made important contributions to the congregation’s well-being through setting up and administering the new shul website launched in October 2016.

Continuing in their existing roles are Jordana Schmidt as President, David Clark as Vice-President, and Susan Steenbergen as an ordinary member.

You can read more about Jordana and the make-up of the new Board here.

Next year’s membership fees approved

Posted: 27 August 2017

Membership (or more officially, seat hire) fees for the next financial year starting in July 2018 have been decided.

The latest Annual General Meeting of the congregation held on 27 August 2017 approved the new scale of fees, which represents the first increase in membership charges since 2015-16.

The new membership fees to apply in 2018-19 are:

  • Couples and Families: $300 ($280 currently and for the last three years)
  • Singles: $190 (currently $175)
  • Full-Time Students: $45 (currently $40)

The congregation’s President, Jordana Schmidt, explained to the AGM that the Board was seeking approval for next year’s membership fees in advance so that renewal notices could be sent out as soon as the new financial year began in July 2018. She said that the congregation relied on membership fees to fund a large part of its recurrent spending, and could not afford to delay issuing renewal notices.

Jordana emphasised that even after the increases, costs of belonging to the shul compared more than favourably with the rates for mainland congregations, including those with similar memberships.

As always, any member who feels unable to pay their seat hire fee in full during 2018-19 will be able to apply for all or part of the fee to be waived.

If you’re Jewish, live in Tasmania, and are interested in becoming a member of our congregation, you can find out about the benefits of joining and how to do it here.

Long-time Welfare Coordinator steps down

Posted: 27 August 2017

Along with a major change in Board personnel, the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the congregation held on August 27 also saw the retirement of Sandy Graetzer as Welfare Coordinator, a role she had filled for many years.

Shul President Jordana Schmidt took the opportunity in her report to the AGM to thank Sandy publicly, and offer the congregation’s best wishes to her.

Sandy received a Ner Tamid award from the Union for Progressive Judaism in September last year in recognition of her work for the community over more than four decades, including as Welfare Coordinator.

Welfare Coordinators have the task of providing help to members of the congregation and community who are unwell or otherwise in need of support.

The coming year will be the first in a long time without a member of the Graetzer family acting in a voluntary position on behalf of the shul. After a total of 28 years in the role, Sandy’s husband Stephen has retired as Treasurer.

Louise Knopman has been appointed as the new Welfare Coordinator, working in collaboration with Pnina Clark.

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