Board Meeting Minutes: February 3, 2022

Next BZ Board Meeting is via Zoom on Thursday, April 7, 2022, 5:30 p.m.

Attendees:  Scott Israel, Tal Cohen, Jackie Rosenfeld, Bill Hillner, Roy Rosenfeld, Terry Wheeler, Alan Lebovitz, Joe Kodsi, Mark Shapiro, Cara Weiner (10 people).

Also in attendance were Rabbi Samuel Rotenberg and Amy Sandy.

Absent:  Matt Kodsi, Rob Cowan, Jessica Soufer (3 people).

The Zoom link was opened at 5:23 p.m. and the meeting began at 5:30 p.m.


1.       D’VAR TORAH

          Rabbi Samuel Rotenberg [RSR]:  We read this week about the incense in the temple with a very specific mixture of eleven spices which were burned in the morning and in the evening.  Said if you add honey, it negates the mix.  If you forget one of the spices, it’s also no good.  For us to do something holy, we need a mixture of people – some savory, some spicey, more flavorful, some less.  Re the honey, can’t make something so sweet that we overlook the other aspects.

2.       MOTION:  To approve the Board Meeting Minutes for December 9, 2021

          1st:  Mark Shapiro

          2nd:  Alan Lebovitz

          Ayes:  All

          Nays:  None

          Abstentions:  None

          The motion was passed.


          Please see the Rabbi’s monthly recap previously emailed and published on our website.  Thank you to Roy for leading services during my vacation.  Attendance in virtual services continues to rise.  I am thrilled to re-open for live, in-person services this weekend (February 5th).  Have also been seeing people in person.  Family Fun Day (Feb. 20), Wine Tasting event for prospective new members at Jessica Soufer’s home (Feb. 22).  Also visiting potential new homes with realtor.  Trying to engage more people in Chevrah Kadisha.  Foundations in Judaism with Rabbi Lewis in March.  Re-launch of Torah Scholars.  Upcoming Purim program – flyer to go out soon.

4.       FINANCIALS, by Alan Lebovitz

          See previously transmitted financials.  Alan did a screen share.  Numbers are for calendar year ending 12/31/2021 [our fiscal year ends June 30].  Admin is under budget.  We are over budget in Plant Operations a hair.  HHD/Sabbath Security is running more.

          Cara:  I just got bill for religious school, so you should be seeing more income for that soon.

          Scott:  HHD accounts came in, we added all that income.  Mark’s committee did a wonderful job.

          RSR question:  Where does Mishloach Manot $ go?  Scott:  BSI income.

          Scott:  Tal has volunteered to do March Madness.  We get $300-$600 from that.

          Amy:  Honey sales are also an annual fundraiser.

5.       EDUCATION REPORT, by Tal Cohen

          Adult and Youth Education.  Not a lot to update.  Main update is from Covid restrictions.  Both BSI and Machanooga have been virtual.  Both are returning to in-person during next week or two.  Re Adult Education, perhaps Rabbi and I can connect offline and work up a plan.

          Scott:  All the parents I talk to give only praise for both programs.

          Tal:  Ari Sloan is adding great content to BSI, plus Susan Caminez is doing a great job for Machanooga.

          RSR:  There is an excellent collaboration between Rabbi Lewis, Susan, and me.

6.       SUPER BOWL REPORT, by Mark Shapiro

          See previously transmitted report. 

          Scott:  A big Thank You to Mark Shapiro for making this happen.

          Mark:  Many phone callers have helped make this happen.  My total appreciation goes out to all of them.

          Mark:  Side note to Rabbi:  Torah readings are way easier online than in-person.

          Mark:  We have sold out the $100 board and have only seven spots left on the $50 board.

          We are having a limited menu of hot dogs, coleslaw, chips, adult beverages, and brownies for dessert.  It will still be a good time.

          Alan:  When are you drawing the board?  Answer:  Wednesday.  Need to email copies to out-of-towners.

          Scott:  Sold out boards will give us $15K, less expenses for winner payouts, food, TV rental, etc.

7.       MEMBERSHIP, by Scott Israel

          New membership application:  Rabbi’s mother, Elaine Rotenberg.

          1st:  Alan Lebovitz

          2nd:  Cara Weiner

          Vote was unanimous to approve.

          Rabbi will put her email and phone number in the chat.

Joe Kodsi joined us at 17:57.

8.       FUTURE HOME SEARCH, by Bill Hillner / Scott Israel

          Rabbi and I have been visiting various areas.  We’ve looked at several properties, but nothing stands out yet.  Mike Kelly is our realtor.  Not a great time to be looking for property.

          RSR:  It’s been great working with Mike Kelly as a resource.  Lindsay Street property – While nice, it is literally just a big, open space, no offices; it would need a lot of work.  Also, viewed a church in south Chattanooga on Rossville, but it already received two full price offers.  If you’d like to join us, let us know.  

          Roy:  Price on church?  RSR:  About $800K.  Homes in area were $90K-$120K.

          Scott:  I’ve asked Alan to chair a subcommittee to hold discussions with Mizpah about utilizing their space more fully.  Alan:  We are making sure we have all options available.  Idea is to discuss short-term and long-term possibilities.


          Anything to report?  None offered.

          Scott:  Sadly, Howard Kaplan resigned from the Board last month.  I thanked him for his support, guidance, and passion.

          July 1st is our new fiscal year.  Alan, Rabbi, and I are looking for new people to join the board.  If you know of anyone, please let me know.

          Rabbi, Alan, and I will be sending out a communication to the congregation to update everyone of what the board is doing.

          Bill:  I’m concerned about the rising antisemitism in our country.  I wonder if we could have area churches and we present to our community that we do not accept antisemitic comments and behavior.  I am personally bothered by what we are seeing.

          RSR:  It seems to come in waves.  There are two events coming up this week – online conversation with Art Spiegelman (author of Maus I and II, two graphic novels) on Monday, February 7th at 7pm.  Also, there will be a community discussion on Tuesday, February 8th with Michael Dzik and our local rabbis.

10.      GOOD & WELFARE – began at 6:07 p.m.

          Our next Board meeting will be Thursday, April 7, 2022, starting at 5:30 p.m.

(BZ Board Meeting Notes 20220203 final)