B’nai Zion Annual Meeting 2020

Sunday, June 7, 2020 at 10:30 a.m.
Held on-line via Zoom

This document contains reports from various sources which update our B’nai Zion membership about financial and cultural summaries of our operation.
Please do not share with or copy to anyone else.

2020-2021 B’nai Zion Board Slate of Officers
Submitted by Nominating Committee
Presented by Alan Lebovitz

President:                                          Scott Israel
VP-Administration:                          Jordan Parker
VP-Engagement & Outreach:        Open
VP-Education:                                  Tal Cohen
VP-Ritual:                                          Roy Rosenfeld
Secretary:                                          Jackie Rosenfeld
Treasurer:                                          Joel Susman
Immediate Past President:             Bill Hillner

BOARD MEMBERS (12 elected members needed; quorum is 9):

Term Ending 2021  Term Ending 2022Term Ending 2023
1.  Cara Weiner1.  Rob Cowan1.  Kevin Moore
2.  David Rose2.  Matt Kodsi2.  Howard Kaplan
3.  Randi Weiss3.  Cassie Rose3.  Mark Shapiro
4.  Beth Lowe4.  Rachel Hanan4.  Joe Kodsi

Rolling off the Board:  Al Jarman, Bea Lurie, Howard Kaplan, Jordan Parker, Michael Spector

Serving Again:  Bea Lurie, Howard Kaplan, Joe Kodsi, Jordan Parker

Youth Rep:   USY Member:  Orly Berke

Presidential Appointments (may appoint up to three):

1.   Bea Lurie    2.  Open    3.  Open

Sisterhood Reps:   Beth Lowe/Randi Weiss

Men’s Club Rep:   Open

B’nai Zion Rabbinic Endowment
Annual Meeting Report – 2020/2021
Submitted May 18, 2020
By Michael Lebovitz

The B’nai Zion Rabbinic Endowment was established in 2006 for the purpose of supporting the Rabbi’s salary at B’nai Zion.

The current fund balance is $2,405,785, down from $2,697,544 (3/31/19 balance), representing a decrease of 11%.  We all know March 2020 was a challenging month in the markets due to COVID-19.

With the Rabbi’s departure 7/31/2020, we have not received an updated request from B’nai Zion.  The committee will act on a request when it is received.

Members of the Rabbinic Endowment Committee are:  Michael Lebovitz, Chair; Kandy Berke, Rick Marcus, Jeff Balser, Janice Rhodes, and Robert Siskin.

Michael Lebovitz

Helen Hanan Family Education Scholarship Endowment
Report for June 7, 2020
By Alan Lebovitz

The Helen Hanan Family Scholarship Endowment Committee includes:  Michael Hanan, Michael Dzik, Alan Lebovitz, and Joel Susman.

The Endowment was created in December 2006 for the purpose of providing scholarship funds for B’nai Zion member’s (children, teens, and adults) educational pursuits.

In 2020, due to COVID-19 cancelling summer camps, the Endowment Committee voted to gift the $2,800 Ramah Darom scholarship money to the 2020 Ramah Relief Fund and $400 Union of Reform Judaism to the 2020 URJ Relief Fund.

                        Distributions    Scholarships

2020                $3,200             6 – (5 RD, 1 URJ)
2019                $3,150             7  – (5 RD, 1 URJ, 1 AM)
2018                $4,000             14 – (11 RD, 1 United Syn. Youth, 2 URJ)
2017                $4,050             11 – (9 Ramah Darom, 2 URJ 6 Points)
2016                $4,000             13 – (11 Ramah Darom, 1 USY, 2 URJ 6 Points)
2015                $3,950             11 – (9 Ramah Darom, 1 National Ramah, 1 URJ (6
2014                $3,300             8 – (7 Ramah Darom (includes 3 new) plus 1 URJ 6 Points)
2013                $1,500             3 –  (3 Ramah Darom)
2012                $2,500
2011                $2,095
2010                $0
2009                $0

The Endowment Fund is managed by the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation and is invested in a diversified asset allocation model. 

April                Fund Balance
2020                $20,226.15
2019                $24,067.67
2018                $29,677.84
2017                $26,975.31
2016                $27,823.04
2015                $33,318.44
2014                $33,317.62
2013                $32,759.36
2012                $29,931.22
2011                $33,212.39
2010                $28,431.13
2009                $20,924.02

Based on the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation’s fiscal year of August – July:

Current YTD                            $ Returns         % Returns        Annualized Basis
2020                                        ($1,714.97)      -7.0%               -9.3%
2019                                        $449.80           1.8%                2.4%
2018                                        $902.69           3.2%                4.2%
2017                                        $1,645.53        5.7%                7.6%
2016                                        ($1,135.32)      -3.7%               -4.9%
2015                                        $1,515.32        4.4%                5.9%
2014                                        $2,636.72        8%                   10%
2013                                        $3,691.14        12%                 16%    
2012                                        $380.07           1.2%                1.6%
2011                                        $5,743.64        19%                 25.4%
2010                                        $5,154.96        20.3%              27.0%

Trailing 1 Year
2020                                        (1,401.52)        -5.7%
2019                                        $1,009.77        4.0%
2018                                        $1,612.59        5.7%
2017                                        $2,585.27        9.0%
2016                                        ($1,510.06)      -4.8%
2015                                        $2,157.48        6.3%
2014                                        $2,848.26        8.4%
2013                                        $3,029.64        9.9%
2012                                        $(781.49)         -2.5%
2010                                        $4,525.77        15.3%
2009                                        $7,507.11        30.5%.

The Committee hopes to continue to grow the Endowment’s scholarship potential, so please consider making contributions to the Helen Hanan Family Education Scholarship Endowment.

Respectfully submitted,
Alan Lebovitz, Committee Chair

(Cemetery Endowment)
Eternal Care Trust Report
May 19, 2019 – May 18, 2020
Submitted by Laura Israel

Benjamin Edwards Accounts
Beginning Balance                              $588,386
Ending Balance                                   $574,863
Decrease                                             2.29%

Suntrust Checking Account
Balance as of May 18, 2020                $12,725.31

Ritual Report Group
 B’nai Zion Annual Meeting, June 7, 2020
Submitted by Roy Rosenfeld

Ritual Committee started the year with a plan to address ritual issues through scheduled meetings, however the issues with the building diverted attention from those plans, and then COVID-19 ended any hope of meeting in person to discuss ritual questions.  We have taken B’nai Zion to the Jewish Federation for regular services, Mizpah Congregation for a Bar Mitzvah celebration, and to Ashwood Square Retirement Community for the first Friday night of the month through March.  Since late March the Rabbi has led services via Zoom on Wednesday and Friday evenings.  For Passover, the Rabbi led a compressed seder via Zoom before the holiday started.

Unfortunately during the past year the funerals for Jerry Bohn, Herman Trotz, Dorothy Kaset, Edward “Sonny” Brody, Marsha Deitch, Richard Ellis, Sylvia Saloshin, Miriam Richelson, Randall Baras, Martha Berman, and Gert Shavin occurred. A permanent marker has been installed dedicating the pavilion at the B’nai Zion Cemetery in Memory of Jay Menuskin.

High Holidays
The Personnel Committee has extended an invitation to Hila Brod of Atlanta to be cantor for this coming fall’s (2020) high holidays.  We are considering using Zoom for High Holidays services.  We are seeking a volunteer coordinator from the congregation for the High Holidays this fall.

Due to COVID-19 the B’nai Zion Passover Seder was on Zoom.

Vice President for Engagement
Annual Report, July 2019 – June 2020
By Bea Lurie

It has been an honor to serve as Vice President for Engagement on the Executive Committee. While I will remain on the board of directors, I have decided to resign from the Executive Committee to have more time to focus on my business. I so appreciate the leadership of board President Bill Hillner during a challenging time for our beloved synagogue and the world. I am equally grateful to the committee chairs whose hard work and energy engaged congregants in fun and meaningful activities that built community and made our synagogue family so special. Thank you to Randi, Barbara, Ruth, and Beth! I really appreciate each of you!

Programming Committee, Randi Weiss, Chair
Under Randi’s fantastic leadership, the Programming Committee had another busy year. The book club was very active. Among the books they read and discussed were Dough, a Memoir, The Immortalist, Joshua: A Brooklyn Tale, Bend in the Stars. All book club meetings are at Barnes and Noble. Among the many programs was a joint program with Mizpah to learn about security principles for our respective buildings and congregants. Several great programs had to be cancelled because of the Coronavirus.

Thank you to Randi for two phenomenal years as chair of the Programming Committee. Your committee’s programs were terrific, fun, meaningful and well-attended.

Membership Committee, Barbara Oxenhandler, Chair
After serving with extraordinary dedication as chair of the Membership Committee for several years, Barbara Oxenhandler resigned her post to have more time for her personal life. Before she was chair, Barbara committed an exceptional amount of time to identifying new Jews in our area, inviting them to services and events, introducing them to BZ members who shared common interests, discussing with them the benefits of joining B’nai Zion, meeting with them and so much more. She kept detailed records of every contact that she made and all follow-up calls. We owe a deep debt of gratitude for Barbara’s work to build B’nai Zion’s membership. To date, a new chair has not been identified.

During the fiscal year, we had four new single members including one who subsequently resigned because he was moving to Florida. In addition to that member who resigned, seven other members resigned (two singles and four families) and there were seven deaths.

Next steps are a joint meeting with the Finance Committee. The focus will be to differentiate the benefits in each membership category, so that there is clarity when answering prospective members’ inquiries. Several of the current categories seem to overlap and, thus, need clarification. In addition, the Membership Committee needs the assistance of the Finance Committee to finalize the dues structure and membership categories since we are now including non-Jewish members. Another item that will need to be addressed is completing the update of the membership form to incorporate the changes the Membership Committee decided upon.

Social Action Committee, Ruth Votava, Chair

B’nai Zion Congregation along with Grace Episcopal Church and First Church of the Nazarene continued another year of hosting homeless families at First Church of the Nazarene with the help of B’nai Zion volunteers. Our volunteers make this mitzvah possible by playing with the children, engaging the adults, bringing meals, and staying overnight in a very comfortable and safe setting.

Women’s League (Sisterhood)
Thanks to Beth Lowe and Randi Weiss, the Women’s League was reactivated. An enthusiastic group of ten women went to Dalton to see the stellar one woman show about Dr. Ruth. A lot of work went into planning Sisterhood Shabbat but it had to be cancelled because of the Coronavirus. Other wonderful programs also had to be cancelled because of the virus including going to the theatre.

Men’s Club
The Men’s Club organized a joint event with Mizpah to go to the UTC Mocs football game together. Howard Kaplan was chairing the Men’s Club Shabbat to be held on April 18 followed by a deli luncheon sponsored by the club. The Shabbat services were to be in honor Howard Gropper and the luncheon was to be in honor Alan Jacobson. Unfortunately, this event was cancelled because of the Coronavirus.

The Men’s Club has struggled this year because of turnover in chairpersons. None of the chairs had the time required to build a committee. The most recent previous chairs were Joel Sussman and Ross Sandler.

Communications Committee
This critical committee continues to not have a chairperson. We are looking for a member with marketing experience to chair this committee.

Treasurer’s Financial Report
Year Ended June 30, 2020
By Joel Susman

This has certainly been one of the most unusual years in B’nai Zion’s 132 year history.  The challenges we face are substantial, but throughout our history we have survived, and we will survive the current challenges.

B’nai Zion is in good financial position through the current fiscal year.

Our income as of April 30, 2020, was $388,000 or approximately 4% over budget year to date.  We have about $30,000 in dues yet to collect which is about normal for this time of year with the expectation of collecting 65% of the remaining balance before the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2020.

Expenses for the year, for the most part, were on or below budget with the exception of Maintenance Supervisor.  This was due primarily to the added hours for cleaning outside the building at various location.  This enabled B’nai Zion to continue to provide services at various locations since we were out of the building.  Additionally, we had added expenses with clean out and moving, etc.  These overall increased areas were offset by lower expenses in other areas of the budget, such as not having expenses related to a Congregational Seder this year, etc.

The end of year budget position we presently have is due in part to the successes of both the Super Bowl and Purim Fund Raisers.  Kol HaKavod to both Mark Shapiro and Laurie Fisher for their hard work in both these ventures.  Without their efforts, along with the dues we collect, other fundraisers, other contributions by congregants, and our endowments, we couldn’t have the operating budget in the position it is in presently.

Overall, at the end of April 2020, we are under budget, in total, by approximately 3%.

As of April 30, 2020, the balance in our Operating checking account is $58,000, and the “rainy day” fund has a balance of $136,000.

As of April 30, 2020, the Sisterhood Gift Shop is now under the management of B’nai Zion, while the Men’s Club remains separate.

B’nai Zion has not yet made a request from the General Endowment for any of the expenses incurred to date for the building structure maintenance or moving, however, it is understood that a request will be made in the future to cover past expenditures incurred as well as upcoming expenditures.

Proposed budget summaries are presently being prepared and will be forthcoming.

Respectfully submitted,

Joel Susman,
Treasurer, B’nai Zion Synagogue