HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ANNUAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING 2011
EDITOR’S NOTE: These are not the full minutes. They can be requested from any board member or from Nadyne.
ELECTIONS: Board members whose terms are up are Helen, Steve & Laura. They have each agreed to stand for re-election. During Rosh Hashanah, an announcement will be made asking if there is anyone else interested in running for the Board. Ballots will be made and distributed on Rosh Hashanah. Only GFHA members will get ballots. Voting will continue through Yom Kippur, at which time all ballots will be collected and tabulated by Nadyne. If a member needs a ballot, please contact Nadyne by email or through the web site.
CEMETERY POLICY: Laura sent around some ideas of what is acceptable for Reform policies for the Jewish section of the Mount Olivet cemetery: She will send it around again so that we can review the suggested policy and add to it if necessary. Laura signed and sent the agreement to Mount Olivet officials, so we have a fully signed agreement with them for our portion of the cemetery. Laura will get a copy for our files.
Because of the article in the Tribune about gravestones having been vandalized at Highland Cemetery, Jerry & Nadyne went to Highland to check if any graves of members of GFHA had been desecrated. Cemetery crews were out putting stones back together.
Jerry mentioned a conversation he had with John Stevenson-Love, the head of the Great Falls Cemetery Association (the group that manages Highland Cemetery) regarding an offer made by the organization to provide burial support for Jewish members of the congregation.
Jerry also discussed the historic GFHA Cemetery on Eaton Road and offered some background history. Aitz Chaim owns a 20 acre plot in the area. One acre is set aside as a cemetery, with approximately 20 graves. We do not know where all the graves are located. We currently pay Cascade county $100 per year in property taxes out of the building fund. A deed should be recorded with the county.
Many years ago, the County abandoned the road to the Eaton Road Cemetery, as a result of a deal made with then Cascade County Commissioner Ed Shubat.
Stuart said that he thinks it is our responsibility to maintain this ground as a Jewish Cemetery in perpetuity. Aaron said the condition of the Eaton Road cemetery is very poor, and we owe it to the families of those buried there to maintain it.
During Jerry’s conversation with Stevenson-Love, he offered to dis-inter the graves at the Eaton Road Cemetery and move them to a potential Jewish section of the Highland Cemetery. The general consensus was that this would be impossible, as we do not know the location of all the gravesites there.
It was the consensus of the group that Jerry, Stuart & Laura should continue the conversation with Stevenson-Love, to see if the Great Falls Cemetery Association would be interested in providing maintenance at the location. We will listen to what they have to say. Restriction should be put on the land so that it can only be used for a cemetery. Laura thinks that the land is an asset and should be treated as such. Aaron moved that interested members of GFHA attend the next meeting of the Cemetery association. Jerry will contact John to see when the next meeting will be and let the rest of the congregation know.
CAR: We need to find out if Elliott has a buyer for the car. If not, we will market it for sale. Aaron stated that Blue Book is between $4,000 and $5,000. Stuart suggested that Aaron contact Evelyn’s attorney Potts to see what he wants to do about the evaluation.
MSU CLASS: Rabbi Chaim is working with Wendy and Marty. The class will be marketed to the whole state as an online class.
TREASURER’S REPORT: On file. During 2010 and 2011, we were able to keep our expenses down because Don Cherry got fantastic deals on air fare and we reduced expenses by having fewer Rabbi visits. Due to reduced donations and dues, the congregation lost approximately $1 thousand last year. GFHA is bringing in Cantor Elliot for the High Holidays and a student Rabbi from the Los Angeles campus for services November 2011, March 2012 & May 2012.
The presented budget needs to be amended to reflect Cantor Elliott’s travel expenses. We will have to Increase travel & related Expenses from $2335.00 to $3,000, which will result in a projected loss for the year of about $700. There followed a discussion of different ways to raise money.
MOVING BUILDING FUND: Aaron asked for proposals from various brokerage firms. Don Cherry suggested that there is no advantage to moving the money right now and to wait until the market changes. We decided to take Don’s advice.
MEMBERSHIP IN UNION FOR REFORM JUDAISM … DUES: Last year we paid $250. They asked for $300 Aaron sent $250. Aaron & Laura will work with URJ on dues.
SERVICE TO JEWISH AIRMEN: We will make a Special invitation to the Base to invite people to services. Steve will go to the base Chaplain to give them information on services for Yom Kippur
NEW STUDENT RABBI: Laura has a contract to sign – Rebecca Reice will be our student. She will come the first weekend of each of the following months: – November, March and May.
RELIGIOUS SCHOOL: We do not have a religious school as such, because Max Weissman is the only student.. The new student rabbi would like to involve the teenagers in some way. Currently there are Religious school supplies stored at the Y. The Y is not asking us to move them; however, there should be contact information attached to them, perhaps Wendy
Rosh Hashanah: After Tashlich Services, we will all go to Maple Gardens for lunch
Sukkoth October 15 — Aaron encouraged people to go to Bozeman or Helena.
Chanukah Party at Nadyne & Jerry’s Friday evening, December 23.
TuB’Shevat – GFHA will not do anything, but members could Go to Bozeman
Passover – April 7: 2nd night Saturday night – Aaron has already talked to Sandi and booked it Clark & Lewies.
Yom H’Shoah – Community – April 19, 2012 GFHA is Overdue to do something. There is a service in the Mishkan T’filah book that we can use. Laura will ask Bethel if it is something they would like, however another suggestion was that maybe someone from the base would lead the service. The Y is another possible location.
VETERANS DAY: Stuart will make the benediction for Veteran’s Day, November 11.