BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
A GFHA board meeting was held on Tuesday, October 23, at 5:30 P.M,with all board members — including those who had just been re-elected — in attendance, as well as a few congregants. The official board minutes, which contain more details than will be presented here, are available upon request. Any member of the congregation is welcome to attend any board meeting, but for those of you who didn’t, here are some highlights.
- CEMETERY. One of the liveliest topics of discussion concerned the cemetery — whether a previous survey has been done concerning the boundaries of the land, where the plots are, and who is buried where. Common sense would suggest that there are some graves that predate the incorporation of the cemetery. The board wants to find an existing survey (if there is one) before paying for another, as well as any other historical documentation concerning the cemetery, so that this information can be collected in one place and accessed by this and future boards. We also will need to determine a price per plot and set up a payment plan for the purchase or prepayment of a plot, as well as determine whether any restrictions will apply regarding who is eligible to be buried where in the cemetery. We also need to make sure we maintain insurance on the cemetery. It may be necessary at some point to appoint a separate board to deal exclusively with cemetery matters. The Board concluded that most of us are pretty clueless when it comes to being in the “cemetery biz.” Student Rabbi Miriam Farber should have some input for us that may be helpful when she comes for services the week end of November 16th.
As this is a prairie cemetery, there is no perpetual care (watering, mowing, planting flowers … ), included in the price of a cemetery plot, but we still need to maintain the grounds and repair head stones that have been damaged by age or vandalism. The Board will investigate the possibility of having a “controlled burn,” with rural fire departments monitoring it and perhaps even using it as a training exercise. The Board also decided to use the cemetery fund to pay for the professional repair of the most severely damaged head stones while maintaining their historical integrity, and then have a fund raiser or ask for donations to replenish the cemetery fund for the cost of the repairs. We have the opportunity to have the repairs done for the cost of materials alone.
- BUILDING FUND. Another lively topic of discussion was the building fund — who were the original contributors to the fund (some are now deceased), when was the fund created, and what was the original intent of the creators for the use of the fund. It may seem obvious that the building fund was established to purchase or renovate a building for the use of the congregation as a worship space, but rather than have that be a topic of hearsay or conjecture, the Board determined that, for the legal protection of both the Board and the fund, it would be best to have this in writing from the original contributors to the fund or their heirs.
- TREASURER’S REPORT. The use and care of the cemetery and the building fund are also in the year to date Treasurer’s Report, discussed at the Board meeting and available upon request to any interested congregant. It is always good to see where your contributions go and how much they are needed.
- UPCOMING SCHEDULES. The Board discussed scheduling upcoming visits from Student Rabbi Miriam Farber, as well as scheduling holiday and other celebrations and events. Information about these upcoming schedules can be found elsewhere in this publication.
As always, if you have a question or concern, please don’t hesitate to contact a Board member, or let the President know so that your concern can be put on the agenda for the next Board meeting. Your Board is here to serve you and to make decisions about our congregational life on your behalf.