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Not Written in Stone

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Daniel J. Elazar
, 
Michael Brown
, 
Ira Robinson

Part III: Selected Documents (Excerpts)

Synagogues

Texte intégral

Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, Shearith Israel of Montreal1

BY-LAWS (August 3, 1846)

ARTICLE I

Clause 1

Whereas by the Act of 2nd Session in II Parliament Vict. Chap. 96 it is enacted that persons of the Jewish Faith calling themselves Portuguese Jews being enscribed and registered in the manner provided by the Act 9 and 10 Geo. IV Chap. 75 and being members of the Synagogue shall elect from among their number a President, Treasurer, Secretary and three Trustees to remain in office for one year and be known under the title of ‘The Corporation of Portuguese Jews of Montreal.’

Clause 3

  • 2 Cantor/rabbi, ritual slaughterer of kosher meat, sexton.

There shall always be chosen by the Congregation a Hazan, Shochet and Shamas2 to perform the services required by them in their several departments.

ARTICLE II

Clause 3: After the Election of Officers

The Congregation shall elect in a similar manner a member to act as Parnass who shall have the management of the whole of the internal affairs of the Synagogue and preside at all the meetings of the Congregation called to discuss any matters relating to the internal affairs.

ARTICLE III

Clause 1

The fixed prayers shall forever be read in the Hebrew language according to the customs of the Great Portuguese Synagogue in London.

Clause 2

But the Parnass may on a public thanksgiving or any other occasions direct the Hazan or any other suitable person to deliver a sermon or address in English.

Clause 3

The hours for commencing morning service to be the same as in the Portuguese Synagogue in New York.

ARTICLE IV

Clause 1: Of the Parnass

The Parnass shall have a superintending power over the Hazan, Shochet and Shamas and see that they faithfully perform the duties of their respective offices and should either of them appear deficient in the discharge of their duties he shall report the same to the Congregation who shall immediately take cognizance of the same.

Clause 2

The Parnass shall have the power at his discretion to cause to be given to any person professing Judaism whom he may deem an object of charity any sum not exceeding Four Dollars.

Clause 4

  • 3 Cemetery.

The Parnass shall in all cases designate the ground for the Beth Haim3 for the interring of any deceased member of this Congregation or of any stranger professing Judaism.

ARTICLE VI

Clause 1

Every member of this Congregation shall previous to the singing in psalm or prayers remain silent until the Hazan signify the tone in which the same is to be sung when those who are so inclined may then join therein in an equal voice but neither higher nor louder than the Hazan.

Clause 2

No children of either sex under the age of five years shall be admitted into the Synagogue under any pretense whatsoever.

Clause 3

All umbrellas and canes except those carried by lame persons shall be left at the door.

Clause 4

All garments taken off shall be deposited in the room outside for that purpose unless the owners thereof put them in their own seats.

Clause 5

  • 4 Pentateuch.
  • 5 Reading from the Prophets.

Any person or persons leaving the Synagogue shall repair in a quiet and orderly manner and avoid going out together or in bodies, more particularly during the reading of the Torah4 and Haphtorah.5

Clause 6

Any person infringing any of the above laws shall be admonished accordingly.

ARTICLE VII

Clause 1: Of Members

Any person shall [not] be eligible to become a member of this Congregation until after he has been a seat holder for 12 months and then only by applying to the Secretary in writing and being balloted for at any meeting of the Congregation and receiving a majority of votes.

Clause 2

Any person marrying contrary to our religious laws or renouncing Judaism shall not be eligible to become a member of this Congregation.

Clause 3

Every seat holder shall sign the By Laws and thereby agree to support the same.

ARTICLE IX

Clause 1: Of fines

Any member elected to fill the office of President and refusing to accept the same shall pay a fine of Fifteen Dollars.

Clause 2

Any member elected and refusing to serve as Treasurer shall pay a fine of Ten Dollars.

Clause 3

Any member elected and refusing to act as Secretary shall pay a fine of Eight Dollars.

Clause 4

Any member elected and refusing to act as Parnass shall pay a fine of Ten Dollars.

Clause 5

Any member refusing when elected to act as Trustee shall pay a fine of Six Dollars.

Clause 6

Should any member who has filled any of the above offices for one year be re-elected and decline to serve he shall not be subject to be fined for three years.

Clause 7

Any member paying a fine shall also be exempt for three years.

Clause 8

Any of the above officers neglecting their duties shall be subject to a fine not to exceed a sum equal to half of the fine for refusing the office.

ARTICLE X

Clause 1

Members and seatholders shall be entitled to the services of the Hazan and Shamas on the occasion of any death in their families free of expense.

Clause 2

  • 6 Ritual circumciser.

Persons not belonging to this Congregation applying for the services of its Reader to perform either marriage or burial services or for the services of its Mohel6 shall pay to the funds a sum not less than Five Dollars to be fixed by the Corporation who however may forego the amount if they see fit.

BY-LAWS (Revised and Passed the 1st Day of Nov. 1857)

ARTICLE 1

Clause 1. The Officers of the Corporation shall be voted for from among those members only, who shall have in all respects complied with these By-Laws. The said officers shall be voted for separately, viz.: The President, the Treasurer, the Secretary, and the three Trustees, in the above order, and such candidate having a majority of votes.

4. The Officers and Trustees so elected shall provide the said Congregation with a Hazan, Shochet, Shamas and Mohel to perform the services required of them in their several departments hereinafter described.

5. After the election of the Officers above stated, the said members only as aforesaid shall elect, in a similar manner, a member to act as Parnas (who may be a Trustee or other Officer) who shall have the management of the whole internal affairs of the Synagogue, and attend all meetings of the Corporation called to discuss any matters relating to the said synagogue, but have no vote at the board.

6. The Parnas shall have a superintending power over the Hazan, Shochet, Shamas and Mohel, and see that they faithfully perform the duties of their respective offices.

9. Should both the Parnas and Treasurer be absent, then in that case, the Senior Trustee shall officiate for the occasion.

  • 7 Cemetery steward.

10. The said Members only, as aforesaid, shall also elect from among their members a Superintendent or Gabai BethHaim.7

ARTICLE 2. OF THE PRESIDENT

2. He shall issue all orders to the Hazan, in writing, permitting him to perform the ceremony of Marriage to all persons belonging to this Congregation; and also to any person or persons not being members thereof.

3. He shall also issue all orders to the Mohel permitting him to operate for all persons belonging to this Congregation, and also for any person or persons not being members thereof.

4. All and every application for the services of the Hazan, Shamas, or Mohel, of this said Congregation, shall be made to the President, who shall grant such permissions, after having first obtained the consent of the Trustees of this Corporation, and ascertained that the party so applying for such services shall not be in arrears.

5. He shall certify all claims against the Corporation save and except the salaries of the Officials and keep in his possession, during his term of office, the seal of this Corporate Body, which he shall affix to all documents when necessary.

ARTICLE 5. OF THE CORPORATION

  • 8 Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year, which occurs early in the fall.

6. The General Meeting for the election of Officers shall take place on the Sunday week previous to Roshashanah,8 at which time the newly elected Corporation shall assume their duties.

8. Any member elected to fill the office of President, and refusing to accept the same, shall pay a fine of ten dollars.

9. Any member elected to fill the office of Treasurer, refusing to accept the same, shall pay a fine of five dollars.

10. Any member elected to fill the office of Secretary, refusing to accept the same, shall pay a fine of five dollars.

11. Any member elected to fill the office of Parnas refusing to accept the same, shall pay a fine of ten dollars.

12. Any member refusing, when elected, to act as Trustee shall pay a fine of four dollars.

13. Should any member who has filled any of the above offices for one year be elected to any of the offices or Trusteeship, and decline to serve, he shall not be subject to be fined for one year; and any member paying any of the above mentioned fines shall also be exempt for one year.

ARTICLE 6. OF MEMBERS

Clause 1. That before any person shall be eligible to become a privileged member of this congregation, he shall have been a seatholder for three years at not less than ten dollars per annum.

3. That any person having been a seatholder of this congregation for three years as aforesaid, and being desirous of becoming a member, shall make application in writing to the President, stating such his desire, which application shall be laid by the President before the Corporation without delay for their action thereon.

4. That upon being admitted a member and (registered as aforesaid) he shall be entitled to vote on all questions brought before the general body of the congregation at all general meetings.

  • 9 Special honours given out on the festival of Simhat Torah, the Rejoicing of the Law.

8. All members not in arrears shall be eligible to be elected an Officer of the Corporation, to be also eligible to be elected Hatan Torah and Hatan Bereshith,9 the two latter appointments to be in the gift of the Parnas.

10. Members shall have the right to officiate as Segan on the occasion of the marriage or confirmation of any of his children, (by first obtaining the permission of the Parnas and not being in arrears). He shall also be called to the law in rotation, and at the discretion of the Parnas. He shall have the right to the attendance of the Hazan, Shochet or Mohel, on all occasions when their services may be required (permission of the Parnas being first obtained).

13. No member shall bring or send any child to Synagogue under the age of five years.

14. Any person marrying contrary to the laws of Judaism shall neither be eligible to receive any honors of the Synagogue nor hold the offices.

15. It being indispensable that order and decorum should reign in the house of prayer, every member must, during service, remain at his place and conduct himself with propriety; and all persons leaving the Synagogue shall retire in a quiet and orderly manner; every act in defiance of this rule will render the offender liable to be admonished by the Parnas.

16. Any expelled Member, being desirous of readmission, shall first pay to the Treasurer all arrears that he may stand charged with, and then make application to the President, in writing who shall without delay summon a meeting of the Corporation to take the same into consideration, and who shall act upon the same as it deem fit.

ARTICLE 7. SEAT-HOLDERS

Clause 1. Any person wishing to obtain a seat in the Synagogue must apply to the Treasurer, and shall be charged such sum as may be deemed equitable, which sum must be paid strictly three months in advance.

2. That should any person being a seat-holder, or any other person, whether residing in the City of Montreal or elsewhere, require the services of the Hazan, Shamas or Mohel, he shall make application to the President, in writing, stating such his desire; and he charged such sum the Corporation may deem just, before granting the services of the officials.

ARTICLE 8. OF THE MICVAH10

  • 10 Ritual bath used for conversions and by women after their monthly cycle. It is usually spelled ‘mik (...)

Clause 1. This Congregation having a Micvah in the Synagogue building for the use of members, seat-holders, and their families, it is hereby enacted that the fuel required for same be provided by the Shamas, who shall have the superintendence of same.

2. That persons requiring the use of the said Micvah shall pay to the said Shamas a fee, for each and every time they use the same, of not less an amount than two shillings and sixpence currency, save and except from the poor.

3. The fees accruing from the said Micvah shall belong and be for the sole use of the said Shamas, towards the expense of providing the necessary fuel.

ARTICLE 9. THE DUTIES OF THE HAZAN

Clause 1. The Hazan shall attend (illness excepted) in the Synagogue upon all and every occasion the same is opened for prayers, or the performance of any religious ceremony, in his official dress; also at all funerals, when notified so to do by the Gabai-Beth-Haim.

2. He shall, when requested so to do, attend at the dwelling of any member or seat-holder, when afflicted with illness; and also at the house of mourning.

3. The Hazan shall officiate on all and every occasion, in Synagogue or elsewhere, (unless prevented by illness or being absent from the town); in which case the prayers shall be read by the Shamas.

4. Provided always, that should a hazan or lecturer of any other congregation visit Montreal, and being desirous, or at the request of the Corporation consent to deliver a lecture, or read prayers, the same shall be allowed; permission of the Parnas being first obtained.

5. He shall, according to law of this Province, keep a proper register of Births, Marriages and Funerals performed by him, and report the same in required time to the appointed legal officer of the Government.

DRAFT BY-LAW (July, 1976)

I. GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND OBJECTIVES OF THE CONGREGATION

1.1 tradition Services shall be conducted in the Spanish Hebrew Tradition (Sephardic Hebrew Minhag) of the Congregation.

1.2 worship The mode of worship shall be in accordance with the Orthodox Jewish Tradition.

1.3 objects The objects of the Congregation shall be to maintain a synagogue and to foster religious, cultural, and educational endeavors and activate to help further the cause and objectives of the Congregation and of Judaism.

II. MEMBERSHIP

2.2 qualifications Any person of majority age of the Jewish Faith and good moral character, who undertakes to comply with the By-Laws and regulations of the Congregation, shall be eligible for membership upon application.

2.3 categories There shall be three membership categories, two regular and one honorary:

a) family membership Such membership shall be extended to married couples and shall entitle husbands and wives to all membership privileges and confer upon them the right to a single vote to be exercised by either of them at meetings of the Congregation;

b) individual membership Such membership shall be extended to single, divorced, or widowed men and women and shall confer upon them the right to one vote at meetings of the Congregation; and

c) honorary membership Such membership shall be conferred, by resolution of the Board and without application, upon Ministers of the Congregation or upon other deserving persons of the community, and upon their consorts. Honorary members shall be entitled to attend and participate but not to vote at meetings of the Congregation.

Honorary members, who at the same time are or become regular members, shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges of regular members.

III. ADMINISTRATION

3.1 general The affairs and business of the Congregation shall be. vested in and administered by:

  1. the General Membership;

  2. the Board of Trustees;

  3. the Executive Committee;

3.2 board of trustees The board shall consist of sixteen members (‘trustees’) who are seat holders and the incumbent Presidents of the Sisterhood and Men’s Association.

3.3 vice presidents At least one Vice-President shall be a female member of the Congregation.

3.4 parnass The Parnass is the lay head of the religious service of the Congregation. He shall:

  1. preside at religious services and generally supervise the religious activities of the Congregation;

  2. distribute on an equitable basis and record all religious honours upon consultation with the ministers of the Congregation; and submit, in consultation with the Religious Committee, a list of honours for the High Holy Days and Festivals one month in advance thereof to the Executive Committee;

  3. be custodian of the Books of Law (Sifre Torah) and all other religious books, artifacts and paraphernalia;

  4. act as liaison between the members, Board, Executive Committee and religious officials and ministers of the Congregation; and comply with all statutory obligations incumbent upon the keeper of such registers, the whole without charge save for those fees which may be prescribed by law;

  5. have freedom of the Pulpit;

  6. consult with the Parnass, the Executive Committee and Board to determine the views of the Congregation and the most effective way of performing his duties;

  7. be responsible to the Board for the discharge by all Ministers of the Congregaiton of their duties;

  8. direct services in co-operation with the Parnass;

  9. attend major religious services of the Congregation in official dress;

  10. fix the times for commencement and termination of religious services;

  11. share ministerial functions with visiting clergymen or speakers, who may be invited by the Board only;

  12. attend and officiate at funerals of members and/or their immediate family when so requested by members, the Parnass, the President or Chairman of the Cemetery Committee;

  13. exercise his best efforts to attend the houses of mourning members;

  14. exercise his best efforts to visit members who are ill or incapacitated;

  15. serve both Jewish and civic interests of the Community at large whenever and wherever such service does not interfere unreasonably with the performance of his Congregational duties;

  16. not officiate at any other Synagogue, funeral of a non-member or at any other religious service without the authorization of the Executive Committee; and

  17. not engage in any other business or profession without the authorization of the Board.

4.5 assistant rabbi The terms under which an Assistant Rabbi (or Assistant Rabbis) may be appointed shall be determined by the Board upon recommendation of the Executive Committee. The assistant Rabbi shall perform such duties as reasonably may be expected of him by the Rabbi, in consultation with the Parnass or the Executive Committee.

4.6 cantor and assistant cantor The terms under which the Cantor(s) and Assistant Cantor(s) shall be appointed will be determined by the Board upon recommendation of the Executive Committee. The Cantor(s) and the Assistant Cantor(s) shall:

  1. conduct religious services in the Synagogue or elsewhere as may be required of them by the Rabbi;

  2. be responsible for the liturgical program and activities of the Congregation in consultation with the Rabbi, Parnass and Religious Services Committee;

  3. perform the customary duties of their office or such other functions as may be assigned to them;

  4. attend when requested by members at marriages, burials and other customary functions; and

  5. arrange and supervise studying and training for Bar or Bat Mitzvahs or other religious rites.

  • 11 Shamas in earlier documents

4.7 the shamash11 The terms under which the Shamash (sexton) may be appointed shall be determined by the Executive Committee.

1The Shamash shall:

  1. open and close the Synagogue before and after services and be in attendance at services;

  2. make all necessary preparations for all religious services;

  3. in the absence of Ministers, or whenever required to do so otherwise, read prayers, attend at the house of any other member in the event of death or illness in such member’s family and, if required, attend marriages and funerals in families of members;

  4. be responsible for all religious articles committed to his care;

  5. keep an account of contributions (offerings);

  6. maintain the order in the Synagogue in cooperation with the Decorum and Reception Committee;

    • 12 Outdoor booth during fall Feast of Tabernacles.

    prepare the Succah12 and all religious artifacts and instruments required for regular and festival services;

  7. Record and advise members of the anniversary dates of death of parents and close relatives; and

  8. Be under the supervisory control of the Parnass and of the Religious Services Committee.

4.8 musical director and members of the choir The Musical Director and choir members may be hired by the Executive Committee upon recommendation of the Religious Services Committee at such terms and conditions as the Executive Committee shall designate. The musical Director shall be responsible for overall operation of the choir and subject to the supervision of the Cantor(s) and the Religious Services Committee.

The musical Director shall:

  1. lead the choir;

  2. preserve traditional tunes of the Congregation.

V. COMMITTEES

5.1 list of standing committees The following shall be standing committees of the Congregation:

Cemetery Committee (see VI)

Kashruth (5.3)

Religious Services Committee (5.4)

Membership Committee (5.5)

Seating Committee (5.6)

Decorum and Reception (5.7)

Education and Study (5.8)

Community Affairs Committee (5.9)

Publicity and Bulletin (5.10)

5.2 voting Each committee member shall have one vote. Resolution shall carry by simple majority. The chairman of any committee shall enjoy, in the event of a tied vote, a second or casting vote. A quorum shall consist of at least one-half of the members of a committee.

Ex-officio members shall not be entitled to vote at committee meetings nor shall their numbers be considered in determining the presence of a quorum.

5.3 kashruth committee The Parnass and the Rabbi(s) shall be ex-officio members of this Committee.

The Committee shall:

  1. establish policies governing the kashruth of the Synagogue kitchens and with respect to the preparations and consumption of food and beverages in the Synagogue;

  2. supervise all such policies;

  3. recommend which food and beverage suppliers and caterers shall be permitted to deal with and operate at the Synagogue; and

  4. appoint an inspector (mashgiach) under the supervision of the Rabbi(s) to assure the observance of all religious dietary laws by the Synagogue, its employees, members, caterers and suppliers.

5.4 religious services committee The Parnass and the Rabbi(s) shall be ex-officio members of this Committee.

The Committee shall:

  1. be responsible for the conduct and enchancement of all religious services conducted in the Synagogue and in the cemetery of the Congregation, or under the auspices of the Congregation in private homes or at any other place where a service may be held;

  2. establish from time to time the ritual pertaining to all services, including daily, Sabbath, Festival, wedding and mourning services;

  3. receive and discuss suggestions designed to enhance services and recommend to the Parnass modifications to the service. (The Parnass in turn shall report to the Board which alone may implement modifications of a substantive nature to the services); and may

  4. establish a sub-committee consisting of the chairman, the Cantor(s), the Musical Director and not less than three or more than five members of the Congregation, which in co-operation with the Cantor(s) and Parnass shall:

    1. supervise the choir;

    2. establish the musical programs that will enhance services and stimulate thereat the involvement of both adults and children; and

    3. supervise the Musical Director.

5.5 membership committee One of the Vice-Presidents shall be an ex-officio member of the Committee.

The Committee shall:

  1. receive and investigate all applications for membership and report its recommendations to the Board as soon as possible; and

  2. implement programs designed to increase and maintain membership in the Congregation.

5.6 seating committee One of the Vice-Presidents shall be an ex-officio member of the Committee.

The Committee shall supervise the allotment of seats in the sanctuary, chapel and other places of worship of the Congregation as they become available from time to time in accordance with the By-Laws and Regulations of the Congregation and the terms and conditions determined by the Board.

5.7 decorum and reception committee The Parnass shall be an ex-officio member of the Committee.

The Committee shall:

  1. be responsible for ensuring appropriate decorum at the religious services of the Congregation and for welcoming and assisting all visitors thereto;

  2. establish a group of ushers for the Sabbath, festival and other religious services as well as at all major Congregational meetings and lectures, or wherever the presence of ushers is requested by the President or Executive Committee.

5.8 education and study committee The Rabbi(s) shall be an ex-officio member of the Committee.

  • 13 Tractate of the Mishna, commonly known in English as Ethics of the Fathers, studied on Sabbath afte (...)

The Committee shall implement programs of a cultural and educational nature intended principally for the benefit of members of the Congregation and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, such programs may include home study groups, endowed lectures, Hebrew language instruction, Talmud, Pirke Avot13 and other study groups.

5.9 community affairs committee The Committee:

  1. shall establish and maintain communication between the Congregation and other organizations in the Community, ensuring that the Congregation is adequately represented;

  2. shall act as liaison between the Congregation and the Union of Sephardic Congregations and other bodies having objects substantially similar to and not conflicting with those of the Congregation; and

  3. may participate in any cause furthering the interest of Judaism, the Canadian Community and the State of Israel.

5.10 publicity and bulletin committee One of the Vice-Presidents, the Rabbi and the President of the Sisterhood shall be ex-officio members of the Committee.

The Committee shall:

2a) not make any public announcement or communication without the approval of the Executive Committee.

VI. THE CEMETERY

6.1 cemetery committee Subject to the control of the Executive Committee, the Cemetery Committee shall be responsible for all matters pertaining to the Cemetery of the Congregation and for the enforcement of all regulations governing the Cemetery.

  • 14 Sixteenth-century law code written by Rabbi Joseph Caro now the standard code (with glosses) for As (...)

6.2 applicable laws Interment and exhumation shall be performed in accordance with the rules of Orthodox Judaism (as set forth in the ‘Shulchan Aruch’)14 and with the laws of the Province of Quebec.

6.3 burial services Burial Services shall be performed by a minister of the Congregation, who shall be entitled to a fee from the party requesting his services, or by any other qualified person acceptable to the Chairman or Executive Committee.

6.4 cremation In the event of cremation, funeral services may be performed by the minister; but no burial service shall take place at the Cemetery unless conducted by a layman.

6.5 synagogue service Subject to the approval of the Executive Committee, the body of a member who has rendered distinguished services to the Congregation or to the community may be honoured and funeral services performed within the Synagogue.

6.6 ministers Ministers who die in office or who are on pension from the Congregation after retirement from office and their spouses shall be interred and their graves maintained at the charge of the Congregation.

6.7 burial permission Burial permission shall be granted by the Cemetery Committee upon determining that the deceased member was not or, in the case of interment of a relative, the member is not in default in the payment of any sums due to the Congregation and upon receiving adequate assurances from heirs or representatives of the deceased that the expenses of the burial and maintenance of his grave will be paid.

6.8 dimensions For the sake of modesty, no monument of tombstone shall exceed three feet (3’) in height or three feet (3’) in width, or, if the plot is sufficient in size for four graves or more, four feet six inches (4’6”) in width. No railing, ornament or physical reproduction of the deceased shall surround or adorn the plot.

6.9 inscriptions Inscriptions on monuments and tombstones may be in Hebrew, English and French.

VII. AUXILIARY ORGANIZATIONS

7.1 organizations The Congregation may have such Auxiliary Organizations (such as Sisterhood, Men’s Auxiliary, youth group, nursery, afternoon and Sunday School, etc.) as shall from time to time be authorized by the Board.

VIII. ADVISORY COUNCIL

8.1 general The Board may constitute an Advisory Council (‘Council’) whose duty will be to counsel the Board of Trustees on vital matters relating to the welfare of the Congregation. When constituted, the ensuring provisions will apply.

8.2 composition, eligibility and appointment The Council Shall not exceed twenty-four appointed members and a number of ex-officio members. Members of the Congregation may be appointed by the Board of Trustees to serve on the Council for a period of four years. All former officers of the Congregation, without appointment, shall become and remain ex-officio members of the Council. Incumbent members of the Board and Executive Committees shall not be members of the Council.

IX. ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT OF BY-LAWS

9.1 amendments These By-Laws may be amended at any special meeting of the Congregation called for such purposes or at any Annual General Meeting of the Congregation, by two-thirds vote of the members present and voting provided a quorum is present throughout and provided the text of any proposed Amendment be circulated with the notice of the Meeting at which it is to be considered. A proposal for Amendment which has been rejected by the Congregation may not be re-submitted, unless permitted by the Board, for the consideration of the Congregation unless twelve months have elapsed since the time of rejection.

BY-LAWS (approved 1992 and amended 1993)

Table of Contents

I. DEFINITIONS

1.1 Members

II. GENERAL PRINCIPLES & OBJECTIVES OF THE CONGREGATION

2.1 Dedication

2.2 Tradition

2.3 Worship

2.4 Objects

III. MEMBERSHIP

3.1 Qualifications

3.2 Categories of Membership

3.3 Membership Privileges

3.4 Applications

3.5 Suspension and Abrogation of Membership

3.6 Notice of Suspension or Expulsion

IV. ADMINISTRATION

4.1 General

4.2 Powers of the Board

4.3 Vacancy on Board

4.4 Powers of Executive Committee

4.5 Indemnification

V. MEETINGS

5.1 Agenda of Annual General Meeting

VI. OFFICERS

6.1 Officers

6.2 General

6.3 Parnass

VII. OFFICIALS

7.1 Engagement

7.2 Performance of Duties

7.3 Officials

7.4 The Rabbi

7.5 Assistant Rabbi

7.6 Cantor and Assistant Cantor

7.7 The Shamash

7.8 Musical Director and Members of the Choir

VIII. COMMITTEES

8.1 List of Standing Committees

8.2 Religious Services Committee

8.3 Membership Committee

8.4 Seating and Hall Committee

8.5 Decorum and Reception Committee

8.6 Publicity and Bulletin Committee

8.7 Program and Youth Committees

IX. CEMETERY

9.1 Cemetery Committee

9.2 Functions of the Committee

9.3 Applicable Laws

9.4 Burial Services

9.5 Cremation

9.6 Synagogue Service

9.7 Ministers

9.8 Burial Permission

9.9 Monuments

9.10 Dimensions

9.11 Inscriptions

X. ADVISORY COUNCIL

10.1 General

10.2 Composition, Eligibility and Appointment

XI. INTERPRETATION

12.1 Transcription

12.2 Gender

I. DEFINITIONS

1.1 a) ‘Member’ means any male or female person who is a member pertinent to Section III of these By-Laws and who is in good standing.

II. GENERAL PRINCIPLES & OBJECTS OF THE CONGREGATION

2.1 dedication Nothing contained in the By-Law or regulations of the Congregation shall be interpreted so as to compel or suffer any act which, in the opinion of the Board, would be contrary to the practice or principles of traditional Judaism.

2.2 tradition Services shall be conducted in the Spanish Hebrew tradition (Sephardic Hebrew Minhag) of the Congregation.

2.3 worship The mode of worship shall be in accordance with the Orthodox Jewish tradition.

2.4 objects The objects of the Congregation shall be to maintain a synagogue and to foster religious, cultural, and educational endeavors and activities to help further the cause and objectives of the Congregation and of Judaism.

III. MEMBERSHIP

3.1 qualifications Any persons of majority age of the Jewish faith and good moral character, who undertakes [sic] to comply with the By-Laws, and regulations of the Congregation, shall be eligible for membership upon application.

3.2 categories of membership

a) family membership Such membership shall be extended to married couples and shall entitle husbands and wives to all membership privileges and confer upon them the right to one vote per person to be exercised at meetings of the Congregation.

b) senior membership Such membership shall be extended to single, divorced or widowed men and women over 30 years of age and shall entitle them to all membership privileges and confer upon them the right to one vote per person at meetings of the Congregation. Senior membership shall be automatically extended to a Family Member upon the death of her or his spouse. Such widows or widowers shall continue membership under their own name and shall continue to have all membership privileges extended to them and to their children. This privilege ceases upon the remarriage of the widow or widower.

3.3 membership privileges Membership privileges comprise, amongst others, the right to:

  1. attend religious services of the Congregation;

  2. rent seats in the synagogue for the member, spouse, and their children residing in their house;

  3. affiliate with all societies and organizations of the Congregation;

  4. obtain tuition and counseling from the Congregation clergy;

  5. registration of births, marriages, and deaths in the Register of Civil Status;

  6. burial in the Congregation Cemetery provided a burial plot has been reserved;

  7. attend, and vote as defined under Section 3.2 above, at all meetings of the Congregation as defined under Section V herein;

  8. hold an elective office of the Congregation.

3.4 applications Applications for regular membership in the congregation:

  1. shall be made in writing to the Membership Committee in such form as may be prescribed by that committee, whereafter the Committee will report with respect to each application to the Board at the first meeting of the Board following reception by the Committee of such application;

  2. shall be acted upon by the Board which may accept or refuse an application. Reasons for refusal of an application for membership must be given by the Board and communicated to the applicant. Refusal of an application shall not preclude submission of a new applicant; and

  3. shall be considered and, if in the interest of the Congregation, may be granted by the Board with priority to children of (i) members who rent seats in the main sanctuary and then (ii) other members of the Congregation.

3.5 suspension and abrogation of membership Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, and upon a vote of two-thirds of the Trustees present at any other regular or special meeting, the Board may expel any member for conduct which brings discredit upon the Congregation, upon its Officials or upon the Jewish faith.

3.6 reinstatement An expelled member shall not be reinstated unless with the concurrence of two-thirds of Trustees voting and present at a meeting of the Board held for such purpose pursuant to a notice given in the manner specified in Section 3.5.

IV. ADMINISTRATION

4.1 general The affairs and business of the Congregation shall be vested in and administered by:

    1. the General membership;

    2. the Board of Trustees;

    3. the Executive Committee.

4.2 powers of the board The Board shall approve the hiring, dismissal and number of officials and ministers of the Congregation.

4.3 vacancy on the board A vacancy on the Board may be filled by resolution of the Board.

4.4 powers of executive committee The Executive Committee shall:

  1. fix salaries of officials and employees;

  2. hire or dismiss all persons not otherwise provided for in these By-Laws.

4.5 indemnification The Congregation shall indemnify any member of the Board of Executive Committee and his heirs and legal representatives against all costs, charges and expenses, including an amount paid to settle an action or satisfy a judgement, reasonably incurred in respect of any civil, criminal or administrative action or proceeding to which the said member is a party by reason of being or having been a member of the Board or Executive Committee, if:

  1. the member acted honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the Congregation; and

  2. in the case of a criminal or administrative action or proceeding that is enforced by a monetary penalty, the member had reasonable grounds for believing the member’s conduct was lawful.

V. MEETINGS

5.1 agenda of annual general meeting The agenda of the Annual General Meeting shall include prayer of thanksgiving and invocations (optional).

VI. OFFICERS

6.1 officers The Congregation shall have the following Officers (‘Officers’):

  1. President;

  2. Executive Vice-President and two Vice-Presidents;

  3. Parnass;

  4. Secretary;

  5. Treasurer;

  6. Such other officers as the Board may determine by resolution.

6.2 general The following shall apply to all Officers:

  1. the Officers shall be elected at each Annual General Meeting of the Congregation for a term of one (1) year and until the election of their successors at the next Annual Meeting;

  2. any regular member of the Congregation shall be eligible for office provided he has served at least one (1) year as a member of the Board. Previous service on the Executive Committee for at least one (1) year shall be required for the offices of the President and Executive Vice-President;

  3. no officer, other than the Parnass, shall be eligible for re-election to the same office for more than four consecutive terms. The Parnass shall not be eligible for re-election for more than seven consecutive terms;

  4. no person shall hold more than one office at the same time;

  5. subject to the By-Laws, in the event of the death, resignation or incapacity of any Officer, a successor shall be elected by the Board to fill his vacancy for his unexpired term;

  6. Officers may be entitled to seats of honour in the Synagogue, subject to religious rules as to the seating of the men and women therein.

VII. OFFICIALS

7.1.1 engagement The engagement of ministers and officials of the Congregation shall be in writing for a period not exceeding four (4) years. The terms and conditions of such contracts and of any terminations thereof shall be determined by the Board of Trustees, save that the financial terms shall be disclosed to members of the Executive and Search Committees only. After ten (10) years of service, the Board may enter a contract with an official for a period not exceeding five (5) years.

7.2 performance of duties No official shall perform any of the functions of his office outside the precincts of the Congregation without the consent of the President.... The Board may establish rules whereby a person other than a minister of the Congregation may conduct religious services or perform any religious ceremony in the Synagogue, its cemetery, in private homes or in any other place where such service or ceremony is being held under the auspices of the Congregation.

7.3 officials The following shall be among the officials, religious and lay, of the Congregation:

7.4 the rabbi The Rabbi shall:

k) arrange with the ministers, for substitutions among themselves at religious services or other events of the Congregation in the events of his absence, illness or incapacity;

n) exercise his best efforts to attend the houses of the mourning members, or arrange for another member of the clergy to attend;

o) exercise best efforts to visit members who are ill or incapacitated, or arrange for another member of the clergy to visit;

7.5 assistant rabbi The assistant Rabbi shall perform such duties as reasonably may be expected of him by the Rabbi, in consultation with the Parnass or the Executive Committee.

VIII. COMMITTEES

8.1.1 list of standing committees The following shall be Standing Committees of the Congregation:

Cemetery Committee (see IX)

Religious Services Committee (8.2)

Membership Committee (8.3)

Seating and Hall Committee (8.4)

Decorum and Reception Committee (8.5)

Publicity and Bulletin Committee (8.6)

Program and Youth Committee (8.7)

8.4 seating and hall committee One of the Vice-Presidents shall be an ex-officio member of the Committee.

The Committee shall supervise all the allotment of seats in the sanctuary, chapel and other places of worship of the Congregation as they become available from time to time in accordance with the By-Laws and Regulations of the Congregation and the terms and conditions determined by the Board.

The Committee shall determine and allocate the use of the Synagogue, chapel, Congregational halls and other rooms, and arrange for any charges relating thereto.

8.7 program and youth committee One of the Vice-Presidents and the President of the Men’s Association and Sisterhood shall be ex-officio members of this Committee.

The Committee shall formulate and implement programs and activities in keeping with, and to foster the development of, the purposes and objectives of the Synagogue and to encourage the activity and participation of youth in the affairs of the Congregation.

IX. THE CEMETERY

9.5 cremation Cremation is not consistent with the Laws of Orthodox Judaism and therefore no memorial service shall be performed by any Minister of the Congregation and burial shall not be permitted in the Cemetery of the Congregation.

9.9 monuments Before any monument or tombstone may be erected, its design, location and the inscription thereon shall be approved by the Cemetery Committee which may modify or refect the same. All Hebrew inscriptions shall be approved by the Rabbi.

9.10 dimensions For the sake of modesty, no monument or tombstone shall exceed three feet (3’) in height or three feet (3’) in width, or, if the plot is sufficient in size for four graves or more, four feet six inches (4’6”) in width. No railing, ornament or physical reproduction of the deceased shall surround or adorn the plot.

9.11 inscriptions Inscriptions on monuments and tombstones may be in Hebrew, English and French.

XII. INTERPRETATION

12.1 transcription In the event of any conflict between the English and French texts of these By-Laws, the English text shall prevail.

12.2 gender The masculine shall include the feminine and the singular shall include the plural, save where the context evidently requires otherwise.

Holy Blossom Hebrew Congregation of Toronto15

BY-LAWS (1871) PREAMBLE

WHEREAS, ‘Order is Heaven’s first law, ‘and no association of men can be harmoniously governed without a well constituted code of Rules for their guidance.

Therefore the Hebrew Congregation of Toronto have adopted the following By-laws:

ARTICLE 1 – NAME

That this corporation shall be named (Toronto ‘Holy Blossoms’ Congregation.)

ARTICLE 2 – RITUAL

That this Congregation is and shall be conducted in conformity with the ancient orthodox principles and customs of Judaism in consonance with the Polish form of Prayers.

ARTICLE 3 – GOVERNMENT

1. That this Congregation shall consist of such persons of the Jewish faith from the age of eighteen years and upwards as shall be elected members thereof, according to the regulations hereinafter made.

2. That the officers of this Congregation shall also be the School Committee....

BY-LAWS (Revised January 1, 1894)

ARTICLE 1 – NAME

This Congregation shall be designated: Toronto Hebrew Congregation ‘Holy Blossom;’ and shall consist of such persons of the Jewish faith, of the age of eighteen years and upwards, as shall be elected members thereof in accordance with the regulations hereinafter stated.

ARTICLE 2 – RITUAL

3The services of this Congregation shall be conducted in conformity with the Minhag Orthodox.

ARTICLE 3 – GOVERNMENT

1. The Executive Board of this Congregation shall consist of the following officers: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and seven other members as Trustees, who have in all respects complied with these By-Laws. All officers shall retain office until their successors are selected.

  • 16 Selichous or selihot, the week before Rosh HaShanah when penitential prayers are recited at morning (...)

5. The Annual General Congregational meeting shall be held on Sunday the first day of Selichous,16 at which meeting it shall be the duty of the Executive Board to submit to the members a full statement of the receipts and disbursements of the Congregation during the preceding twelve months. At or before this meeting, members must pay their accounts in full, and only those doing so can retain their and their wives’ seats.

After all general business has been transacted, the nomination of officers for the ensuing year shall take place.

6. A Special Congregational meeting shall be held on the Intermediate Sunday of the Festival of Tabernacles, for the election of officers, who shall assume their offices on the following Sabbath.

7. All dues for seats shall be payable monthly and in advance. All fines shall be payable two weeks after their infliction.

8. The annual dues for seats shall be as follows:

For the 32 seats on 1st four benches on each side,

$50.00

For the 2 corner chairs,

$50.00

For the 8 seats on 1st double-bench in centre,

$50.00

For the 8 seats on the 1st cross-bench on each side,

$40.00

For the 16 seats on 2nd and 3rd cross-benches on each side,

$30.00

For the 8 seats on 2nd double-bench in centre,

$30.00

For the remaining member-seats,

$24.00

Single members shall have the right to purchase gentlemen’s seats at 3/5 of the prices as graded. Widows and single ladies shall have the right to purchase ladies’ seats at 2/5 of the prices as graded. Seat-holders shall pay $12.00 per annum.

  • 17 Blessings for family and friends recited when one is called to read from the Torah.
  • 18 The memorial prayer for the dead.
  • 19 In many Orthodox synagogues, it is customary for those whose parents are living to absent themselve (...)

10. No more than three names shall be mentioned in one Me Sha-birach.17 No person shall be allowed more than one Me Sha-bi-rach. No ‘Me Sha-bi-rach’ or ‘Ile Mo-li Ra-cha-mim,’18 shall be made by any one not called up to the Torah, unless notice of the name be given beforehand. No one shall leave the Synagogue for the ‘Memorial Service for the Dead.’19

11. All elections shall be by ballot. The ballot shall not be used to decide any other question.

12. The hour for commencing Sabbath morning service shall be nine o’clock.

13. Any one requiring the use of the Synagogue, for the purpose of being wedded, shall previously pay the Congregation not less than ten dollars therefore. For marriages solemnized elsewhere than in the Synagogue no fee shall be demanded by the Congregation, but the Minister shall in no case perform the marriage ceremony without the sanction of the President.

16. Any member not attending a special meeting, after signing a requisition to convene the same, unless prevented by sickness or absence from the City, shall be fined $2. Any member not coming to order at a meeting, when requested by the President, shall be fined $1. Any member leaving a meeting without permission from the President shall be fined 50c.

17. The Congregation shall stand up, during Divine service, when the President stands up, and shall sit down when the President sits down.

ARTICLE 4 – PRESIDENT

6. He shall have the superintendence over the officials of the Congregation, and shall see that they faithfully discharge their respective duties. Every application for their services shall be made, in writing, to him.

7. He shall preserve order and decorum, also manage all matters in the Synagogue during Divine Service.

ARTICLE 8 – TRUSTEES

7. Any Trustee neglecting his duties or absenting himself from three successive meetings of the Executive Board shall, unless in case of sickness or absence from the city, be deemed as refusing to act; and his office shall thereupon be declared vacant.

ARTICLE 9 – MEMBERS

1. Any Israelite desirous of becoming a member of this Congregation shall send in a written application to the Secretary, accompanied by $5.00. The name of such applicant shall be balloted for at the next ensuing Trustee meeting, and the majority of the ballots cast shall be necessary to elect the applicant a member. If he be elected, the above sum of $5.00 shall be placed to his credit towards dues in advance; if rejected, the money shall be refunded to him. No seat holder in arrears shall be balloted for, or admitted as a member.

2. Every member shall be entitled to a seat in the Synagogue for himself and (if married) a seat for his wife; to vote on all questions at Congregational meetings; to free burial for himself, as also for his wife and unmarried children (except his sons over twenty years of age), in the event of their predeceasing him; to the free admission of his children to the Sabbath School; and to the free services of any of the paid Congregational officials when required, if the permission of the President be first obtained. A non-resident member, however, shall pay all traveling expenses of any official so required.

3. Any member who shall be indebted to the Congregation an amount exceeding ten dollars, during a period of one month or over, shall be considered in arrears, and shall be deprived of his and his wife’s seats, and forfeit all other privileges of membership.

4. A member, when addressing the President, shall rise in his place, confine himself to the question and avoid personalities. He shall not speak longer than ten minutes, nor more than twice upon the same subject.

5. Widows or unmarried ladies, of the Jewish faith, may be elected members of the Congregation and the dues payable by them shall be two-fifths of those payable by male members. This shall give them all the privileges of membership, with the exception of taking part in the proceedings at the Congregational meetings.

6. Widows of deceased members shall be allowed a seat, without charge, for six months after the death of such members. At the expiration of that time, they shall pay $5.00 per annum for the same during widowhood, unless they acquire membership as per section 5.

ARTICLE 10 – SEAT-HOLDERS

1. A seat-holder shall have a seat for himself, and (if married) for his wife, such seats to be tenable only from ‘Rosh Ha-sha-nah to Rosh Ha-sha-nah,’ and at the discretion of the Trustees. Members are, in all cases, to take precedence.

ARTICLE 11 – SCHOOL BOARD

1. The affairs of the Congregational Hebrew and Religious school shall be managed by a committee consisting of the President, Vice-President, Treasurer and four other members as School Trustees.

ARTICLE 12 – BURIAL-GROUND

1. The Burial-ground shall be held in trust for the Congregation by two Trustees, specially elected for that purpose ‘by the majority of the male voters of the Congregation above the age of 21 years.’

  • 20 Cemetery steward.
  • 21 Gravediggers steward.

2. There shall be a ‘Gab-ba Beth-cha-yim,20 and Ka-bro-nim Gab-ba,’21 who shall be assisted by a committee of two. These three officers shall be elected at the Annual General Congregational meeting.

3. It shall be their duty to assign graves in proper rotation, in accordance with the Cemetery-plan, and to superintend interments.

4. Members shall have the privilege to acquire, and reserve, special burial-plots upon payment of $15 per grave.

5. Israelites not members of the Congregation, upon the sanction of the Executive Board being first obtained, shall be charged not less than the following rates for graves in the rotation-line: For a child under 12 years of age, $5; for an adult, $15. In cases of poverty, however, the Executive Board shall have power to reduce these charges. No non-member shall be charged less than $4.50 for a special grave.

No one except the Minister shall have the right to officiate on the Burial-ground without the consent of the President.

ARTICLE 14

1. Any amendment of, addition to, or repeal of these by-laws may be proposed by any member at either of the Quarterly Congregational meetings or at the Annual General Congregation meeting. If such amendment, addition or repeal be carried by a two-thirds vote of the members present, it shall then become law.

The Holy Blossom Toronto Hebrew Congregation

BY-LAWS (Toronto - December, 1955)

ARTICLE 1 – NAME

The Congregation shall be known and designated “The Holy Blossom” TORONTO HEBREW CONGREGATION, and shall consist of such persons of the Jewish faith as shall be elected members thereof by the Board of Trustees in accordance with the regulations hereinafter stated.

ARTICLE 2 – RITUAL

1. The services shall be conducted in conformity with the Ritual of Reform Judaism as now observed and no change shall be made in such ritual or in the mode of worship unless sanctioned by fourfifths of the members present at a meeting of the Congregation, notice of which meeting shall have been given and which notice shall specify the proposed change.

ARTICLE 3 – MEMBERSHIP

1. The unit of membership in the Congregation shall be the individual except in the case of married persons, when a double membership shall be required.

2. A full member shall be entitled to all the privileges of membership, including voting rights.

ARTICLE 5 – BOARD OF TRUSTEES

1. The affairs of the Congregation shall be managed by a Board of Trustees, who may exercise all such powers of the Congregation as are not by the by-laws of the Congregation required to be exercised by the members in general meeting, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Board of Trustees shall have power to:

    1. Elect members in accordance with the constitution and by-laws.

    2. Determine and fix all dues, assessments, and subscriptions for memorials, settle, waive, compromise or remit the whole or any portion of such dues, assessments, payments or donations as may be determined at any meeting of the Board.

    3. Engage employees and fix their duties and compensation.

2. The Board of Trustees shall consist of the Officers of the Congregation, namely: The President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Financial Secretary and Recording Secretary, the immediate Past President of the Congregation, all Honorary Officers and Trustees, and twelve additional Trustees, of whom one shall be the President of the Brotherhood, one the President of the Sisterhood, and one other woman designated by the Sisterhood.

ARTICLE 7 – OFFICERS

4. The President shall:

c) Have superintendence over the officials of the Congregation and shall see that they faithfully discharge their duties.

ARTICLE 10 – RABBI

1. The Rabbi shall be elected at a regular Meeting of the Congregation or a special meeting duly called for such purpose.

2. It shall require a majority vote of those present to elect the Rabbi for such salary and period of time and upon such terms as may be determined.

3. The Rabbi shall be an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees and of the Congregation, but shall not be entitled to vote.

4. The Rabbi shall perform all duties incumbent upon and in accordance with his office.

ARTICLE 11 – COMMITTEES

1. There shall be the following standing committees:

c) A Membership Committee, consisting of at least five members, whose duty it shall be to promote such activities and devise ways and means to increase the membership of the Congregation.

d) An Assessment Committee, consisting of at least five members, whose duty it shall be to pass on all dues and assessments. The Chairman of the Membership Committee shall be an ex-officio member of the Assessment Committee.

e) A Religious School Committee, consisting of at least five members, of which the Rabbi shall be an ex-officio member, whose duty it shall be, with the sanction of the Board of Trustees, to make all regulations necessary for the government of the religious school, including the appointment of teachers and adoption of course of study.

f) A Cemetery Committee, consisting of at least three members, whose duty it shall be to have the supervision and control of the cemetery.

2. There shall also be the following Committees:

c) A Choir Committee, consisting of at least three members, of which the Rabbi shall be an ex-officio member, whose duty it shall be, with the sanction of the Board of Trustees, to engage the organist, the members of the choir and to supervise the music arranged for the religious services.

d) A Seating Committee, consisting of at least three members, whose duty it shall be to superintend the seating of members.

ARTICLE 12 – SEATING

1. No seats shall be made available to non-members during High Holidays, except as may be determined by the Board.

ARTICLE 13 – BURIAL

Every member shall be entitled to purchase plots for burial purposes, at such prices and upon such terms as may be prescribed by the Cemetery Committee and approved of by the Board of Trustees.

ARTICLE 15 – BY-LAW AMENDMENTS

1. The by-laws of the Congregation shall not be altered or amended except as herein provided for, unless by a two-thirds majority vote of the members of the Congregation present at an annual, special or general meeting of the members.

2. The Board of Trustees shall have power from time to time by two-thirds majority vote, to adopt, amend and alter the by-laws of the Congregation but such adoptions, amendments or alterations shall be in force and effect as by-laws only until the next Annual General Meeting of the members of the Congregation, unless in the meantime, they have been confirmed at a Special or General Meeting of the Members of the Congregation duly called for that purpose.

BY-LAWS FOR THE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF CEMETERIES OWNED BY THE HOLY BLOSSOM CONGREGATION

ARTICLE 4 – GENERAL RULES AND REGULATIONS

1. All funerals shall be subject to such rules and regulations as the Cemetery Committee may prescribe from time to time.

2. No interment shall take place without the permission of the chairman or some person lawfully acting for him. Such permit shall contain the name, age and nativity, date of death and burial plot of deceased, and such other information as may be required.

3. No interments shall be made on the Sabbath or religious holidays without express permission of the Cemetery Committee.

4. The Rabbi of the Congregation or someone representing him with his consent shall conduct or assist in every ceremony at the interment of the dead in the cemeteries aforementioned.

5. In no case shall any disinterment be made without the sanction of the Committee and then only after the consent of the local health officer and the owner of the plot has been obtained.

6. Owners and their relatives may enter the cemetery at all reasonable hours, but in case of violation of any rules of the cemetery, such privilege may be immediately revoked.

CONSTITUTION (December 6,1992)

ARTICLE 2 – THE CONGREGATION

2.02-Religious observance

The Congregation shall follow the precepts of reform Judaism as interpreted by the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. However, no substantial changes in religious practice shall be made without the prior approval of the Board.

2.03-Unassigned pew plan

1. The Congregation shall be conducted on the unassigned pew plan. No seat for worship services shall be sold, leased or licensed to any member of the Congregation nor shall any person be given a special seat on account of any dues, donation or endowment.

2. Notwithstanding subsection (1), special seating may be reserved in the Sanctuary on the High Holy days for members with disabilities, the conditions for which shall be determined by the Board on the recommendation of the Chair of the appropriate department.

2.04 – Burial

Every member shall be entitled to purchase plots for burial purposes at such prices and upon such terms as may be prescribed by the Board on the recommendation of the cemetery committee.

ARTICLE 3 – MEMBERSHIP

3.01 – Admission to membership

Any person eighteen years of age or over professing the Jewish faith may be admitted to membership in the Congregation by resolution of the Board.

3.02 – Children of members

Every child of a member upon reaching the age of eighteen shall automatically become a member, but upon reaching the age of twenty-one shall cease to be a member unless they apply for and are admitted to membership by resolution of the Board.

3.03 – Eligibility

Subject to section 4.03, every member shall have the right to vote at any meeting of the Congregation and to stand for election as an Officer or a member of the Board.

ARTICLE 4 – DUES AND ASSESSMENTS

4.01 – Obligation to pay

A member shall pay such dues (based upon a fair share plan) and assessments at such times and on such terms as may be determined by or with the approval of the Board.

4.02 – High Holy Day seating

A member who is in arrears of dues or assessments shall not be entitled to tickets for seating at High Holy Day services except as may otherwise be determined by the Board.

ARTICLE 5 – BOARD OF TRUSTEES

5.01 – Establishment of Board

The affairs of the Congregation shall be directed by a Board of Trustees which, except as otherwise provided herein, shall have full power and authority to manage the affairs of the Congregation.

5.02 – Membership

The Board shall consist of the following members of the Congregation, and, except where noted, all of whom shall have the right to vote:

  1. the Officers as set out in section 6.01;

  2. the twenty-four members elected in accordance with Article 26;

  3. each department chair referred to in section 8.03 who has not been elected in accordance with Article 26;

  4. the chair or president, or a delegate selected from among its Officers, of each auxiliary unit referred to in Article 10;

  5. the wardens and honorary trustees referred to in sections 5.14 and 5.15 who (except the honorary president and the immediate past president who shall be voting members of the Board) shall be non-voting members of the Board, for life; and the following members of the professional staff, none of whom shall have the right to vote:

  6. the rabbis referred to in section 11.01, the executive director, the director of education, the cantor and the co-ordinator of the Department for Jewish Living.

45.03 – Term of office

Except as otherwise provided in this constitution, the term of office of a member of the Board shall be for two years.

5.04 – Successive terms of Board members A member of the Board may be re-elected for one further consecutive two-year term. For the 1993/94 year, one half of the slate shall be elected for a term of one year; and the other one-half for a twoyear term.

5.05 – Successive terms of Officers No Officer shall serve for more than three consecutive terms in the same office, except that a vice-president may be elected to hold office through the incumbencies of two successive presidents.

ARTICLE 7 – EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

7.01 – Establishment and composition There shall be an Executive Committee of the Congregation composed of the following:

  1. the Officers;

  2. the department chairs;

  3. the immediate past president;

  4. the honorary president, if any;

  5. the honorary trustees (past presidents);

  6. the presidents of Sisterhood and Brotherhood; and

  7. such other persons as the president may from time to time appoint (up to a maximum of two (2)), and the president may at any time terminate any such appointment.

7.02 – Right to vote Only the Officers, the department chairs and the immediate past president shall have the right to vote.

7.03 – Functions The Executive Committee shall act as a steering committee for the Board and deal with all matters referred to it by the Board or the president, and in so doing shall act in accordance with such directions as may from time to time be given to it by the Board.

ARTICLE 8 – DEPARTMENTS

8.01 – Constitution of departments

The functions of the Congregation shall be organized and performed through such departments, not more than six in number, as may from time to time be constituted by the Board.

8.02 – Existing departments

As of the date of the adoption of this constitution, the departments are as follows: Worship, Education, Jewish Living, Administration, Finance and Membership.

8.03 – Department chairs

There shall be a chair of each department and, where appropriate, one or more vice-chairs. They shall all be appointed annually by the president and, where appropriate, from among the elected Board members.

8.04 – Committees within departments

The function of each department shall be performed through the committees in the department and the department chairs shall be responsible for the functioning of the committees within their departments.

ARTICLE 9 – COMMITTEES

9.02 – Establishment of committees

5There shall be the following standing committees of the Board:

  1. a budget and finance committee;

  2. a cemetery committee;

  3. a dues and assessment committee;

  4. an endowment fund administrative committee;

  5. an endowment fund investment committee;

  6. a house and property committee;

  7. a personnel committee;

  8. a religious education committee;

  9. a worship committee;

  10. an audit committee; and such other committees as may from time to time be constituted by the Board.

9.03 – Assignment to departments

Each committee shall be assigned to a department by the Board.

ARTICLE 10 – AUXILIARY UNITS

10.02 – Existing auxiliary units

Each auxiliary unit, being Sisterhood, Brotherhood and Habsty [the youth group], shall be allowed one voting position on the Board to be the chair or president or a delegate as selected among its Officers.

ARTICLE 11 – PROFESSIONAL STAFF MEMBERS

11.01 – Rabbis

There shall be a senior rabbi of the Congregation and such associate and assistant rabbis as the Board may from time to time determine. The senior rabbi shall be the religious leader of the Congregation and shall have such other responsibilities as may be assigned by the Board.

11.02 – Executive Director

There shall be an executive director of the Congregation who, under the direction of the president, shall be responsible for the administrative activities of the Congregation.

11.03 – Director of Education

There shall be a director of education of the Congregation having the duties and responsibilities provided in article 23, and such other responsibilities as may be assigned by the Board.

11.04 – Cantor

There shall be a cantor of the Congregation who shall be the director of liturgical music and shall, in consultation with the senior rabbi, be responsible for the music provided at all worship services, and shall have such other responsibilities as may be assigned by the Board.

11.05 – Other staff members

There shall be such other members of the professional staff having such duties and responsibilities as the Board may from time to time determine.

ARTICLE 12 – APPOINTMENT

12.01 – Power of the Board

The Board shall have the sole power to appoint the senior rabbi, the executive director, the director of education, any associate rabbi, any assistant rabbi and the cantor, and may give such directions, if any, as to the terms of the initial contract with any such appointee as it sees fit.

12.02 – Search committees

When a vacancy occurs in any of the positions referred to in section 12.01, the president shall designate an existing committee or appoint a search committee for the purpose of recommending one or more candidates to fill such vacancy, and in the case of a search committee shall report the names of its chair and other members to the Board prior to the commencement of its activities.

ARTICLE 13 – RENEWAL OF CONTRACTS

The appointment of any person holding any of the positions referred to in section 12.01 shall not be renewed without the prior approval of the Board, which may, in authorizing such renewal, give such directions, if any, as to the terms of the renewal contract as it sees fit.

ARTICLE 15 – TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT

15.01 – Approval of the Board

The employment of any person holding any of the positions referred to in section 12.01 shall not be terminated without the prior approval of the Board, which may, in authorizing such termination, give to the Executive Committee such directions, if any, as to termination arrangements as it sees fit.

ARTICLE 16 – OTHER EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS

No employment contract for a fixed period longer than one year with persons other than those referred to in section 12.01 shall be entered into or terminated without the approval of the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE 21 – ENDOWMENT FUND

21.01 – Purpose of fund

There shall be a fund to be known as the Holy Blossom Endowment Fund, the principal and income of which shall be applied as provided in this article for the purposes of maintaining, developing and expanding the religious, educational, cultural, social and philanthropic activities of the Congregation.

21.03 – Control of fund

The Board shall have the management and control of the Endowment Fund and may make rules and regulations with respect to the receipt of gifts and bequests.

21.04 – Endowment fund administrative committee

(1) The endowment fund administrative committee shall consist of at least twelve voting members of the Board, two of whom shall be the financial secretary and the treasurer. A quorum for meetings of this committee shall consist of five voting members of the Board.

(2) It shall be the function of this committee to make recommendations from time to time to the Board with reference to the promotion, expansion and administration of the Endowment Fund, but excluding those matters assigned to the endowment fund investment committee in section 21.05.

ARTICLE 22 – BORROWING

22.02 – State of Israel Institutional Notes

The Congregation may from time to time, if authorized so to do by a resolution passed by at least two-thirds of those present and voting at a meeting of the Board, purchase State of Israel Institutional Notes and may borrow monies for such purpose on such terms and such security, if any, as shall be specified in or authorized by any such resolution, provided that the maximum aggregate principal amount of such notes held by the Congregation at any one time shall not exceed $2,000,000 U.S. and the maximum aggregate borrowings for such purpose outstanding at any one time shall not exceed $2,000,000 U.S.

ARTICLE 23 – CONDUCT AND OPERATION

23.01 – Conduct of school

The Congregation shall conduct and maintain a school for the Jewish education of the children of its members.

23.02 – Religious education committee

Subject to section 9.09, the religious education committee shall be responsible for the operation of the school.

23.03 – Director of Education

The director of education shall, in consultation with the senior rabbi, and under the direction of the religious education committee, supervise and direct the operation of the school and its faculty.

ARTICLE 24 – ATTENDANCE

24.01 – Children of members

Subject to section 24.02, only children of members of the Congregation may attend the school.

24.02 – Children of non-members

If, in the opinion of the committee constituted by the president, there are special circumstances justifying the admission of a child of a non-member, the director of education shall admit that child to the school on such terms as that committee may determine.

24.03 – Power of Board

The Board may from time to time set terms and conditions for the exclusion, admission, attendance or expulsion of any child referred to in section 24.01 or section 24.02.

ARTICLE 33 – AMENDMENT TO CONSTITUTION

The Board may from time to time, by the vote of at least two-thirds of the members present and voting at a meeting of the Board called for that purpose, amend this constitution, but such amendments shall cease to be effective at the end of the next annual or special meeting of the Congregation unless ratified at such meeting.

Congregation of the House of Jacob (Calgary)22

DECLARATION OF INCORPORATION (1905)

We, the undersigned, being Hebrews residing at or near the City of Calgary, in the Province of Alberta, and desiring to become incorporated as a Religious Society or Congregation, under Chapter 66 of the Revised Ordinances of the North West Territories of Canada, 1905, being ‘An Ordinance respecting Benevolent and other Societies’ HEREBY DECLARE:

1. The intended Corporate name of the Society is ‘The Congregation of the House of Jacob.’

2. [The purposes of said congregation are:]

(h) To build a synagogue or other buildings for the purposes of religious worship, according to the Hebrew Faith, and to maintain, alter, repair, improve, extend and manage the same and to hold, conduct and carry on therein the services and sacraments of the Hebrew Faith.

(j) To purchase lands for, maintain, and use a cemetery or burial ground.

(m) To ensure and promote the extension of the Hebrew Faith,

(n) To organize, maintain and conduct a school for the education of the members and adherents of the congregation in the Hebrew Faith, history, language and literature.

(o) To hire and engage ministers, teachers and such other servants or officers as may be necessary or expedient for the purposes of the Society.

4. The Successors of these officers and Trustees shall be appointed as follows: An annual meeting of the Society or Congregation shall be held on the First Monday after the day known in the Hebrew Faith as ‘Atonement Day’. At this annual meeting each member of congregation in good standing shall have one vote and all the officers and trustees shall be voted for separately in the above order by ballot after being duly nominated and the candidate in each case having a majority of all the votes of those present, shall be duly elected.

5. The members of the Society or congregation shall be only males of the full age of eighteen years of the Hebrew Faith in good standing upon the books of the Society or Congregation, according to its bylaws, rules and regulations.

The Congregation House of Jacob – Mikveh Israel (Calgary)

BY-LAWS (June 19, 1984)

BY-LAW ONE: NAME

The name of the Society shall be –

‘CONGREGATION HOUSE OF JACOB – MIKVEH ISRAEL.’

BY-LAW TWO: PURPOSES AND POWERS

1. The purpose of the Society is to provide facilities to observance and teaching of Orthodox Judaism.

2. To establish a school for teaching Judaism to members of the Jewish Faith and their children, in strict accord with Traditional tenets.

4. The Congregation shall conform to the tenets of Orthodox Judaism consistant [sic] with the written and oral law of the Torah.

5. The Congregation shall affiliate with the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America or Yeshiva University or both.

BY-LAW THREE: MEMBERSHIP AND DUES

  • 23 Rabbinic law.

1. Only persons belonging to the Jewish Faith, as defined by Halacha,23 are eligible to join the Congregation.

4. Assessments and dues may be varied or modified on an individual basis by a Financial Review Committee of the Board.

BY-LAW FOUR: THE GOVERNMENT OF THE CONGREGATION

1. The Government of the Congregation shall be entrusted to a Board of Directors, consisting of elected members, various ex-officio members, and various appointed members all being members in good standing.

9. The Board may by a two thirds (2/3) majority, vote to remove any member of the Board for any cause which in its sole discretion it deems reasonable.

10. A petition to dissolve the Board of Directors bearing signatures of two thirds (2/3) of the total eligible voting membership will result in the immediate dissolution of the Board of Directors and the holding of new elections as soon as possible under the supervision of the Parnass and the Rabbi. The Parnass or the Rabbi shall send notice of the holding of the election as soon as possible.

BY-LAW SEVEN: VOTING

3. Each individual member in good standing shall have the right to vote, (in family memberships, both the husband and wife are individual members and each has one vote, dependant [sic] children have no vote).

BY-LAW NINE: THE RABBI

1. The appointment of the Rabbi shall be approved by a two-thirds majority vote of the Board of Directors.

2. No person may be considered for the position of Rabbi in the Congregation, unless he shall have true Orthodox Rabbinical Ordination (S’micha) from a recognized Yeshiva or authority.

  • 24 Rabbinical court.

3. All disputes in matters of a religious nature shall be decided by the Rabbi of the Congregation in keeping with Torah and Halacha. Such decisions may be appealed to a Beth Din,24 of the Union of Orthodox Congregations or Yeshiva University.

4. A dispute or question of an Halachic nature which arises at a time that no Rabbi is employed by the Congregation, which the Religious Committee cannot answer or resolve shall be referred to the Union of Orthodox Congregations or Yeshiva University.

5. The Rabbi shall supervise all religious educational activities under the sponsorship of the Congregation. He shall be a member ex-officio of all Judaic Education Committees, including those of Akiva Academy.

6. The Rabbi shall keep registers of civil status as required by the laws of the Province of Alberta.

BY-LAW ELEVEN: CHANGES TO THE BY-LAWS

1. These By-laws may be amended at any Annual General Meeting or Special Meeting of the Congregation, by way of Extraordinary Resolution.

2. Passage of proposed amendments shall be by not less than a three-quarters vote of those present.

3. The following By-Laws shall be irrevocable and not subject to change, amendment, or repeal as long as there are three (3) dissenting votes to the proposed change, amendment, or repeal:

By-Law TWO: 4.

By-Law THREE: 1.

By-Law NINE: 2.

By-Law ELEVEN: 3.

DEFINITION OF GENDER

Wherever the masculine, neuter or singular are used, the same shall be deemed to apply to the masculine, feminine, neuter, singular or plural, according to the tenor and nature applicable.

DEFINITION OF TERMS

FAMILY – Family shall be defined as father or mother or both and all dependant [sic] children.

Congregation Shaarey Zedek (Winnipeg)25

CHAPTER 141, STATUTES OF MANITOBA, 1914, AS AMENDED BY CHAPTER 107, STATUTES OF MANITOBA, 1915, AND BY CHAPTER 100, STATUTES OF MANITOBA, 1942

WHEREAS, by chapter 69 of 53 Victoria, being ‘An Act to incorporate ‘The Congregation Shaarey Zedek of Winnipeg,” the said congregation was incorporated for the purposes in the said Act set forth; and whereas, by chapter 118 of 5 and 6 Edward VII, being ‘An Act to incorporate “The Congregation Shaarey Shomayim of Winnipeg,” the said lastly mentioned congregation was incorporated for the purposes in the said Act set forth; and whereas the said congregations have by their petition prayed that said congregations be amalgamated and the respective members thereof be incorporated as one congregation, under the name ‘The Congregation Shaarey Zedek,’ for the purpose of the worship of God according to the usages and methods of the Jews and the maintenance of public worship according to the usages of the orthodox Jews, as exemplified by the chief rabbi of the United Hebrew congregations of the British Empire, and that said corporation should be an independent self-governing body, the government of which should be vested in the said-corporation, and that the said corporation should be amenable to no other religious or ecclesiastical body, and that it should elect its own officers, transact its own business, and determine what persons should be received and what excluded from the membership; and it is expedient to grant their petition.

2. The congregation shall be a congregational church of Jews, according to the faith and order of said Jews, as exemplified by the chief rabbi of the United Hebrew congregations of the British Empire. The congregation may, under its corporate name, contract or be contracted with, implead and be impleaded, sue and be sued, answer and defend, in all courts and places whatsoever in this Province.

8. (a) The entire administration, management, control and custody of the affairs, property and funds of the congregation shall be vested in a Board of Management, subject to the provisions of this Act and the rules, by-laws and regulations hereinafter provided for.

(b) The Board shall consist of not less than ten and not more than fifteen members, elected at the Annual Meeting of the congregation, and shall hold office for a term of one year or until their successors are appointed.

10. The members of the congregation shall have power to formulate and pass by majority all necessary rules, by-laws and regulations for the management of the congregation with power to change, amend and alter from time to time the said rules, by-laws and regulations by a two-thirds vote of the members present at any general meeting of the congregation. Such rules, by-laws and regulations shall be and comprise the constitution of the congregation. (Amended as underlined, 1942.) 17. The congregation may appoint and induct a rabbi or officiating minister, and at pleasure may remove and appoint and induct another in his place at any time.

19. No member or officer of the congregation shall be liable for any debts thereof beyond the sum which shall be equal to the amount of his or her annual subscription or donation which may remain unpaid by such member or officer, and all members and officers of the congregation, not being in arrears under the said rules and regulations for subscriptions or otherwise, shall be wholly free from liability for any debt or engagement of or on account of the congregation.

BY-LAW NO.1-A, GENERAL BY-LAW

Approved by the Congregation, June 22, 1982; Approved Amendment, December 16, 1982; Approved Amendment, June 20, 1983; Approved Amendment, May 16,1984.

BE IT AND IT IS HEREBY ENACTED as by-law of THE CONGREGATION SHAAREY ZEDEK, hereinafter called the ‘congregation’ as follows:

ARTICLE 1

1. Every person of the Jewish Faith shall be eligible for membership and shall become a member upon acceptance of the application by the board of management (hereinafter called the ‘board’).

2. Dues and assessments payable by members shall be fixed by resolution of the board and shall be subject to confirmation at a meeting of the congregation. The board may, by resolution, fix special categories of membership with a special membership fee. A resolution affecting categories of membership, or dues or assessments of members is not effective unless and until it is confirmed at a special general meeting of the congregation duly called for the purpose.

4. A spouse of a member in good standing shall have all rights of a member as set out under this by-law.

5. A member may nominate or be nominated for membership on the board, and may vote at any meeting of the congregation, provided that the member is in good standing.

7. The board may suspend or determine the membership of any member who is not in good standing, or is guilty of such conduct as, in the opinion of the board, is unbecoming a member of the congregation. Suspension or termination of membership in the congregation shall be by a majority vote of the whole board and shall take place only at a duly constituted meeting of the board. Action shall be taken by the board only after notice to the member and after the member has had an opportunity to appear before the board.

ARTICLE 2 – MEETING OF MEMBERS

9. Every question submitted to a meeting of members, excluding the election of membership to the board, shall be decided, at the discretion of the chairman, either by ballot or by a show of hands in the first instance, and in case of an equality of votes, the chairman shall have a casting vote. The chairman shall not have a vote except in the case of a tie. Every question at a meeting of members shall, unless otherwise required by law or by-law of the congregation, be decided by a majority vote.

10. Subject to the discretion of the chairman, attendance at all meetings of the congregation shall be restricted to members only.

ARTICLE 3 – BOARD OF MANAGEMENT

1. Subject to the provisions of this by-law the administration, management and control of the affairs, property and funds of the congregation shall be vested in the board.

2. The board shall consist of the following persons:

  1. life members of the board as of the date of this by-law;

  2. the immediate past president of the congregation;

  3. the four past presidents preceding the immediate past president;

  4. during the existence of the brotherhood of the congregation, two members of the congregation appointed by the board by the brotherhood, each of whom shall hold office for a term of one year;

  5. during the existence of the sisterhood of the congregation, two members of the congregation appointed to the board by the sisterhood, each of whom shall hold office for a term of one year;

  6. twenty members of the congregation (except during the transitional period), ten of whom shall be elected to the board at each annual meeting of the congregation to hold office for a term of two years and thereafter until successors are elected;

  7. the chairman of the cemetery committee and the chairman of the investment committee;

  8. no member shall serve as an elected member of the board and as an elected member of the cemetery committee at the same time;

3. a) Each member of the board, at the time of this election and throughout his term of office, shall be a member in good standing of the congregation.

b) Candidates who are elected to the board shall, upon assuming office, pledge themselves to devote the time and effort which is required of them for the fulfillment of their duties including attendance at religious services, and for the maintenance of the high standards of the congregation.

ARTICLE 6 – COMMITTEES

7. ADULT LEISURE ACTIVITIES

a) The adult leisure committee shall:

    1. provide a program of cultural and social nature for the senior citizens of the congregation; and

    2. encourage senior citizens to look upon old age as a time of creativity and learning.

8. CATERING COMMITTEE

a) The catering committee shall consist of representatives of sisterhood, brotherhood, youth committee, the bar-and bat-mitzvah mothers and such other members as shall be appointed in accordance with the terms of this by-law.

b) The catering committee shall supervise all caterers supplying food and refreshment to affairs held in the synagogue building, shall set a scale of fee subject to the approval of the board, and shall make recommendations to the board in respect of the catering policy of the congregation.

14. LONG RANGE PLANNING COMMITTEE

a) The chairman of the long range planning committee shall be appointed by the president;

b) The long range planning committee shall:

  1. seek out and identify new synagogue needs and new areas of possible service, examine and clarify the requirements of such projects, and refer them to the board;

  2. prepare a suggested scale of priorities and a timetable for new projects; and

  3. receive from the board, for study and report, suggested or proposed projects which may need intensive scrutiny.

15. MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE

a) The membership committee, following the rabbi’s approval as to eligibility, shall consider all applications for membership, recommend the amount to be contributed by the applicant to special assessments or the building fund and the terms of payment thereof, and report the application together with its recommendation to the board.

b) In case of financial hardship the membership committee shall have the authority to make special provisions for waiver of all or part of membership dues, building fund or other pledges or assessments.

c) The membership committee shall:

  1. develop a program to increase congregation membership, seeking and encouraging the affiliation of new residents and of other residents who are not members of any other congregations;

  2. plan a membership orientation program and seek means of involving members who do not participate in congregation activities; and

  3. promote an atmosphere of cordiality and hospitality within the congregation community.

17. RITUAL COMMITTEE

a) The ritual committee shall, in conjunction with the rabbi, be charged with the responsibilities for matters pertaining to the practice and doctrine of the Jewish religion in the synagogue, and shall:

  1. arrange for regular adult Worship services appropriate to the needs of the congregation for weekdays, Sabbaths, holidays and special occasions;

  2. strive continually to raise the level of public worship, by both increasing attendance and deepening the content of the worship services;

  3. present to the board any proposals for major changes in synagogue ritual for presentation to the membership. The ritual of the congregation shall be decided by the majority of two-thirds of the votes cast by the members of the congregation present at a special general meeting duly called for the purpose, at which at least seventy-five members are present.

  4. Maintain responsibility for seating arrangements on the High Holy Days and for the distribution of synagogue ‘honors;’ and

  5. Be responsible for the care, upkeep and maintenance of the congregation’s religious items of property.

ARTICLE 7 – BROTHERHOOD

1) The brotherhood shall consist only of male members of the congregation and shall have as its object the advancement of the welfare of the congregation.

2) The brotherhood shall elect its own officers. It shall be subject to the overriding authority of the board.

ARTICLE 8 – SISTERHOOD

1) The sisterhood shall consist only of female members of the congregation and shall have as its object the advancement of the welfare of the congregation.

2) The sisterhood shall elect its own officers. It shall be subject to the overriding authority of the board.

3) The sisterhood shall be charged with operating the synagogue gift shop.

ARTICLE 10 – AMENDMENTS

(Amendment approved June 22, 1982)

1. By-laws of the congregation may be enacted, and the by-laws repealed or amended, by by-law enacted by a majority of the members of the board at a duly constituted meeting of the board and sanctioned by an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the congregation at a meeting duly called for the purpose of considering the said by-law.

Solel Congregation of Mississauga

CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS (adopted 1974, amended to 1980)

PREAMBLE

The object of this congregation shall be to establish and maintain a synagogue, and such educational, religious, social and recreational activities as will help further the cause and objectives of the synagogue and the Jewish community.

II AFFILIATION

This Congregation shall be affiliated with the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.

III MEMBERSHIP

1. Any Jew, man or woman, who has reached the age of eighteen (18) years and is of good character, shall be eligible for membership.

2. A person married not in accordance with Jewish law shall consult the Rabbi who shall make recommendations to the Membership Committee.

3. All applicants for membership shall first be approved by the Membership Committee subject to further approval of the application by a majority of the Board of Directors.

4. The unit of membership shall be the individual, or in the case of married people, the family (husband, wife, children under twenty-one (21) years of age), provided that a member of a family already affiliated with the Congregation who is twenty-one (21) years of age or over shall be required to apply for individual membership, full time students excepted.

5. Honourary membership, for a period to be stipulated by the Board of Directors, may be granted by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the Board of Directors, but such members shall not, without special resolution by the Board of Directors, be entitled to vote at meetings of the Congregation.

IV PRIVILEGES OF MEMBERSHIP

1. Any member of the Congregation in good standing and only such members shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges of membership including but not limited to those specifically set forth in this by-law, in addition to the following:

  1. They may attend all meetings of the Congregation.

  2. They may have a voice and a vote at all general and special meetings of the Congregation, subject to the limitations specified in Article 5 of the Constitution.

  3. They may participate in divine worship at all religious services in the synagogue, subject to the rules and regulations which may be established by the Board of Directors.

  4. They may participate in social and educational activities of the Congregation subject to the rules and regulations which may be established by the Board of Directors.

  5. They may enroll their children in the school of the Congregation subject to the rules and regulations which may be established by the Board of Directors.

  6. They may purchase the right to burial in Solel of Mississauga’s Cemetery subject to the rules and regulations of the Cemetery Committee as approved by the Board of Directors of Solel Congregation of Mississauga.

V VOTING

1. All units of membership in good standing, and only such units shall be entitled to vote on each question arising at any special or general meeting of the Congregation. Husbands and wives of a family unit shall each have a separate vote.

3. At all meetings of members, every question shall be decided by a majority vote, unless otherwise required by the Consitution of the Congregation.

4. Every question shall be decided by a show of hands, unless a poll or ballot is demanded by at least twenty (20%) percent of the members present. Upon a show of hands, a declaration by the chairman that a resolution has been carried or has not been carried, and an entry to that effect in the minutes of the Congregation, shall be evidence of the fact and no further proof required.

VII EXPULSION

1. Any member of the Congregation shall be liable to reprimand, suspension or expulsion for misconduct, provided that the member so charged has been charged in writing by twenty (20%) percent of the members of the Congregation and is accorded a hearing before the Board of Directors.

3. Any decision of such charge shall require a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the entire Board of Directors.

4. The expulsion of any member shall not relieve him from the payment of any obligations due the Congregation prior to the date of such expulsion.

VIII SEATING

1. Seats in synagogue shall be unassigned subject to the right of the Board of Directors to make special provisions for High Holy Days and for members who are incapacitated or for special visitors.

2. Seats shall be made available to non-members during the High Holy Days, as may be determined by the Board of Directors.

X BOARD OF DIRECTORS

12. Every Director or Officer and his heirs, executors and administrators and estate and effects, respectively, shall from time to time and at all times, be indemnified and saved harmless out of the funds of the Congregation, if he is a member of the Congregation, from and against:

  1. All costs, charges and expenses whatsoever, which such Director or Officer sustains or incurs, in or about any action, suit or proceeding which is brought, commenced or prosecuted against him, for or in respect of any act, deed, matter or thing whatsoever made, done or permitted by him, in or about the execution of the duties of his office except such costs, charges, or expenses as are occasioned by his own neglect or default unless otherwise decided by the Board of Directors.

  2. All other costs, charges and expenses which he sustains or incurs, in or about or in relation to the affairs thereof, unless otherwise decided by the Board of Directors.

XI EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

1. The Executive Committee, who shall all be members of the Board of Directors, who may otherwise be referred to as the Officers of the Congregation shall be: (a) President; (b) First Vice-President; (c) Second Vice-President; (d) Secretary; (e) Treasurer.

2. The Officers shall be elected for a one-year term.

XII MEETINGS

8. While the Board of Directors except as limited by this Constitution shall have full power and authority in the conduct of the Congregation’s affairs, the members of the Congregation shall have the final word in these matters. At any regular or special meeting the members, by a majority vote of those present, may overrule any decision made by the Board of Directors or may take action upon matters with respect to which the Board of Directors has failed or refused to act.

XIII ELECTION PROCEDURES

1. Nominating Committee

A minimum of six (6) weeks prior to the Annual Meeting, the President shall appoint a Nominating Committee consisting of himself, the immediate past President, two other Directors and three members of the Congregation who are not Directors.

2. The functions and responsibilities of the Nominating Committee are as follows:

  1. Advise the Congregation of the requirements for nomination, and of the procedures for submitting nominations.

  2. Receive and examine all nominations for all positions, to determine the eligibility of the nominees.

  3. Determine if the nominees are willing to accept the nominations.

  4. If no nomination for a position is received, attempt to obtain at least two (2) candidates who will accept that nomination.

  5. Hold a nomination meeting two weeks prior to the Annual Meeting, to present all candidates nominated, including those nominated during the nomination meeting.

  6. To be the source of information regarding election procedures, candidates, etc., for all interested members of the Congregation.

8. Only members in good standing can nominate, vote or be elected to office.

XIV RABBI AND CANTOR

1. The Rabbi and Cantor shall be appointed by the Board of Directors for such salary and such period of time and upon such terms as the Board may determine. In the event that the Board votes to terminate the services of the Rabbi or Cantor, such action will require ratification by one-half of the members of the Congregation present at a meeting called specifically for that purpose.

2. The Rabbi may not attend meetings of the Board of Directors except when requested to be present by the Board of Directors.

3. The Rabbi and Cantor shall perform all duties incumbent upon and in accordance with their office and such other duties and functions as the Board of Directors may from time to time determine. More specifically but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Rabbi shall have the overall responsibility of implementing the spiritual objectives of the Congregation: he shall seek the advice and guidance of the Board of Directors or of any special committee or committees which may be set up for this purpose, to determine the views of the Congregation and the most effective way of discharging his duties; and similarly without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Cantor or in his absence, the Rabbi, shall be responsible for the musical programme and activities of the Congregation and shall be guided in the performance of his duties by the Rabbi and an appropriate committee which may be appointed for this purpose by the Board of Directors.

XV STANDING COMMITTEES

1. The President shall appoint the Chairmen of the Standing Committees of the Congregation from the membership of the Board of Directors or from any member in good standing of the Congregation, and the President shall further appoint the members of the Standing Committees on the recommendation of the Committee chairmen.

4. The Standing Committees of the Congregation and their duties shall be as follows:

a) board of education. This Board is charged with the responsibility of developing programmes for the Congregation in the following areas: (i) Religious School, (ii) Adult Education, (iii) Hebrew School, (iv) Library.

It shall determine policy and form rules and regulations for administration of such programmes subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. The Rabbi and the Religious School Principal shall be ex-officio members of the Board of Education with no voting privileges.

e) membership committee. This Committee shall be charged with the responsibility of keeping in touch with Jewish families in the community, particularly with new families, with the objective of inviting them to become members of the Congregation. This Committee shall also receive applications for membership, investigate such applications and present them for appropriate action to the Board of Directors. When the occasion arises, this Committee shall also initiate action for the suspension or expulsion of members. Until such time as a separate retention committee is appointed, the Membership Committee will assume the responsibilities of retaining the active affiliation of all members.

  • 26 Stewards.

h) ritual committee. This Committee shall be in charge of all religious services of the Congregation including weddings, bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, and shall formulate rules and regulations for all such services, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. It shall offer to the Rabbi such advice and guidance as he may require regarding the character and mode of the various services. It shall have the responsibility of appointing gabbayim26 and ushers for the various services and supervising kashruth at all Congregation functions until such time as a Kashruth Committee is formed. The Rabbi shall be an ex-officio member of this committee with no voting privileges.

i) social action committee. This Committee shall be responsible for studying community problems, and problems concerning the Jewish religion and culture in general, and make recommendations for appropriate action to the Board of Directors.

j) social and athletic committee. This Committee shall be charged with the responsibility of developing a year-round programme of social and athletic activities aimed at furthering fellowship and sociability among members of the congregation. It shall also have the responsibility of arranging for appropriate programmes for the various events which it may sponsor.

1) youth activities committee. This Committee shall be charged with the responsibility of developing a programme of youth activities for the Congregation. It shall also determine policy and formulate rules and regulations for the administration of such activities subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. The Rabbi shall be an ex-officio member of this Committee.

n) cemetery committee. This Committee shall have the responsibility of arranging for and maintaining burial facilities for the Congregation; aiding members of the Congregation and their families in arranging burial facilities. The Rabbi shall be an ex-officio member of this Committee with no voting privileges.

XXVI AMENDMENTS

1. During the first year following the adoption of this Constitution, this Constitution may be amended by a majority vote of the members present at any membership meeting.

XXVII INTERPRETATION

1. In this Constitution and By-laws and in all other By-laws of the Congregation hereinafter passed, unless the context otherwise requires, words importing the singular number or the masculine gender shall include the plural or feminine gender, as the case may be, and vice versa.

BY-LAWS

(March 11, 1974)

By-Law #1

Motion: That the synagogue keep a Kosher Kitchen and all decisions re this be the Rabbi’s decision in conjunction with the Religious Committee.

(April 21, 1980)

Amendment to:

By-Law #3

The Judaica Shop shall be excluded from this By-Law with the exception of Yom Kippur.

CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS (Revised, 1992)

PREAMBLE

This Congregation shall offer leadership to the Jewish community and a place and opportunity for worship and studying the morals, principles and history of Judaism. It shall serve as a focus for Jewish religious and social life in the community. It is dedicated to co-operation and harmony among all people and the advancement of Reform Liberal Jewish ideals....

II AFFILIATION

  • 27 The federation of Reform synagogues.

This Congregation shall be affiliated with the Union of American Hebrew Congregations,27 and shall be guided by its philosophy.

III MEMBERSHIP

1. Any person of the Jewish faith, eighteen (18) years of age or over, is eligible for membership in the Congregation.

3. The unit of membership shall be the individual or, in the case of married persons, the family (husband, wife, children under eighteen (18) years, full time students). Children of a member, upon reaching the age of eighteen (18) years, shall be invited to become members in their own right.

6. In the case of married persons, where one spouse is not of the Jewish faith, notwithstanding any other provision contained herein, that spouse shall be deemed to be a full member of the Congregation.

IV PRIVILEGES OF MEMBERSHIP

1. A member in good standing shall be any member whose financial obligations to the Congregation have been fulfilled.

2. Members in good standing shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges of membership including, but not limited to, those specifically set forth in this Constitution:

  1. They shall have a voice and a vote at all general and special meetings of the Congregation, subject to the limitations specified in Article V of this Constitution.

  2. They may participate in divine worship at all religious services in the synagogue, subject to the rules and regulations which may be established by the Board of Directors upon the recommendation of the Religious Committee.

  3. They may participate in all social and educational activities of the Congregation, subject to the rules and regulations which may be established by the Board of Directors.

  4. They may enroll their children in the school of the Congregation, subject to the rules and regulations which may be established by the Board of Directors upon the recommendation of the Education Committee.

  5. They shall be eligible to be nominated and elected as a member of the Board of Directors of the Congregation.

  6. They shall be eligible to be a member of and serve on any Committee of the Congregation.

3. Members in good standing shall purchase the right to burial in the Congregation’s Cemetery, subject to the rules and regulations established by the Board of Directors upon the recommendation of the Cemetery Committee.

IX BOARD OF DIRECTORS

1. The affairs of the Congregation shall be managed and directed by the Board of Directors.

2. The Board of Directors shall be composed of the following members of the Congregation, each of whom shall have the right to vote at meetings of the Board:

  1. The Executive Committee of the Congregation;

  2. Four members of the Congregation, each serving a two-year (2 year) term. Of these, two members shall be elected to the Board of Directors by the Congregation at large at each Annual General Meeting of the Congregation;

  3. One representative from each of the following: the Religious Committee, the Education Committee, the Solel Sisterhood, the Solel Brotherhood and the Solel Senior Youth Group. Each representative shall be elected annually by the body to be represented. These representatives shall be elected prior to the Annual General Meeting;

  4. The Past President.

X EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

1. The members of the Executive Committee, who shall all be members of the Board of Directors, and may otherwise be referred to as the Officers of the Congregation, shall be: (a) The President; (b) The First Vice-President; (c) The Second Vice-President; (d) The Secretary; (e) The Treasurer.

2. The Officers shall be elected for a one-year (1-year) term, and are eligible to stand for re-election at the conclusion of each term of office.

XIII RABBI, CANTOR AND DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION

3. The Rabbi shall have the right to attend all meetings of the Board and the Congregation, except when requested for some special reason to be absent, but the Rabbi shall have no right to vote at any such meetings.

4. In the event the Board votes not to continue to retain the Rabbi, such action shall require ratification by a majority of the votes of the members of the Congregation present at a regular or special meeting called for that purpose.

XIV STANDING COMMITTEES

  • 28 Solel school.

a) education committee. This Committee shall have the responsibility of developing and administering programmes for the Congregation in the following areas: (i) Bet Sefer Solel,28 (ii) Adult Education, (iii) Library. It shall determine policy, and recommend Rules and Regulations for administration of such programmes, subject to approval of the Board, and submit a budget for approval annually. The Rabbi and Director of Education shall be ex-officio members of the Education Committee, with no voting privileges.

c) membership committee. This Committee shall have the responsibility of maintaining contact with Jewish families in the community, particularly with new families, with the objective of inviting them to become members of the Congregation. This Committee shall also receive and approve applications for membership.

e) religious committee. This Committee shall be responsible for studying community problems, and problems concerning the Jewish religion and culture in general. It shall make recommendations for appropriate action to the Board of Directors and shall implement approved programmes.

i) cemetery committee. This Committee shall have the responsibility of arranging for and maintaining burial facilities for the Congregation and aiding members of the Congregation and their families in arranging burial facilities. The Rabbi shall be an ex-officio member of this Committee with no voting privileges.

XXIII AMENDMENTS

Any amendments to this Constitution may be made in the following manner:

  1. The amendment shall be prepared in writing by its sponsor, shall be seconded, and shall be submitted to the Secretary.

  2. The Secretary shall include such amendment in the notice of the next meeting of the Board of Directors for approval.

  3. If approved by the Board of Directors, discussion of and a vote on the amendment shall take place at the next general meeting of the Congregation.

  4. A written notice of the general meeting at which the proposed amendment shall be voted upon, shall be forwarded to the members of the Congregation at least twelve (12) days in advance of such meeting. Such notice shall state the proposed amendment and the part of the Constitution proposed to be amended.

  5. A proposed constitutional amendment which is not approved by the Board of Directors, may be brought to the Congregation through the procedure outlined in Article XI, Section 6.

  6. An affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members present at the meeting shall be necessary to adopt an amendment.

XXVI REGULATIONS

1. The Congregation shall keep a Kosher kitchen.

2. No business functions involving remuneration for the synagogue shall be conducted on Jewish Holy Days of rest, namely, Shabbat, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Pesach, and Shavuot. The Judaica Shop shall be excluded from this regulation with the exception of Yom Kippur.

Congregation Emanu-El (Victoria)29

CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS (Revised May 1993)

I. The name of the Congregation shall be:

‘The Emanu-El of Victoria, Vancouver Island.’

II. The object of the congregation shall be the furtherance of the traditions of our fore-fathers by:

  1. Maintaining a House of Worship and conducting religious services.

  2. Providing instruction for the young.

  3. Maintaining and operating a cemetery for the burial of persons of our faith.

  4. Promoting such cultural, social and youth activities as desired by members of the Congregation.

BY-LAWS

ARTICLE I MEMBERSHIP AND DUES

Section 1: Any adult dedicated to and following the Jewish faith shall be eligible for consideration for membership upon application to the Board. Upon acceptance for membership, a person or family shall be duly considered as members upon the following conditions:

  1. Single membership applies to one person only and does not include family, parents or any relative living in or outside Victoria.

  2. Family membership includes persons living in the same household, who are financially responsible for one another, being either: 1) two or more adults or 2) one or two adults with a child or children.

  3. Where a family membership includes an individual who is not of the Jewish faith, this person shall be a member, and with the exception of voting privileges and eligibility for election to office, the person shall be entitled, within the limits of Jewish Law, to all the privileges of membership.

ALL MATTERS PERTAINING TO JEWISH LAW SHALL BE DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT

Section 2: Each 1) single member; and 2) Jewish person who is at least of the legal voting age for B.C., and falls within the definition of family membership in Article 1, Section 1 (b), is a member and entitled to all the privileges of membership and to one vote at any General Meeting of the Congregation.

Section 5: Subject to Article 1, Section 1 (c), a member in good standing after six months continuous membership, may stand for office.

Section 9: Long-time residents of Victoria whose membership has been unsuccessfully solicited shall be considered as suspended or resigned members for the purpose of applying for membership.

Section 10: A member in good standing may be suspended or expelled for conduct prejudicial to the welfare of the congregation. The conditions for such action and appeal from such action are laid down in Article IX Section 1.

ARTICLE II MEETINGS OF THE MEMBERS

Section 6: At any meeting of the Congregation, voting shall be in person by members in good standing. Absentee vote shall be allowed only for constitutional amendments, (as they will have been presented at least thirty days in advance).

Section 7: At the request of any member the vote on any matter must be taken by secret ballot providing the request has the immediate support of four other members.

ARTICLE III ADMINISTRATION (COMPOSITION, ELECTION, MEETINGS)

Section 1: The affairs of the congregation shall be entrusted to a Board of Directors (herein referred to as the Board) consisting of the following:

  1. elected officers:

    1. President

    2. Vice-President

    3. Secretary

    4. Treasurerv.

    5. Gabai

    6. Director of Cemetery

  1. Nine elected Trustees

  2. The Immediate Past President

    • 30 Burial society.

    A member designated by the Chevra-Kadisha30

  3. A member designated by the Ladies Auxiliary (Sisterhood) Where d and e depend on the existence of these voluntary groups.

ARTICLE IV DUTIES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 1: president

a. The president shall preside at all meetings of the Board and membership.

b. He/she shall call all meetings as specified herein.

Section 2: gabai

a. The Gabai shall be in charge of the religious services of the congregation and perform such other offices as shall be assigned by the Board.

b. The Gabai shall be chairman of the Religious Services Committee.

Section 3:

director of cemetery

The Director of Cemetery shall select at least two other persons to serve with him. The Cemetery Committee shall have the responsibility for the physical upkeep of the cemetery. All funeral services must be arranged through the Cemetery Committee. [See Article V, Section 15.]

Section 4: appointed officials

Appointed officials such as Rabbi, Cantor, Teacher, etc., may be invited to sit ex-officio in meetings and shall be under the supervision of the Board or Committee designated by the Board.

ARTICLE V STANDING COMMITTEES

Section 1: The following standing committees as outlined in Article III Section 2 shall be invoked:

  1. Education

  2. Religious Services

  3. Finance

  4. Membership

  5. House

  6. Cultural

  7. Sick and Visiting

  8. Such other committees as the Board shall from time to time deem feasible.

6Section 2: The following voluntary auxiliaries shall have status as indicated previously:

  1. Chevra Kadisha

  2. Ladies Auxiliary (Sisterhood)

  3. Such other groups as shall voluntarily form themselves to assist the affairs of the congregation and the Jewish Community.

Section 3: The chairperson of each committee shall select at least two other members to serve with him/her except that if a Chevra Kadisha exists, an additional two designated members from the Chevra Kadisha shall serve on the Cemetery Committee.

Section 4: education committee

The Education Committee shall direct matters regarding the Hebrew education of the children; shall select and promote all matters pertaining to the advancement of the education of our children. It shall have at least one member designated by the Ladies Auxiliary (Sisterhood) if applicable.

Section 5: religious services committee

The Religious Services Committee shall have jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to religious services for the Congregation in synagogue and cemetery. It shall be represented on any committee involved in Rabbi or Cantor search/selection.

Section 5 (a): rabbi search/selection committee

As required, the President shall appoint a Rabbi Search/Selection Committee. It shall work closely with the Religious Services Committee. Resulting recommendations must be approved by the Board, and subsequently approved at a general meeting of the Congregation.

Section 6: membership committee

The Membership Committee shall pass on all new applications for membership. It shall visit and solicit all new arrivals in the Jewish Community of Victoria. It shall assign the membership dues and assessments of all members.

Section 7: chevra kadisha

The Chevra Kadisha shall be a voluntary service organization; membership in it shall be open to all members of the community. It shall perform the traditional duties of the Chevra Kadisha and shall be represented on Board and in Committee as previously outlined. It is responsible to the Board.

Section 8: cemetery committee

The Cemetery Committee shall conduct its function in accordance with the following:

  1. Burials shall not be conducted at the cemetery other than in accordance with the Rites and Customs of Conservative Judaism as interpreted by the Committee on Law of the Rabbinical Assembly of America.

  2. Permission for burial in any grave shall be granted only if all indebtedness for membership dues to the Congregation by the member is fully paid; provided, however, that the Cemetery Committee shall have the authority to waive the provisions of this requirement if the members of the Committee are unanimously agreed that it is advisable.

  3. The Cemetery Committee shall charge a non-member’s fee to persons, survivors or their estates for cemetery privileges. A non-member fee charge shall be at the discretion of the Cemetery Committee.

  4. Where a person or persons have been residents of Victoria for a period of more than five years and have been members of the Congregation for a period of less than five years, the Cemetery Committee shall have the authority to make an appropriate assessment for further cemetery fees, in addition to the Perpetual Care fee as set forth in item c. above.

Section 9: ladies auxiliary (sisterhood)

The Ladies Auxiliary shall be a voluntary service organization; membership shall be open to all adult women dedicated to and following the Jewish faith. It shall assist the Congregation in all ways that it deems advisable and shall be represented on Board and Committees as previously outlined.

NOTE: It shall designate a member of both the House and Education Committees. It is responsible to the Board.

Section 10: hospitality and welcoming committee

This Committee is to work closely with the Membership Committee. Its function is particularly important for newcomers. It shall encourage more social gatherings and occasions, and encourage friendship with other members or newcomers. With appropriate support and a good spirit of volunteering, its activities can significantly affect the vitality, vibrancy and friendliness of this Congregation.

ARTICLE VI NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 1: These Board members shall be elected at the annual general meeting by secret ballot and shall hold office until the next annual meeting or until their successors are elected or appointed....

Section 2: Retiring officers shall be eligible for re-election.

Section 3: The members may, from time to time, by a two-thirds vote of the members, increase or decrease the number of elected trustees by ordinary resolution. (No notice need be given).

ARTICLE VII PRIVILEGES OF MEMBERS

Section 1: Members in good standing are entitled to a seat at all services whenever the synagogue shall be open.

Section 2: Members in good standing are entitled to send their children to the classes and other functions of the educational system of the Congregation.

Section 3: Members in good standing shall be entitled to burial in the cemetery and such services as are normally provided by the Congregation, all in accordance with Article V Section 8.

Section 4: Members in good standing shall be entitled to all the services of officers, officials and other organs of the Congregation as are normally available.

Section 5: Members in good standing shall be entitled to the use of the synagogue for all religious functions such as weddings and bar mitzvahs.

Section 6: Members and the local Jewish organizations to which members customarily belong shall be entitled to the use of the social hall under the conditions laid down by the House Committee and on payment of a nominal fee set out by the House Committee.

ARTICLE VIII USE OF FACILITIES BY NON-MEMBERS

Section 1: Non-members of external organizations may use the social hall or synagogue under the conditions set by the House and Finance Committees.

Section 2: Non-members may be buried in the cemetery under the conditions set by the Cemetery Committee and the Finance Committee.

Section 3: Non-members may attend High Holiday services by application to the Finance Committee.

ARTICLE IX EXPULSION AND SUSPENSION

Section 1: A member in good standing may be expelled or suspended for conduct prejudicial to the welfare of the Congregation upon a written complaint by three members to the Board. The Membership Committee shall investigate and report back to the Board within ten days of receipt of the complaint. The Board shall then decide by simple majority whether to suspend or expel the said member, and shall so notify him or her in writing. The said member may appeal to the Congregation by writing to the Board within thirty days of receipt of his or her notice. A special meeting of the Congregation shall be called on this matter at which time the Congregation may sustain, modify or expunge the said decision by a simple majority vote.

ARTICLE X GENERAL PROCEDURE

Section 1: In matters of major religious or financial import, a two-thirds majority of those voting at a general meeting shall be necessary to approve the proposal. Cases that are not provided for herein shall be determined by the majority vote at a general meeting. [Ratified June 8/1969. Reaffirmed May 9/1982].

Section 2: These By-Laws may be altered or amended by extraordinary resolution at a special or annual general meeting provided thirty days written notice is given of the proposed amendment; the proposer’s name to be included. Two-thirds majority of those voting shall be necessary to pass a constitutional amendment.

Congregation Dorshei Emet – The Reconstructionist Synagogue of Montreal

BY-LAWS (1994)

ARTICLE 1 OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the Congregation shall be:

to maintain a house of worship; to foster and develop the spiritual, educational and social welfare of its members;

to maintain a cemetery;

to maintain membership in the Federation of Reconstructionist Congregations and Havurot or any successor thereto; and

to proclaim and uphold the principles of Reconstructionist Judaism.

ARTICLE 2 MEMBERSHIP

Section 1 MEMBERSHIP

a) Subject to ARTICLE 2, Section 1 b), any person of the Jewish faith who undertakes to abide by the Constitution and BYLAWS of the Congregation shall be eligible to become a member thereof. Application for membership shall be made in writing and be accompanied by payment of, or the arrangement for the payment of, membership dues for one year. A non-Jewish spouse of a member may be welcomed into the synagogue with the status of a Ger Toshav (a ‘non-Jewish sojourner’), but shall not be entitled to membership in the Congregation.

b) A person shall not be eligible for membership if he/she has refused to grant his/her spouse a get (a Jewish divorce) should their marriage be dissolved by civil decree.

Section 2 CATEGORIES OF MEMBERSHIP

a) FAMILY MEMBERSHIP shall be available to families at least one of the members of which is over the age of thirty years and shall include the parents and all dependent children.

b) INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP shall be available to an unmarried individual at least twenty-five years of age.

c) YOUNG ADULT MEMBERSHIP shall be available to families no member of which is over the age of thirty years, and shall include the parents and children, and to unmarried individuals under the age of thirty years.

d) ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP shall be available to individuals or families, who may participate in the religious and educational activities of the Congregation, subject only to the limitations set out in ARTICLE 4.

e) FAMILY (SPECIAL) MEMBERSHIP shall be available to single parent families and families that are retired on fixed incomes.

f) SINGLE SENIOR MEMBERSHIP shall be available to an unmarried person who is retired on a fixed income.

g) STUDENT MEMBERSHIP shall be available to full-time students.

h) OUT-OF-TOWN MEMBERSHIP shall be available to persons who were previously members but have moved from the Montreal area.

Section 3 MEMBERSHIP PRIVILEGES

Members in good standing shall be entitled to the following rights and privileges:

  1. to attend all synagogue services and functions;

  2. to rent, when available, the facilities of the Congregation for B’nei Mitzvah celebrations, weddings and other similar occasions. The rental shall be subject to the rules and regulations established from time to time by the Board.

  3. to be affiliated with any constituent group of the Congregation upon payment of any fee that may be levied by such group; and

  4. to purchase rights to burial plots upon such terms and conditions as may be established from time to time by the Board on the recommendation of the Cemetery Committee.

The right to a burial plot shall be conditional upon membership in the Congregation. That right may not be transferred or assigned in whole or in part. Should a member leave the Congregation, the right shall revert to the Congregation and the member shall receive reimbursement, less reasonable administrative charges, of moneys paid in that regard.

Permission for burial shall be granted only if all indebtedness of the deceased to the Congregation has been paid, subject, however, to special consideration by the President or the Rabbi, or both.

Section 7 SUSPENSIONS

Any member who is more than twelve months in arrears in dues or in any other sums due to the Congregation, or whose actions or conduct constitute just cause in the opinion of the Board, may be suspended or expelled by the Board. Prior to any suspension or expulsion taking effect, the member shall be notified by registered letter to be present at a meeting of the Board and be given an opportunity to show cause why the member should not be suspended or expelled.

ARTICLE 6 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 2 ELIGIBILITY

Any person who has been a member in good standing of the Congregation for at least one year shall be eligible for election to the Board. All past presidents and honourary Officers appointed by the Board shall be ex-officio members of the Board without voting privileges.

Section 4 POWERS OF THE BOARD

The Board shall

d) consider and, if thought fit, approve all applications for membership in the Congregation; and

e) establish the annual membership dues of the Congregation, subject to ratification by the Congregation at a Special or Annual General Meeting.

Section 7 VOTING

Each Director present shall have one vote at all meetings of the Board. A majority of votes cast thereon shall carry any resolution unless a special majority is provided for in these By-Laws or by law.

Section 8 QUORUM

A majority of the number of elected members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at a Board meeting.

Section 9 VACANCIES

In the event of a vacancy on the Board, however caused, the President may appoint one of the eligible members of the Congregation to fill the vacancy for the balance of the unexpired term.

ARTICLE 7 OFFICERS

Section 1 ELIGIBILITY

Any member who has served at least one full year on the Board shall be eligible for election as President, Vice-President, Secretary or Treasurer of the Congregation. Any person who has been a member in good standing of the Congregation for at least one year shall be eligible for election as Parnass or Associate Parnass.

Section 2 TERM OF OFFICE

The term of an Officer shall be two years, but the Officer may be reelected to that office for a subsequent term or terms.

Section 3 POWERS AND DUTIES OF OFFICERS

  • 31 Torah scrolls.
  • 32 Prayer shawls.
  • 33 Plural of bar-mitzvah.
  • 34 Anniversary of death.

e) The PARNASS shall, in the absence of the Rabbi, supervise all religious services of the Congregation and shall perform the customary duties of that office, distribute the Honours and be in charge of the Sifrei Torah,31 Tallitot,32 Prayer Books and other religious articles. The Parnass shall keep or cause to be kept a B’nei Mitzvah33 Register and shall record therein all B’nei Mitzvah. The Parnass shall notify appropriate parties of the anniversary dates of all B’nei Mitzvah. The Parnass shall keep or cause to be kept records of the Yahrzeit34 date of the deceased members and of relatives of members and shall notify those members concerned prior to the respective Yahrzeit dates.

ARTICLE 8 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Section 1 COMPOSITION

The Executive Committee shall comprise all the Officers of the Congregation, the Immediate Past President and the Rabbi or Rabbis.

Section 2 POWERS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

The Executive Committee shall administer the continuing activities of the Congregation in accordance with the policies and principles established by the Board, and shall report on its proceedings at each regular meeting of the Board.

Section 5 VOTING

A majority of the votes cast on any matter shall resolve that matter.

ARTICLE 9 RELIGIOUS OFFICIALS AND THEIR DUTIES

Section 1 RABBI AND OTHER RELIGIOUS OFFICIALS

A Rabbi or Rabbis shall be the principal religious officials of the Congregation. Other religious officials may be engaged as required by the Executive Committee, subject to the approval of the Board.

Section 2 DUTIES IN CONGREGATION

No religious official engaged by the Congregation shall perform any of the functions of his or her office outside the Congregation without the consent of the Executive Committee.

Section 3 CONTRACTS

The Executive Committee may conclude contracts with the religious officials upon such terms and conditions as shall be agreed upon, subject to the approval of the Board. The President, with the assistance of the First Vice-President, the Treasurer or the Secretary, as the President may determine, shall negotiate and conclude the salary and benefits to be provided to the Rabbi or Rabbis, which the congregation will attempt to be in substantial conformity with the Federation of Reconstructionist Congregations and Havurot ‘Guidelines on Rabbinic-Congregational Relations.’

Section 4 DUTIES OF THE RABBI

The Rabbi, as the spiritual head of the Congregation, shall perform all religious services and duties associated with that office, together with any other duties that may be required by law.

ARTICLE 11 COMMITTEES

Section 5 STANDING COMMITTEES

g) youth committee

The Youth Committee, in co-operation with the Rabbi, shall be responsible for youth clubs and other religious, cultural and social activities which may be organized for the youth of the congregation.

h) constitution and by-laws committee

The Constitution and By-laws Committee shall periodically review the Constitution and By-laws and shall recommend amendments for the consideration and decision of the Board.

  • 35 Rites Committee.

i) minhag committee35

The Minhag Committee, in conjunction with the Rabbi, shall be responsible for the review and recommendation of ritual practices in the Synagogue, for the consideration of the Board.

ARTICLE 12 NOMINATIONS

Section 3 SLATE

The Nominating Committee shall nominate members for election to the Board and shall recommend a slate of Officers to the Congregation. It shall file its report with the Secretary, who shall then cause the report to be published at least thirty days prior to the Annual General Meeting, together with the notice of that meeting.

Section 4 NOMINATIONS

Any eligible member may be nominated for election to the Board or as an Officer by submitting his or her name in writing to the Chair of the Nominating Committee, not less than fifteen days prior to the date of the Annual General Meeting. Nominations must be signed by at least five members in good standing and be accepted by the nominee.

If there is more than one candidate for any position, the Secretary shall send a list of all the candidates to the members at least ten days prior to the Annual General Meeting, together with advice as to the election procedures.

ARTICLE 13 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETINGS

Section 4 VOTING

Each member in good standing present at the meeting shall have one vote at the Annual General Meeting. In the instance of family membership, each spouse in the family present at the meeting shall have one vote. Unless otherwise expressly provided, a majority of the votes cast on any matter shall carry that matter.

Section 5 ORDER OF BUSINESS

The order of business at an Annual General Meeting shall be as follows:

  1. reading of minutes;

  2. presentation of all annual reports and financial statements;

  3. election of Officers and Directors;

  4. appointment of auditors;

  5. presentation of reports and financial statements from groups within the Congregation; and

  6. such other business as may properly come before the meeting.

ARTICLE 16 AMENDMENTS

These By-laws may be enacted, amended or repealed in the following manner:

  1. A resolution approved by at least two-thirds of the members of the Board shall be submitted by the Board to the Congregation for approval at a Special General Meeting or at the Annual General Meeting.

  2. A proposal signed by at least ten members in good standing may be submitted to the President for consideration by the Board at its next meeting following receipt of the proposal. If the Board does not approve the proposed change, a Special General Meeting may be called at the written request of at least twenty-five members to consider the proposal.

  3. Notice of a proposed change in the By-laws, including a copy of the proposed change, shall be sent to the members at least thirty days prior to a Special or Annual General Meeting.

  4. No change in the By-laws shall be effected unless approved by at least two-thirds of the votes cast theron at an Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting.

ARTICLE 18 AFFILIATION

The congregation may associate itself with other organizations having similar aims and objectives. It may also aid, subvent or cooperate in any cause which has for its purpose the promotion or protection of the interests of Reconstructionist Judaism and the Jewish people.

Notes

1 Canada’s first congregation, Shearith Israel is extensively discussed in the essays by Jay Eidelman and Michael Brown elsewhere in this volume.

2 Cantor/rabbi, ritual slaughterer of kosher meat, sexton.

3 Cemetery.

4 Pentateuch.

5 Reading from the Prophets.

6 Ritual circumciser.

7 Cemetery steward.

8 Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year, which occurs early in the fall.

9 Special honours given out on the festival of Simhat Torah, the Rejoicing of the Law.

10 Ritual bath used for conversions and by women after their monthly cycle. It is usually spelled ‘mikveh.’

11 Shamas in earlier documents

12 Outdoor booth during fall Feast of Tabernacles.

13 Tractate of the Mishna, commonly known in English as Ethics of the Fathers, studied on Sabbath afternoons in summer.

14 Sixteenth-century law code written by Rabbi Joseph Caro now the standard code (with glosses) for Ashkenazic Jews.

15 Originally an Orthodox congregation, Holy Blossom gradually relaxed its approach to tradition. Today it is a Reform congregation.

16 Selichous or selihot, the week before Rosh HaShanah when penitential prayers are recited at morning prayers. The word properly refers to the prayers themselves.

17 Blessings for family and friends recited when one is called to read from the Torah.

18 The memorial prayer for the dead.

19 In many Orthodox synagogues, it is customary for those whose parents are living to absent themselves during the recitation of the prayer for the dead.

20 Cemetery steward.

21 Gravediggers steward.

22 An Orthodox congregation which later merged with Congregation Mikveh Israel.

23 Rabbinic law.

24 Rabbinical court.

25 Originally an Orthodox congregation which merged with another Orthodox congregation, it is now Conservative.

26 Stewards.

27 The federation of Reform synagogues.

28 Solel school.

29 A Conservative congregation which occupies the oldest building in Canada in continuous use as a synagogue.

30 Burial society.

31 Torah scrolls.

32 Prayer shawls.

33 Plural of bar-mitzvah.

34 Anniversary of death.

35 Rites Committee.

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