By-Laws

BY-LAWS of the REFORM TEMPLE OF PUTNAM VALLEY

Revision Date: May 9, 2016

ARTICLE I.  Name

Section 1.  This Congregation shall be known as the REFORM TEMPLE OF PUTNAM VALLEY.

ARTICLE II.  Purpose

Section 1.  This Congregation has been organized to provide for its members an appropriate means for religious worship and the expression of the ideals and faith of Judaism; to afford religious education to the children of members of the Congregation; to afford facilities for continuing education of its adult members; stimulate fellowship in the Jewish Community;  and to work toward the betterment of the Jewish Community, our community at large, and the citizens of our country.

ARTICLE III.  Practices

Section 1.  The Congregation shall follow the principles and practices of Reform Judaism as interpreted by the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Union for Reform Judaism, and as approved by the Board of this Congregation.

ARTICLE IV.  Membership

Section 1.    Subject to all relevant provisions in these bylaws, any person who requests membership and is willing to abide by these bylaws shall become a member. 

Section 2.  Membership contributions, and policies in connection therewith, shall be fixed by the Board of Directors from time to time.  The Board may levy special assessments upon the members of the Congregation subject to the approval of the Congregation at a regular or special meeting.

Section 3.  Members who have kept up to date with their financial obligations as specified in this article shall be defined as a Member in Good Standing.

Section 4.  All contributions, assessments, and other financial obligations are payable promptly.   Fees or other obligations in arrears more than six months may result in a member being dropped from the membership rolls, at the discretion of the Board or its designee.  Readmission of a dropped member shall only be made in accordance with terms stipulated by the Board. The Board or its designee may waive, extend, or modify any financial obligation due from any member.

Section 5.  Members shall be entitled to attend all religious services.  Members will receive priority in seating for High Holiday services.

Section 6.  The membership of the Temple shall consist of the following classes: Family Membership; Individual Membership; Senior Family Membership and Senior Individual Membership.

A Family membership shall consist of two adults living together, with or without children living at home.   A Family membership shall pay the full annual membership contribution specified by the Board.

An Individual membership shall consist of one adult, with or without children living at home.  An Individual membership contribution shall be approximately two-thirds of the annual contribution specified for a Family membership.

A Senior Family membership shall consist of two adults living together, at least one of whom is over 65 years of age.  A Senior Family membership contribution shall be approximately two-thirds of the annual contribution specified for a Family membership. 

A Senior Individual membership shall consist of one adult over 65 years of age.  A Senior Individual membership contribution shall be approximately one-half of the annual contribution specified for a Family membership. 

ARTICLE V.  Board of Directors

Section 1.  The Board of Directors shall consist of Officers and Trustees.   There shall be not less than 12, nor more than 18, Trustees serving on the Board, such number to be fixed in accordance with the provisions of this Article.  All Trustees shall be Members in good standing who are elected to serve for three-year terms.  It is intended that approximately one-third of all Trustee seats shall expire in any given year.  Trustees shall be nominated in accordance with these bylaws and shall be elected at the Congregation’s annual meeting, except as otherwise provided in this Article.

Section 2.  Officers shall consist of a President, a First Vice President, a Treasurer, and a Secretary.  A Second Vice President may also be elected.  All Officers shall serve one-year terms. All Officers and Trustees may be reelect without limit, with the exception of the President. The President may serve a maximum of two consecutive one year terms. After the second term, that individual may be reelected as President for an additional period of two consecutive one year terms, but only after a period of at least three years has elapsed since the last held by that individual.

Section 3.  The number of Trustee seats in each successive year’s Board of Directors shall be established by the Board at the time the Nominating Committee is appointed, in accordance with these bylaws.

Section 4.  If any vacancy shall occur during a Trustee’s term of office, such vacancy may be filled by nomination by the President and ratification by the Board, which appointment shall continue until the expiration of the original Trustee’s term.   If any vacancy shall occur for any Officer other than President, such vacancy shall be filled by election of the remainder of the Board, which appointment shall continue until the expiration of the original Officer’s term. If the office of the President shall become vacant, such vacancy shall be filled by the First Vice President until the expiration of the President’s term, and the Board shall elect a new First Vice President for the balance of the term.  If the First Vice President is unable to serve in this capacity, the Second Vice President shall fill the Presidency for the remainder of the term.  If no Second Vice President has been designated, then in that instance the Board shall elect by majority vote an individual to fill the Presidency vacancy for the remainder of the term.

Section 5.   Resignations of Officers and Trustees must be in writing to the Board.

Section 6. A roster of attending Officers and Trustees at any Board meeting shall be maintained by the Secretary. If any member of the Board is absent from three consecutive Board meetings, it shall be the responsibility of the Secretary to identify those Trustees or Officers who have missed the requisite number of consecutive sessions, and the Secretary shall notify the President for further action.  A majority of the entire Board may, at its discretion, vote to remove such member and fill the vacancy in accordance with this Article. The Board will not remove any Trustee or Officer without first notifying such person of the proposal to remove him or her, and giving him or her ample opportunity to give cause as to why he or she should not be removed.  

Section 7.  The Board shall hold regular meetings not less often than once a month.  Notice of such meetings shall be on not less than three days notice to each member of the Board. The majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum necessary for the transaction of business and, unless otherwise stated in these bylaws, a majority vote of the Board members present shall be requisite for the adoption of any resolution or the transaction of any other business.  Upon the call of the President, or upon personal request of any two members of the Board to the Secretary, a special meeting of the Board shall be called.  The Secretary shall give to each Board member personal or written notice of each special meeting within one week of its being called, but not less than 24 hours prior to the time of the meeting.  Notice of a special meeting must state the purpose or purposes for which the meeting is called.  Only such purpose or purposes shall be acted upon at that special meeting.  

All Members of the Temple are invited to attend regular Board meetings.

Section 8.  The Board:

(1)               Shall have the authority to engage agents or employees in order to carry on the work of the Congregation, and to fix the duties and compensation of such persons;

(2)               Shall manage and control all facilities, real and personal, belonging to the Congregation, unless such management and control is delegated to the Congregation by these bylaws;

(3)               Shall have the power to create committees in addition to those created by Article VIII;

(4)               May authorize the President, another Officer, or the Rabbi to spend Temple funds up to a specified limit, without prior notification of the Board; but the Treasurer must be notified of such expenditure, and appropriate receipts must be provided within one month of the expenditure.

Section 9.  The Congregation may reverse any action of the Board at a special meeting called for that purpose, or at the annual Congregation meeting by a two-thirds vote of the congregants present.

Section 10.  The President shall:

(1 Prepare the agenda and preside at all meetings of the Congregation and of the Board:

(2)               Vote in the event of a tie vote at a meeting of the Board, but shall not vote in other circumstances.

(3)               Appoint chairpersons of all committees.  Chairpersons shall appoint the members of their respective committees, unless otherwise provided for in the resolutions that created any such committee;

(4)               Sign all official documents on behalf of the Congregation;

(5)               Execute the bylaws of the Congregation and any resolutions duly adopted or policies duly determined by the Congregation or the Board;

(6)               Serve as ex-officio member of all committees except the nominating committee, without right to vote, but shall receive notice of all such meetings;

(7)               Call special meetings of the Congregation and the Board at his/her discretion and whenever requested pursuant to these bylaws;

(8)               Generally perform such other duties and have such powers that are incident to this office.

(9)               Serve a single three-year term as Trustee at the conclusion of his/her term as President.  Subsequent to that term, the former President is eligible for re-election as a Trustee in accordance with the terms of these Bylaws, or may serve as an honorary non-voting Trustee Emeritus, at his/her discretion.

(10)     Shall ensure by the regular board meeting held in August that all signatories are reflected accurately at all financial institutions holding Temple and Temple auxiliary unit(s) assets.  Signatories are as follows:

            Temple Business and Investment Accounts: President, Vice-President, Treasurer and anyone that the Board authorizes as a signatory.

            Temple Auxiliary Unit Accounts: Auxiliary Unit President, Auxiliary Unit Treasurer, an Officer of the Temple Board.

            Rabbi(s) Discretionary Fund: Rabbi(s), Treasurer

Section 11.  The Vice Presidents shall 

(1) Perform all such duties as may be assigned to by the President or the Board.

(2) The First Vice President shall act for the President when the President is not available, and will succeed the President in accordance with this Article.

(3) In advent that the First Vice President is unavailable, the Second Vice President if designated will act in his/her place.

(4) Serve as a voting member of the following committees.

  1. Rabbi’s Committee
  2. Membership Committee
  3. Education Committee

Section 12.  The Treasurer shall be the custodian of the funds and securities of the Congregation; in addition, the Treasurer shall:

(1)       Receive all funds and deposit them in such bank or banks that may be designated by the Board;

(2)       Keep a correct account of all receipts and disbursements in the books of the Congregation and report thereon at each regular meeting of the Board;

(3)       Attend the meetings of the Finance Committee, of which he/she shall be a member by virtue of his/her office;

(4) Perform such other duties as are ordinarily incident to the office, or as may be assigned by the Board;

(5)       At the expiration or prior termination of his/her term of office, deliver to his/her successor in office all records, documents, moneys, or other assets of the Congregation, along with inventory of the same.

Section 13.  It shall be the duty of the Secretary to maintain records of Board meeting attendance, take minutes of each regular and special meeting of the Board, to maintain such minutes, and to report the minutes of the prior meeting at each regular meeting of the Board, and to issue notices of all meetings to the Congregation and to the Board, and to be otherwise responsible for all Temple correspondence.

 

Section 14.  If any Trustee or Officer is an employee of the Congregation, such Trustee or Officer may be excluded from meetings or portions of meetings at which there are reports or discussions regarding the areas in which they are employed; such exclusion is at the discretion of the chair of the President.

ARTICLE VI.  Nominations

Section 1.  At the regularly-scheduled February Board meeting, the President shall appoint the Chairperson of the Nominating Committee.  The Chairperson shall appoint at least two other members of the Committee, which shall be presented for the Board’s ratification at the Board’s March meeting.  The purpose of the Nominating Committee shall be to nominate candidates for Trustees and Officers to be elected at the annual meeting of the Congregation.  

Section 2.  A proposed slate of nominees shall be presented to the Board for its review and ratification at its regular April meeting.

Section 3.  The Nominating Committee shall file with the Secretary, not less than thirty days prior to the date of the annual Congregation meeting, the ratified list of nominees, which list shall be sent to the members before the date of such meeting.  Other nominations may be made by congregants by letter to the Secretary or from the floor

ARTICLE VII.   Rabbis and Cantor

Section 1.  The Rabbi and the Cantor shall be selected by the Board.

Section 2.  Upon completion of not less than twenty years of continuous service, a Rabbi may be elected with life tenure upon recommendation of the Board and election by the Congregation at the annual meeting.  Notice of such recommendation shall be included in the notice of such meeting.

Section 3.  The compensation of the Rabbi and the Cantor shall be fixed by the Board.

Section 4.  The Board shall have the power to make such assignments of duties and functions among the Rabbi and the Cantor of the Congregation as the Board may deem desirable,  consistent with the contractual terms governing the relationship between the Board and the Rabbi and Cantor.

Section 5.  Among his/her duties, the Rabbi shall keep a record of all marriage ceremonies, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, and Confirmations performed.  Such records shall be the property of the Congregation.

Section 6.   With the exception of meetings or portions of meetings which are designated as “executive sessions” and which may be attended only by members of the Board, the Rabbi may attend any regular or special meeting of the Board. 

 

 

ARTICLE VIII.  Committees

Section 1.  The Chairperson of each Committee is responsible for recruiting members of his/her Committee.  By the second Board meeting after the annual elections, the Chairperson of each Committee shall make a report to the Board regarding Committee membership, an agenda of meetings, and goals for the year.  The Committee Chairperson is also responsible for notifying Committee members of Committee meetings.  

The following committee chairpersons shall be appointed by the President following the annual elections, or as soon thereafter as shall be feasible:

A Finance Committee, which shall consist of at least three members;

A Buildings and Grounds Committee, which shall consist of at least three members;

A Rabbi’s Committee, which shall consist of at least three members;

A Membership Committee, which shall consist of at least four members;

A Publicity Committee, which shall consist of at least two members;

An Education Committee, which shall consist of at least five members;

A Sunshine Committee, which shall consist of at least one member;

A Fund-Raising Committee, which shall consist of at least three members.

The Chairpersons of all of the foregoing Committees, except for Publicity and Sunshine, must be Board members.  All Board members shall serve on at least one committee, and actively participate in Temple activities.

Section 2.  The Finance Committee shall have the following duties:

(1)               Budget:  It shall be the duty of the Finance Committee to make a detailed estimate of current income and expenses for the new fiscal year, to be submitted to the Board at the April meeting. Any proposed expenditure not provided for by category in the annual budget shall be made first to the Finance Committee, which shall report to the Board at its regular meeting, with the Committee’s recommendation.

(2)               Adjustment of Annual Dues:  It shall be the duty of the Finance Committee to review, at least once annually, the method by which dues are determined and to make recommendations to the Board in connection therewith at such times as the estimate of current income and expenses are submitted to the Board.

(3)               Special Gifts and Special Funds:  It shall be the duty of the Finance Committee to recommend ways and means of creating endowment funds and other capital funds to the Board and administer such special endowments or capital funds as may come into existence by action of the Board.

Section 3.  Buildings and Grounds:  It shall be the duty of the Buildings and Grounds Committee to take charge of the physical plant and properties of the Congregation and the operation thereof.  The Committee shall also be responsible for keeping the building and property in good order and repair.

Section 4.  Rabbi’s Committee:   It shall be the duty of the Rabbi’s Committee to act on the Board’s behalf in contractual and managerial relationships with the Rabbi, and to serve as a facilitator of communications between the Board and the Rabbi. The Committee will also work with the Rabbi on issues related to ritual, the conduct of services, and musical programs therein.  

Section 5.  Membership Committee:   It shall be the duty of the Membership Committee to identify and contact prospective members of the Congregation and to provide information that may be helpful to such prospective congregants. They shall keep a register of names and addresses of the Congregation, along with data as to the composition of their families and their membership in auxiliaries of the Congregation.

Section 6.  Education Committee:  It shall be the duty of the Education Committee to supervise and manage the Religious School and make all regulations necessary for its administration.  The Committee shall have the power to engage teachers and administrative personnel for the School and to negotiate employment agreements subject to the approval of the Board. The Committee may, at its discretion and with the approval of the Board, appoint a Principal, who may be made responsible for curriculum, teacher supervision, and classroom management issues.   It shall also be the duty of this Committee to promote all manner of religious, social, and cultural activities on the part of the people of the Congregation, and promote their knowledge of and respect for the Jewish religion.

Section 7.  Fund-Raising Committee:  It shall be the duty of the Fund-Raising Committee to recommend to the Board ways and means of raising funds other than through payment of dues.  This Committee shall also be responsible for the administration of fund-raising programs.

Section 8.  Each of the foregoing committees may, by action of the President or the Committee, be divided into subcommittees to facilitate the action of the Committee, provided, however, that each such subcommittee shall have at least one member of the Committee who shall act as Chairperson of the subcommittee. Members of the subcommittee may be designated by the committee. 

Section 9.  Each Committee shall make regular reports to the Board of its activities and shall propose recommendations from time to time for the improvement of those spheres of responsibility for which they are responsible.

 

Section 10.  The Board may, from time to time, add to the duties of any of the foregoing committees, whose duties have been enumerated, and may assign duties to those standing committees whose duties have not been enumerated herein.

Section 11.  No two adult members of the same Family Membership may simultaneously serve as voting members of the same Committee.

ARTICLE IX.  Meetings of the Congregation

Section 1.  The annual meeting of the Congregation shall be held in June as the Board may designate.  Notice of the meeting shall be sent to every member not less than two weeks prior to the meeting date.  Notice of the meeting shall also be announced at no less than two successive Friday evening services prior to the date of the meeting.  The order of business at the annual meeting shall be:

(1)               Call to Order

(2)               A year-end financial summary

(3)               Selected Committee reports

(4)               Nomination and election of Officers and Trustees

(5)               Action on Bylaws

(6)               New Business

(7)               Adjournment

Section 2.  At any meeting of the Congregation, each member entitled to vote shall have one vote.  Where two or more adult individuals are members of a Family or Senior membership, all adults will have the right to vote.  A majority vote at a Congregational meeting shall be necessary to elect any Officer or Trustee.  In the event no candidate receives a majority of those voting, a subsequent election shall be held immediately between the two candidates receiving the most votes.  The President shall appoint tellers to count votes at all elections of Officers and Trustees.

Section 3.  All decisions, unless otherwise stated in these bylaws, shall be reached by a majority of those voting.

Section 4.  At any meeting of the Congregation, a quorum shall consist of a majority of voting members of the Congregation present, but in no case less than twenty of such members, present and entitled to vote at such meeting.

Section 5.  Special meetings of the Congregation may be convened whenever deemed necessary by the Board, and shall be convened whenever requested by written petition of not less than ten members qualified to vote at such meeting, which petition shall state the purpose for which the meeting is called.  It shall be the duty of the Secretary to give notice of all such special meetings which notice shall be given to each member not less than five days prior to the date of such meeting.  In the event of special meetings called upon the petition of members, such meetings shall be convened within three weeks of the date of receipt of the petition by the Secretary.

Section 6.  The order of business at any special meeting of the Congregation shall be:

(1)               Reading of notice of meeting;

(2)               Action on matter stated in notice;

(3)               Adjournment.

No business shall be transacted other than that which is stated in the notice of meeting.

ARTICLE X.  Fiscal Year

Section 1.  The fiscal year of the Temple shall be from July 1 through June 30 of the following year.

ARTICLE XI.  Auxiliary Units

Section 1.  Auxiliary units of the Congregation, such as a Sisterhood or Men’s club, may be formed with the approval of the Board.  Any auxiliary unit presently constituted, as of the date of these bylaws, shall be recognized.

Section 2.  The statements of purpose of any newly-formed auxiliary units, along with their constitutions or bylaws, if any, shall be approved by the Board.  The policies and programs of any auxiliary unit shall conform with the policies determined by the Board and be subject to its supervision and control.  In the event of any conflict of activity or policy among auxiliary units or between an auxiliary unit and the Congregation, the decision of the Board with regard to the proper spheres of activity or policy shall be conclusive.

ARTICLE XII.  Charges

Section 1.  If any charge be preferred against a Rabbi, Cantor, Officer, or Trustee of the Congregation, and if the Board in its discretion determines to hear such charge, it shall cause a copy of such charge to be served upon the individual in question, together with notice of the time and place of a meeting of the Board, at which the said charges will be heard.  If the Board, by a two-thirds vote of those present, sustains the charges, it may take such action as it deems advisable, including removal or expulsion of the individual involved, subject to the approval thereof by two-thirds of the voting membership present at a special meeting of the Congregation called for such purpose within twenty days after action of the Board.

 

 

ARTICLE XIII.  Cemeteries

Section 1.  Any graves owned by the Congregation, as may from time to time be acquired, may be sold.

ARTICLE XIV.  Procedures

Section 1.  All meetings shall be conducted in accordance with procedures as defined in Roberts Rules of Order, as revised.

ARTICLE XV.  Amendments

Section 1.  Amendments to these bylaws may be directed to the Board and signed by not less than ten members of the Congregation qualified to vote.  Such proposed amendments may be acted upon at any regular meeting of the Congregation or at any special meeting called for that purpose, provided copies of the proposed amendment shall be made available to each member of the Congregation with notice of the meeting, at least fourteen days prior thereto.  An affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of the Congregation present and voting at such meeting shall be necessary to adopt any amendment.  A proposed amendment introduced by petition shall be deemed a petition of special meeting under Article IX of these bylaws.

Section 2.  At intervals of no less than two years, nor more than five years, the President shall appoint a Bylaws Review Committee, which shall review the state of the Temple’s bylaws, relative to the needs and condition of the Temple at such time. If no significant changes are required, these findings shall be presented to the Board for its concurrence.  If significant changes are found to be required, with the Board’s approval, such changes shall be recommended to the Congregation for their ratification in accordance with procedures outlined in Section 1 of this Article.  

Section 3.  After each review, regardless of whether changes are made, a printed copy of the bylaws, with appropriate changes made if any, annotated to reflect its most recent date of review, and signed by the Members of the Board, shall become part of the records of the Congregation.