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Volunteer

Our Sinai Temple bylaws describes the team of officers who serve on our Executive Committee. The bylaws also outline which officers have a portfolio of committees to guide and support.

Many synagogue members serve our community by actively participating in one or more of these committees. These committees are described below and they are organized by portfolio. We hope you will review this list of committees and click here to let us know you are interested in serving.

Choose a category to learn more about volunteer opportunities:

President
Administration
Development
Education
Finance
Membership
Social Action and Programming
Ritual
General Counsel/Corporate Secretary

Become a Volunteer

PRESIDENT


COMMITTEE: APARTMENT BUILDING REVIEW

Description: 
The Apartment building Review Committee is charged with recommending plans of action to the board in order to assist the board decide how the real estate can best serve the Sinai community.

Composition of the Committee: 
Membership is not limited. It is open to board members and members of the SInai Community. Desirable skills: Real estate, finance, real estate law, knowledge of neighborhood community groups.

Pre-requisites:
Experience in real estate, finance , or law.

Frequency of Meetings: 
It is task and deadline driven. The committee meets as frequently as the members agree until it is ready to make a recommendation.


COMMITTEE: ISRAEL CENTER

Description: 
The Committee oversees liaison between the Synagogue membership and Israel with focus on support of Israel in areas of political and social education, and economic needs.

Composition of the Committee: 
Appointed by the Israel Center Chair.

Pre-requisites:
Membership and passion for Israel.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Meetings as needed.


COMMITTEE: LONG RANGE PLAN

Description: 
The Long Range Planning Committee serves as an adjunct for the Executive Committee that is charged with supervising the implementation of the Long Range Plan adopted in 2014, as it may be amended. The Committee may be assigned specific projects by the President that relate to one of the four existing components of the then Long Range Plan. The Committee will research such topics, develop a process for discussion of such topics by the Board and consider recommendations by the Board, and based upon such discussions prepare proposals for amendments to the Long Range Plan to be presented to the Board for further discussion and vote, subject to consent by the President.

Composition of the Committee: 
The Committee is composed of members who have continuity with the planning and adoption of the Long Range Plan, as well as directors who have experience serving on the Budget Committee, Bylaws Committee, Board Development Committee, Executive Committee, committees that have responsibility for aspects of the Temple covered in the Long Range Plan.

Pre-requisites:
Service on original Long Range Planning Committee (2014-2015), or service on the Budget Committee, Bylaws Committee, Board Development Committee, or Executive Committee.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Quarterly or more frequently if projects necessitate.


 

ADMINISTRATION


COMMITTEE: ART AND DECOR

Description: 
The Art and Décor Committee administers the displays on all interior walls and coordinates the decoration and renovation of the interior and exterior appearance of non-cemetery/mortuary Temple buildings. Special attention is given to coordination of the ongoing art exhibition schedule in Merage Gallery, which is sponsored and curated by the Board of Governors.

Composition of the Committee: 
The Committee is composed of Temple members, without regard to their being on the Board of Directors or not. Membership of the Committee is open to Temple members who demonstrate an interest in its activities.

Pre-requisites:
Interest in the visual aesthetic of the Temple.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Semi-annual and as needed.


COMMITTEE: BOARD DEVELOPMENT

Description: 
BDC is charged with overseeing the training and development of new board members, while simultaneously furthering the skills of our current board members.  The BDC is charged with implementing the annual New Director Orientation and training sessions including, but not limited to finance, development, and Mt. Sinai Memorial Parks and Mortuaries.  In addition, the committee recommends strategies for improving the recruitment and selection of committee leadership.

Composition of the Committee: 
Directors at all stages of service.  By representing board members in all stages, BDC is able to guide leadership in such a way to be applicable to the board as a whole.

Pre-requisites:
Membership not limited.
Desirable Skills: Beneficial to have backgrounds in organizational leadership, human resources, recruitment, advising, mentoring & developing training sessions.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Once per month


COMMITTEE: COMMUNICATIONS

Description: 
The Communications Committee (CC) is charged with developing and implementing various modes of communication with our members, clergy and the wider community. The CC develops Sinai’s strategies for the furtherance of its place within the Jewish world. Current modalities include the website, branding and email communications, while CC continues to explore evolving methods for community outreach.

Composition of the Committee: 
Combination of lay and professional staff.

Pre-requisites:
Membership not limited.
Desirable Skills: Beneficial to have a background in communication, website, and/or marketing. Availability to participate in meetings and to work in conjunction with vendors to implement ideas and goals.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Meeting frequency varies depending on project demands.  Meetings are generally conducted during the business day to support/accommodate staff and vendor participation.


COMMITTEE: HOUSE AND GROUNDS

Description: 
The H&G Committee is charged with reviewing the five year Capital Expenditure plan as well as the yearly Capital Improvement list of projects that the Executive Director and Building Engineer recommend.  They help in getting the required bids necessary before any Capital Improvement project gets approved.  In addition, the committee recommends other areas for future focus.

Composition of the Committee: 
While this committee is available to directors at all stages of service and interested synagogue members, building and property management experience is preferred.

Pre-requisites:
Membership not limited.
Desirable Skills: Beneficial to have background in building and construction and property management.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Meetings are only called when there are projects to discuss. All meetings are breakfast meetings held at 7:30 am.


COMMITTEE: PERSONNEL POLICY

Description: 
The PPC is charged with overseeing the policies of the synagogue with regard to the employees, in the synagogue, the schools and the cemetery.  The PPC reviews the organization chart for the synagogue; the addition, recharacterization or elimination of staff positions; the employee manual; employee benefits, including insurance and pension; and reviews proposed salary increases.

Composition of the Committee: 
Directors and members at all stages of service.

Pre-requisites:
Membership not limited. Desirable skills: experience with managing employees, health insurance, pension benefits and HR.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Meetings are held on an infrequent basis, dependent on stages of the employee review and salary discussions, insurance review and changes in pension benefits.


COMMITTEE: TECHNOLOGY

Description: 
TC is charged with overseeing the information technology systems that serve the temple and school communities, both staff and families, including the network and Blackbaud database.  The committee supports the efforts to continually improve ease of use, security, reliability and performance.  The committee oversees expenditures related to personnel, hardware, software, training, support and any other areas needed to meet our information technology needs.  It is also charged with ensuring there are systems in place to account for all computer related physical assets.

Composition of the Committee: 
Directors and members of the congregation.
Synagogue and school technology and administrative staff.

Pre-requisites:
Desirable skills include experience in overseeing, implementing and/or using information technology systems.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Quarterly
Typically held during business day to support staff participation.


 

DEVELOPMENT


COMMITTEE: ANNUAL GIVING

Description: 
Development at Sinai Temple is a partnership between its clergy, staff, lay leaders and devoted members who are committed to supporting the tradition and vision of Sinai Temple. Fundraising is the main purpose of the Development Department and its committee. Funds raised through Development enable us to continue to fulfill our mission statement and its holy tasks for years to come, bringing\ our history, beliefs and promise to a new generation.

Composition of the Committee: 
The committee is in charge of all fundraising activities such as: Tributes, Kol Nidre, Annual Dinner Dance, Planned Giving, and Capital Campaign. The committee is in charge of planning and making sure that each program is successful. The committee is comprised of 8-12 volunteers from the congregation.

Pre-requisites:
Membership is not limited. It is important to have the willingness to make calls, meet with people and ask for money. Prior experience in Fundraising is important to have but not necessary as long as the member doesn’t mind making the ask.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Frequency of meetings depends on the specific project/campaign. For example for Kol Nidre, once or twice a month meetings are required from July through October, and for the Annual Dinner Dance, once a month meeting are required from December through mid-May, and closer to the event meetings take place once a week.


COMMITTEE: CAPITAL CAMPAIGN

Description: 
This committee will be responsive to the Long Range Financial Plan with respect to fund raising needs and will develop and structure a campaign to meet these requirements.
Once the plan is developed, the effort will be focused on implementation.

Composition of the Committee: 
Members and Directors

Pre-requisites:
Members of the committee have experience in fund raising, capital campaigns and years of experience with Sinai Temple leadership.  All areas of the organization shall be represented.

Frequency of Meetings: 
As needed. Approximately once a month.


 

EDUCATION


COMMITTEE: BEIT BRACHA

Description: 
House of Blessing. In consultation with appropriate staff (including, but not limited to, Marketing/Communications and Development), the Committee shall develop and administer advertising, evaluation, fundraising and outreach for our Sinai Temple Beit Bracha: House of Blessing. Beit Bracha is Sinai Temple’s religious school and B’nai Mitzvah training program for students with special needs.

Composition of the Committee: 
Directors and members at all stages of service who has an understanding of children with special needs.

Pre-requisites:
None.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Meetings as needed.


COMMITTEE: ECC

Description: 
The ECC is charged with acting as an advisory committee to the ECC Administration. The Board plans community building events, fundraising, and acts as docents to prospective parents.

Composition of the Committee: 
The Committee is comprised of current ECC and SAA families. The Sinai Temple Board VP of Education also sits on the Committee.

Pre-requisites:
Desirable skills: Backgrounds in Organizational Leadership, and recruitment.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Once per month.


COMMITTEE: RELIGIOUS SCHOOL

Description: 
The Parent Chairs of the Sinai Temple Religious School work together with the Principal, Danielle Kassin, to inform the Room Parents of each Religious School class of upcoming activities at the Religious School and to organize the parents of the students in the Religious School to volunteer for various activities for the students’ benefit throughout the Religious School year.

Composition of the Committee: 
The Committee consists of the two Parent Chairs.

Pre-requisites:
The Parent Chairs have to be parents of current Religious School students; be able to attend 3 Room Parent meetings during the Religious School year; be able to attend several meetings with the Principal of the Religious School throughout the year; and have leadership and people skills.

Frequency of Meetings: 
There are 3 Room Parent Meetings per year and approximately 5-6 meetings with the Principal of the Religious School.


COMMITTEE: SINAI AKIBA ACADEMY

Description: 
The SAA Committee is responsible for all operations and activities of Sinai Akiba Academy. SAA is an independent, co-educational day school educating students from Preschool through 8th grade. Sinai Akiba Academy offers an outstanding general and Judaic-education that develops the mind, heart and soul. We engage students in the joy and discipline of learning, introducing students to a life of personal growth, sensitivity, responsibility and intellectual inquiry, shaped by Jewish practices and informed by a respect for diversity of thought. All families with children enrolled at SAA are members of Sinai Temple. SAA is a member of the Solomon Schechter Day School Network, and is accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Composition of the Committee: 
Parents with students currently attending SAA comprise the majority of the SAA Committee. We also welcome SAA Alumni, Alumni parents, non-SAA affiliated Temple members, Jewish community members, professional educators, and other community members to serve on the SAA Committee. The Temple Vice President of Education serves as a voting ex officio member on the SAA Committee.

Pre-requisites:
Membership on the SAA Committee is by invitation only. Strong connections with the Jewish community and within the Temple community are assets, but not necessities. The ability to focus on the long-term, and not the near-term, is essential. The ability to ask challenging questions in a kind manner while maintaining the trust of one’s peers is crucial. The emphasis on whom we recruit to join the SAA committee in a particular year is dictated by our Board Profile which is developed in consonance with our Strategic Financial Plan.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Once a month (typically 10-12 meetings per year).


 

FINANCE


COMMITTEE: AUDIT COMMITTEE

Description: 
The Audit Committee oversees the formal review of the Synagogue’s financial reports that are prepared by an independent professional accounting firm.  The Committee also reviews the opinion provided by the audit firm regarding internal financial controls and procedures.

Composition of the Committee: 
Any board member, as well as those members of the synagogue community who have exceptional financial, accounting and audit experience.

Pre-requisites:
Same as above.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Two to four meetings per annum.


COMMITTEE: BUDGET

Description: 
The Budget Committee oversees all non-cemetery financial operations of the Temple. It works with Staff to prepare the Temple’s annual budget and presents the proposed budget to the Board of Directors for approval.  The budgets of each individual department, as well as Sinai Akiba Academy and the Douglas Family Early Childhood Center (collectively “SAA”), are reviewed in detail.  During each fiscal year the Committee reviews actual financial performance compared to the budget for that year and determines if any adjustments are required.  Periodic updates are presented to the Board of Directors.  Our goal each year is to produce a budget that is balanced, or with as small a deficit as possible, and to adhere to the budget during the year.

Composition of the Committee: 
Committee members consist of a mix of long-time, experienced members and past Presidents as well as newer Board members with relevant expertise; the Committee also includes senior Staff members and the senior Rabbi.  The Committee’s members each contribute complementary skills and perspectives including budgeting and financial analysis and/or extensive knowledge of the Temple’s and SAA’s religious and educational programming.

Pre-requisites:
As described above members are expected to have expertise with budgeting and/or financial analysis and/or a deep knowledge of the Temple’s and SAA’s programs, or both.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Bi-monthly in the fall, monthly or weekly in the winter and spring when the proposed budget for the following fiscal year is being prepared.


COMMITTEE: CATERING

Description: 
To support and sustain the relationship between the Caterer and Sinai Temple Executive and ensure that the Caterer and Temple are successful to the benefit of both parties as well as the membership.

Composition of the Committee: 
Members and Directors that represent various constituencies.

Pre-requisites:
Membership not limited. Desirable skills: Beneficial to have background in PR, Marketing and/or Advertising. Familiarity with the various constituencies and demographics desired.

Frequency of Meetings: 
As needed. Approximately 3-4 times per year.


COMMITTEE: INSURANCE

Description: 
The Insurance Committee oversees determination for all levels of insurance coverage, except for health insurance, selection of insurance brokers, approving purchase and premium cost of any such insurance for the Synagogue and Mt. Sinai Memorial Parks.

Composition of the Committee: 
Any board member, as well as those members of the synagogue community who have exceptional insurance, property ownership and/or management and/or corporate administration background or experience.

Pre-requisites:
Same as above.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Two to four meetings per annum.


COMMITTEE: INVESTMENT

Description: 
The Investment Committee overseas all the Temple endowments (excluding the Cemetery).  Sinai Akiba established the first endowment many years ago and it is the largest pool of assets we oversee.  Other donors established endowments in recent years, some restricted and others not.  During the year the committee meets with its external investment advisors to review the asset allocation and performance of the endowments.  In 2014-2015 the Committee undertook a thorough manager search and review process for the SAA Endowment that resulted in the hire of a new investment manager.

Composition of the Committee: 
Committee members consist of a mix of long-time experienced members and newer members with relevant expertise.  Some members are active investment professionals and others have a background and understanding of the capital markets and the economic forces that influence the market.   Typically, the Vice President of Finance, Treasurer, and SAA President serve on the committee.

Pre-requisites:
As described above members are expected to have a general understanding of the equity and bond markets and the importance of asset allocation in determining both the return and risk of the portfolio composition.

Frequency of Meetings: 
The committee meets quarterly.


 

MEMBERSHIP


COMMITTEE: MEMBERSHIP

Description: 
The membership committee formulates and implements plans to engage, retain and attract membership. To help foster relationships between its clergy and members and build dynamic relationships between each of our members.

Composition of the Committee: 
Clergy, staff, members of the temple and directors.

Pre-requisites:
Membership not limited.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Monthly.


COMMITTEE: USHERING

Description: 
Assist and promote an atmosphere of worship at services.
Serve at services that requires ushering.
Extend the friendly spirit to all who worship with us.
Assign greeters for each Shabbat and High Holy Days

Composition of the Committee: 
Clergy, staff, members of the temple and directors.

Pre-requisites:
Membership not limited.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Once a year and as needed.


 

SOCIAL ACTION AND PROGRAMMING


COMMITTEE: ADULT EDUCATION

Description: 
The Adult Education Committee coordinates classes and other educational opportunities for the synagogue and community to learn about issues related to Judaism, Israel and the world.  We aim to make Sinai Temple a place where everyone can learn from our accomplished clergy, staff and community about Jewish texts, history, halacha, ethics, theology and culture in the 21st century.

Composition of the Committee: 
The committee is currently composed of interested synagogue members, some on the Board of Directors and some not.  Anyone interested in bringing more learning to Sinai Temple is welcome.

Pre-requisites:
Membership not limited.  Desirable Skills: Ability to promote programs to the membership, a love of Jewish learning, and a knowledge of what would excite our community.

Frequency of Meetings: 
6 time per year.


COMMITTEE: ATID LEADERSHIP BOARD

Description: 
The Atid Leadership Board is an advisory committee, consisting of smaller committees, that meet to regularly to help with the planning and execution of programs, community and relationship building, engagement and retention of attendees, and recruitment of new young professionals.

Composition of the Committee: 
Young Professionals of all stages who are active in Atid. There are about 10 sub-committees that cover things from Holiday Programming, to Tikkun Olam programming, to Couples Programming, to High Holy Day Programs, to our Engagement Committee.
Our leaders represent many of the different types of young professionals living in Los Angeles and therefore can best represent their interests and needs.

Pre-requisites:
Attendance of at least 5 Atid programs every 6 months. Desirable Skills: Social competency, passion for building Jewish community, marketing acumen, strategic thought.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Once per six weeks or as needed.


COMMITTEE: DOR CHADASH

Description: 
This committee plans, coordinates and executes all events for families with young children under the age of 5.

Composition of the Committee: 
This committee is comprised of four chairs who have been chosen by the members of Dor Chadash.

Pre-requisites:
Active participation in Dor Chadash.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Monthly.


COMMITTEE: MUSIC

Description: 
The music committee works closely with the Cantor to promote his music endeavors and plans concerts.

Composition of the Committee: 
This committee is comprised of anyone who is interested in music.

Pre-requisites:
None.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Monthly.


COMMITTEE: PLANET PURIM

Description: 
The Committee plans and supports Planet Purim

Composition of the Committee: 
Members of the committee were selected for their commitment and interest in bringing the Purim carnival back to Sinai!

Pre-requisites:
None.

Frequency of Meetings: 
The committee meets approximately once a month starting in August but closer to the carnival, in March, the committee meets  about once a week.  The committee is in constant communication by email.


COMMITTEE: PROGRAMS

Description: 
Plans & offer a wide variety of programs including the scholar-in-residence along with the Sinai Social Action & Program Vice President and Sinai Temple Program Director. Evaluate the success of the programs.

Composition of the Committee: 
Volunteers from the Board of Directors and Sinai Temple Members.

Pre-requisites:
Interest in programming & helping during the programs.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Monthly.


COMMITTEE: SOCIAL ACTION

Description: 
This committee provides avenues in which the community can participate in Tikun Olam and the needs of the community.

Composition of the Committee: 
This committee is comprised of anyone who is interested in planning and participating in social action projects.

Pre-requisites:
None.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Monthly.


COMMITTEE: TEEN CENTER LEADERSHIP COUNCIL

Description: 
TCLC creates, plans, markets and executes all of the major Teen Center programs throughout the course of the year in an effort to build teen community at Sinai Temple in order to ensure the Jewish future.

Composition of the Committee: 
All TCLC members have to be 9th-12th graders and Nazarian Fellows, meaning they’ve proven that they are committed to our Teen program and committed to growing as leaders. The TCLC has a President, a Social Media Committee, and specific event chairs.

Pre-requisites:
Must be a Nazarian Fellow. TCLC members fill out applications and interview before they are awarded positions.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Once per month.


 

RITUAL


COMMITTEE: BARAD HALL

Description: 
Clergy, staff and members of the committee discuss proposals and recommendations pertaining to High Holiday services at Barad Hall, including but not limited to increasing membership and giving honors.

Composition of the Committee: 
Clergy, staff, members of the Temple and directors.

Pre-requisites:
Members who attend High Holiday services in Barad Hall.

Frequency of Meetings: 
As needed during the year, more frequently during the three months preceding the High Holidays.


COMMITTEE: BAR & BAT MITZVAH

Description: 
The Bar/Bat Mitzvah Committee is charged with setting dates for all upcoming bar/Bat Mitzvahs. We also review any bnei mitzvah eligibility request forms and make a recommendation to the Cantor’s office.

Composition of the Committee: 
Directors at all stages of service.

Pre-requisites:
Membership not limited.

Frequency of Meetings: 
We meet at least once a year to discuss any issues with eligibility requirements that need to be addressed. Other than that requests from families are sent out through email and committee members can give advice or recommendations via email. Once a year the chair meets with the Cantor’s office and designated parent liaisons to set dates.


COMMITTEE: BIKKUR CHOLIM

Description: 
The Committee Reaches out to those who are ill — as well as reaching out to those who are home-bound or lonely.  Reaching out through visiting, note writing, phone calls and food delivery to the sick.

Composition of the Committee: 
Directors and members at all stages of service.

Pre-requisites:
None.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Meetings are once a year and as needed.


COMMITTEE: CHEVRA KADISHA

Description: 
The Committee is a dedicated group of congregants/clergy that work with the support of the clergy and in cooperation with the mortuary to ritually prepare the body for burial. The ritual preparation, Tahara, consists of ritual washing and dressing of the deceased in Tachrichim (shrouds) as well as placing the deceased in the Aron (casket). During Tahara, prayers and psalms are recited for compassion, salvation and guidance of the soul. Meets as Needed.

Composition of the Committee: 
Member / Non Members welcome.

Pre-requisites:
None.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Training from Chevra Kadisha Member.


COMMITTEE: RITUAL COMMITTEE

Description: 
1. Clergy, staff and members of the committee discuss proposals and recommendations pertaining to the rules, regulations and procedures for religious services.
2. On an annual basis, review High Holy Day services and discuss recommendations relating thereto.

Composition of the Committee: 
Clergy, staff, members of the temple and directors.

Pre-requisites:
Membership not limited.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Two times per year of more fequently as needed.


COMMITTEE: SHIVA

Description: 
The Committee supports the mourner during their 7 days of mourning upon request. The Committee sets up the home for shiva: provides prayer books, kippot, chairs, and ensures minyans for services.

Composition of the Committee: 
Members.

Pre-requisites:
Training with Shiva Committee member.

Frequency of Meetings: 
As needed.


 

GENERAL COUNSEL/CORPORATE SECRETAR


COMMITTEE: BYLAWS

Description: 
The Bylaws committee is responsible for annually reviewing the bylaws, preparing recommendations, and implementing any necessary revisions. It will also provide guidance to the temple’s President and Board in response to various inquiries about the organization’s operations and activities.

Composition of the Committee: 
General Counsel, Board Members.

Pre-requisites:
Legal / paralegal background, corporate governance experience.

Frequency of Meetings: 
As needed.


COMMITTEE: CONTRACTS

Description: 
• The Committee oversees all negotiations of all Synagogue employment contracts.
• The committee provides recommendations to the Executive Committee and Board of Directors which Conditions of Contract and related documents should be prepared or updated.
• To provide guidance to independent legal counsel regarding specific information.

Composition of the Committee: 
Treasurer, VP of Administration, General Counsel and Chair(s). Membership required.

Pre-requisites:
Knowledge of contracts, employment and negotiations.

Frequency of Meetings: 
As needed. Usually 4-6 times a year.


COMMITTEE: LEGAL

Description: 
1. The Legal Committee reviews all matters of a legal nature submitted by the staff pertaining to the operation of Sinai Temple.
2. Such matters include all claims, complaints, disputes, or other matters at issue.
3. The Legal Committee will review and evaluate such matters and determine whether further investigation is required or referral to an outside law firm is required.

Composition of the Committee: 
General Counsel, Board members, interested members.

Pre-requisites:
Legal or paralegal training or insurance background.

Frequency of Meetings: 
Meetings as needed.


BECOME A VOLUNTEER