It’s Time to Vote in the New Bylaws

May 2018 Newsletter Article

As you may know, the Board of Trustees has been working on amending our Bylaws for quite some time. While our current Bylaws were sufficient at the time they were adopted, they are seriously out-of-date and inefficient for the workings of a modern synagogue. Not only is Congregation Shalom a much larger community today, but we operate differently on a day-to-day basis.

In addition, in certain sections our current Bylaws are vague, ambiguous, and internally inconsistent. Oftentimes the Board spends just as much time trying to decipher the Bylaws as it does conducting business under the Bylaws.
The Board did not take this project on lightly. Over the past five years the Board had read and reread the current Bylaws and made more than a dozen iterations of amended Bylaws. Three different committees worked on amending the Bylaws, seeking guidance from our professional and lay leadership and reviewing notes on the deficiencies of the current Bylaws which had been accumulating over the past two decades. The Board argued and debated each section (and often each word), met in several special meetings, and sent the draft document back to the committee on many occasions.

We are ready to present to the membership an Amended Bylaws that has the support of the Board of Trustees. It addresses many of the shortfalls of the current Bylaws, retains traditions and values we hold dear, and brings our congregation in line with Reform congregations in the year 2018.

A number of steps are being taken in preparation for calling for a vote by Congregation Shalom’s membership to approve the new Bylaws:

3 documents will be posted shortly to the Members Only section of our website:Current By-Laws, dated May 20, 2012
Proposed Amended Bylaws, dated March 25, 2018
Significant Changes
We are scheduling a series of informational meetings. All members are encouraged to attend one. At these meetings, we will discuss the changes in more detail. Questions are welcome, and encouraged.
We plan to hold a meeting in the near future to ask the congregation’s approval of the Bylaws.
As each Board member will tell you, the proposed Amended Bylaws may not be perfect, as each one of us views this congregation through our own eyes and with a different perspective. However, I think you will agree that the proposed Amended Bylaws, as a blend of many visions and perspectives, will meet the needs of Congregation Shalom today and well into the future. I look forward to the chance to engage with you as we all become more familiar with these Amended Bylaws in the next months.


Joanna Myers