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MPMC: Merger Update (9th October)

October 9, 2016

Joint Statement from the members of the Woodford Liberal Synagogue and Bet Tikvah Merger Project Management Committee (MPMC)

9 October 2016

Following the momentous news on 25 September 2016, when the members of both synagogues voted overwhelmingly in favour of unifying the two communities from 1 January 2017, we are pleased to confirm that the MPMC met the following day, 26 September to plan for the future. We have now set up the inaugural meetings of the following groups:

10 October 2016: First meeting of the Interim Council

At this meeting, the existing officers and some of the current trustees of both synagogues will meet with the two rabbis in order to start planning key strategic short term and long-term goals. This group is, effectively a steering group which has delegated power from both existing councils to make provisional decisions which, in due course, will be put to the Board of Directors of the new community for ratification.

The initial members of the interim council are:

  • Gary Freedman (Chairman, BT)
  • Jonny Hurst (Chair and Trustee, WLS)
  • Bob Kamall (Vice-Chair and Trustee, WLS)
  • Stewart Spivack (Vice-Chair, BT)
  • Alice Wilcock (Vice-Chair and Trustee, WLS)
  • Shirley Forbes (Council member and Trustee, BT)
  • Tina Gold (Treasurer and Trustee, WLS)
  • Ashley Marks (Treasurer, BT)
  • Mel Millenbach (Treasurer and Trustee, WLS)
  • Elliott Porte (Council member, BT)
  • Richard Stevens (Council member and Trustee, WLS)

Up to two other members from each synagogue council will be co-opted to this group to see its work through to 1 January 2017. Now that both communities have voted, the MPMC’s functions will be taken over by the interim council.

18 October 2016: Meeting between Rabbis David Hulbert and Richard Jacobi with Ben Glassman and Elliott Porte from R&P

The R&P group has already done a lot of work bringing together the thinking behind the slightly different practices in both synagogues. This meeting will start the process of putting that work into practice, looking at service rotas and minhag.  There will also be discussion about the High Holy Days in 2017 when we will be a single community.

19 October 2016: First meeting of the new Community Focus Group

This is an open meeting for all members of both synagogues and is taking place at Woodford Liberal Synagogue at 8pm on 19 October.  The aim of this meeting is to gather together as many members of the existing councils, committees and groups from both synagogues as possible, as well as the new community’s next generation of volunteers.  The purpose of this group will be to guide and advise the Interim Council on how we should deliver information and activities to members (e.g. its magazine, social events, education, membership, social care etc).

The most important item on the agenda will be the name of the new community. For legal and ‘lead-time’ reasons, the Interim Council requires the name of the new community to be settled by mid-November 2016 so we have sufficient time for this to be approved by the Charity Commission and for the necessary administrative and legal steps to be completed by 1 January 2017. The meeting on 19 October will be the first formal consultation step with members of both synagogues. Members are also encouraged to leave suggestions between now and 19 October in the suggestion boxes which are currently located at both synagogues or to email: jonnyhurst@hotmail.com  and sforbes55@virginmedia.com

Please make every effort to be there on 19 October if, as we hope, you want to play a part in your new vibrant community.

27 October 2016: First meeting of the Property and Buildings Group

We have a number of property-related experts who are members of both synagogues. They will be given terms of reference on 27 October by the Interim Council to research in the coming months and to ultimately advise how we may pursue the various options we have open to us to move into a single building.

The Interim Council will continue the MPMC practice of publishing regular reports to members.

Signed by: Shirley Forbes, Jonny Hurst, Bob Kamall, Elliot Porte, Stewart Spivack and Richard Stevens
Merger Project Management Committee

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