Sign In Forgot Password

 

CALENDAR | SERVICES + LIVESTREAMING | MAKE A DONATION | ABOUT US | JOIN

bylaws

Beginning in 2021, the CSI Board has reviewed and revised the synagogue’s bylaws. This page provides helpful information about that process. Please direct any questions to Bylaws@shearithisrael.com.

FAQ's

What are Bylaws? 

Bylaws are the rules of operation for an organization. Bylaws define and outline responsibilities of the members, board of directors, and governing committees. They are essential for governance. Bylaws should be purpose-driven and flexible enough to allow for growth and change. They should be clear and simple enough for ease of understanding and consistently followed.

Why revise Bylaws?

A vibrant and responsible organization reviews and revises bylaws to evolve with an organization’s growth and change. Bylaws should be up to date with best practices and organizational realities. The last Bylaws were adopted in 2013.

CSI Bylaws 2013

How has the Bylaws review been structured?

We started this process in 2021 with a grant from the OnBoard Foundation. This grant funded our collaboration with a consultant who helped to identify opportunities for revision. The work was divided into 2 phases, led by a CSI Board Task Force.

Who is on the Bylaws Task Force?

The Task Force is composed of Board members Jeff Kirsh, Renée Stein, Blair Rothstein and Pia Koslow Frank.

What was accomplished in Phase I of the Bylaws revisions?

In March 2022 the Board and Congregation voted to approve revisions of the following articles:

Article IV: Board of Trustees
Article V: Officers
Article VI: Committees
Article VIII: Meetings of the Congregation
 

CSI Bylaws 2022

What happened in Phase II of the Bylaws revision?

During the 2022-23 term, the Bylaws Task Force and Board reviewed the following articles:

Article II: Purpose
Article III: Membership
Article VII: Hiring of Clergy
Article IX: Indemnification
Article X: Amendments to Bylaws
 

What was the process for Phase II?

The CSI Board met in a special governance session to focus on Purpose and Membership. The Bylaws Task Force compiled information from USCJ and other congregations. The Task Force sought guidance from the CSI Rabbi, Governance Committee, and Board. The proposed revisions were shared with CSI members for comment before being brought to the Board for a vote at the February 28th meeting.

What information and references guided the review process?

The Bylaws Task Force reviewed all articles in the context of CSI’s goal to be welcoming, inclusive and reflective of our community, within the context of the Conservative movement. The Task Force considered lengthy guidance from USCJ and compared bylaws from more than ten Conservative synagogues in Atlanta and elsewhere in the US. The Task Force also engaged with the presidents of Ahavath Achim, Etz Chaim and Beth Shalom.

What are the most significant changes for Phase II?

While there are several revisions, the most substantive changes relate to Article III:

  • Section 3.1 Membership Eligibility includes Jewish adults (over the age of 18), the spouses or domestic partners of Jewish adults, and, at the Rabbi’s discretion, those adults who are actively pursuing conversion to Judaism.
  • Section 3.5 Privileges of Membership states that participation in religious rituals by non-Jewish members is at the discretion of the Rabbi, in consultation with the Religious Life Committee (RLC). Non-Jewish members may serve on committees and the Board, except as Chair of RLC or as members of the Executive Committee.

What other changes are part of Phase II?

  • Section 2 Purpose reflects the mission through elements of the strategic plan, including prayer, learning and acts of loving kindness.  Purpose also states that CSI is egalitarian.
  • Section 7 Clergy Hiring is reordered to better outline the sequence of the hiring process.
  • Section 9 Indemnification is expanded to provide greater protections for employees, trustees, and agents.

2023 Revisions Side-by-Side with Current 2013 Bylaws

Who determines participation by members in religious rituals?

Religious rituals are governed by Halacha (Jewish Law) and not by the Bylaws. The Rabbi is the religious authority and also consults with the Religious Life Committee. Revisions to the Bylaws do not change how religious rituals are conducted or who can participate.

How has the Bylaws Task Force communicated with CSI members about this important process?

During Phase II of the Bylaws revisions, the Task Force created this information webpage, sent regular emails, provided an email address for feedback, spoke directly with individual members, and held 2 community meetings about proposed revisions.

Nov. '22 email      Jan. '23 email      Feb. '23 email

February 22, 2023 Meeting

How can members share thoughts on the Bylaws?

If you have comments or questions, please email Bylaws@shearithisrael.com.

How will new Bylaws be approved?

CSI Board members who were present at the February 28th meeting voted unanimously to approve the proposed revisions. The membership will vote on the bylaws revisions at the Congregational Annual Meeting on March 12th.

Fri, February 23 2024 14 Adar I 5784