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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom

Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace



Chapter Meeting Minutes

Meeting 7:30 PM - Wednesday, April 5, 2005

Attending: Yael Samuel, (facilitator), Rabbi Joshua Levine-Grater (co-chair and host), Jeff Warner (co-chair), Claire Gorfinkel (note-taker), Michael Several (treasurer), Nancy Vimla (librarian), Ehud BenHagai, Chris Cohn, Deborah Yael Graetz, Yossi Khen, Kathie Lester, Ronit Roth

1. We began with introductions and welcomed two new people: Deborah Yael Graetz and Ronit Roth. Jeff estimates that there are 200 paid members in greater Los Angeles and another 25 in San Diego County.

2. Israel Day Festival, May 7 There will be an orientation meeting Sunday, April 16 at 10 AM at Woodley Park in Van Nuys. Both Michael and Yossi plan to attend. We paid for a booth with electricity; we will use Chris laptop to show various segments of Land of the Settlers. We think it is better to be in a different part of the festival from Americans for Peace Now, to bolster the impression that there are lots of us who favor a two-state solution to the conflict. Yossi suggested that people should be prepared to explain why there are two different organizations [Brit Tz is American and Chapter-based; APN exists to support Shalom Achshav and its settlement watch program in Israel and to influence policy in Washington; it does not have chapters. Many people are members of both organizations.]

Who will participate? Set-up at 10:00: Chris, Jeff and Michael 10 12:30: Nancy 12:30 3: Yossi 3 5 and tear down: Joshua, Yael and Deborah Everyone is encouraged to wear a Brit Tzedek tee-shirt. Jeff will have a clipboard for people to give us their names and email addresses, and a flyer about upcoming meetings and showings of Land of the Settlers. He will also have 200 buttons, 15 tee-shirts in each size, and literature about Brit Tzedek (for which he will request a contribution since we are technically not allowed to sell anything). He will bring a map showing the settlements in the occupied territories and paper and magic markers for children to draw their vision of peace. Ronit suggested giving children a chance to make a peace quilt, but this was deemed impractical. Jeff will send emails to the entire Brit Tzedek mailing list urging people to come to the festival and help with the booth. Everyone who will be participating is urged to review/study the Brit Tzedek statements on the website www.btvshalom.org to be prepared for potentially difficult/hostile questions.

3. Treasurers report: Our current balance at the national office is $423, because we spent $380 to rent the booth at the Israel Festival; $190 for the CDs of the Brit Tzedek conference and $100 for the CDs of the Land of the Settlers. We also have a petty cash balance of about $100 from passing the hat at our meetings and from contributions at recent events.

Jeff proposed a procedure for deciding on expenditures:

1. Spending shall be approved at a regular meeting of the Brit Tzedek VShalom Los Angeles Chapter. a. A quorum required to approve spending shall consist of at least ten paid-up members. b. Approval requires a 2/3rds vote of the paid-up members in attendance.

2. Spending of under $200 may be approved between regular chapter meetings when it is not practicable to wait until the next meeting. a. Approval requires the concurrence of one paid-up member who has attended at least three of the previous five chapter meetings, and the Chapter chair or one of the Chapter co-chairs. b. The Treasurer shall veto proposed inter-meeting spending if he (she) believes that it will jeopardize future chapter activities or unduly strain the chapter budget. Some questions were raised: Does part 1 refer only to expenditures over $200? Is the threshold too high (should it be $100 rather than $200?) Given that we rarely have ten paid up members at our meetings, is the quorum requirement too high? We agreed to discuss and resolve this proposal at our next meeting. Jeff requested a petty cash fund for the librarian so that she could pay for postage and other incidentals involved in maintaining/circulating the items in our library. We agreed to give her $25 and it was done.

4. Becoming a Chartered Chapter of Brit Tzedek: Now that we will have been meeting for a year in May, we are entitled to become a Chartered Chapter. This requires completing a one-page form, including a treasurers report, and the existence of a Steering Committee. We agreed to appoint the two co-chairs, plus Claire Gorfinkel, Mike Several and Chris Cohn to serve [retroactively and effective immediately] as the Steering Committee. As a chartered chapter we will be listed in national publications and we will receive an allocation ($6.00 ?) for each paid up member. It is not clear what the geographic boundaries are for which we will get the allocation [Just Los Angeles County? All of Southern California?]

5. Upcoming events: We have three more showings of Land of the Settlers at, and co-sponsored with, Workmans Circle. They are: Segment 1, April 27th; Segment 3, May 24th and Segment 4, June 12 -- all at 7:30. We are looking for other venues, but we have a problem in that we dont own a projector or a laptop computer. If we show the CDs at House Parties, we only need a TV and DVD player. The emcee at the showings at Workmans Circle should ask the attenders whether any of them would be willing to host a house party. Other potential locations may be: Jewish Community Centers [the Westside might offer space at no charge], Colleges [Occidental and Pomona]. Deborah said she would try to line up a showing at HUC during their lunch and learn program, but probably not until the next academic year. Yael said she would be willing to attend House Parties or the lunch & learn at HUC to speak about the program. Yossi will ask Rabbi Steve Jacobs if he will show it at Kol Tikvah.

6. Advocacy: Thanks to the work of Brit Tzedek and the fact that the Administration doesnt like them either, both the Ros-Lehtinan Lantos bill (HR-4681), and the Senate bill (S-2370) are stalled in Congress. Congress is on recess for the next two weeks. Can anyone secure an appointment with Adam Schiff, or any of the other local legislators? Brit Tzedeks Washington Advocacy Days are Sunday through Tuesday, June 18 20. Josh is planning to go. Chris would like to go; Nancy is interested. Everyone is encouraged to participate; some scholarship help is available from the national office.

7. Next meetings: We will meet Wednesday, May 10, at 7:30 at Nancy Vimlas and again on Wednesday June 14 and Wednesday July 19, at locations to be determined. We would also like to schedule more brunches in addition to regular business meetings to give more time for discussion of issues, and to ensure that our regular meetings give priority to Brit Tzedek business.

8. We had a free-flowing discussion about the Israeli elections and our role in promoting a negotiated settlement to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Thanks to Josh and Francie for gracious hospitality.

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