Grant to improve governance in COSV synagogues

July 14, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Council of Orthodox Synagogues of Victoria has secured a Besen Family Foundation grant to boost the governance skills of member synagogues.

“In a complex regulatory environment with evolving communal challenges it is vital that our volunteer shule boards continue to effectively manage their businesses using up-to-date governance techniques,” said Mark Cohen, President COSV.

The Sir Zelman Cowen Centre (SZCC) at Victoria University developed governance training modules tailored for volunteer faith-based boards. A number of the modules will be available to COSV member shules, creating a digital hub that also allows shules to share their collective knowledge on key governance issues.

Mark Cohen added:, “The online hub provides shules with vital professional resources and a space to share common experiences while maintaining their autonomy.”

SZCC’s Director, Professor Kathy Laster and senior lecturer, Jennifer Paneth led the project. Kathy Laster said, “Our goal is to provide community volunteers with practical training to ensure they’re equipped with company director-level skills.”

The SZCC worked with Elka Gaensler, COSV Director and Gary Max, VP Brighton Shule in tailoring the governance modules. Brighton Shule piloted workshops to fine-tune governance training. Going forward COSV and SZCC are looking forward attracting further funding to develop a full range of governance resources.

The modules currently available include: Dealing with Conflict of Interest, Volunteer Management and Risk Management.

The COSV will contact member synagogues to share the resources and seek feedback with the aim of enhancing member synagogues Governance expertise and resource materials.

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