Not in disarray says Mizrachi acting president

December 21, 2009 by Henry Benjamin
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The acting president of Sydney’s Mizrachi Synagogue says there are no problems with the shule.

Answering claims that there are no books and a dwindling membership, Miriam Rosenman has told J-Wire that the synagogue is in a strong position.

Following last week’s resignation of former president Mark Schneider, Rosenman has answered claims that the Board is not able to produce the accounts for the kehilah. She said: “The books are with the auditors and the AGM will be held in February. An e-mail is going out today to all members informing of them of the current situation.”

Miriam Rosenman

She said that the former spiritual head of the Great Synagogue, Rabbi Raymond Apple will be attending Mizrachi for five weeks early next year and that joint events with the Or Chadash congregation had proved successful. She would not comment about a possible merger between the two congregations.

She added: “Our attendances are nowhere as poor as has been reported. Our Sunday morning minyans are going well for the first time in years. Mizrachi is not in disarray and our members should know we are cash positive.”

The update members got today is reproduced below:

We are writing to inform you Mark Schneider has resigned as President for personal reasons. Mark has assured the executive that he will continue to assist the Board, and wishes the Board success in the tasks that lie ahead. Mark has worked tirelessly over the last 12 months and we thank him for the countless hours of work every week, the sleepless nights and especially for representing us in London at the Beth Din. Acting President is Miriam Rosenman who has had many years experience on the board of the Mizrachi Synagogue and very successfully ran the Women’s Auxiliary for nearly five years.

The Mizrachi Synagogue is undergoing a revival, stronger today than it has been for many years. For the first time in a number of years the synagogue has a positive cash flow, the Women’s Auxiliary is raising funds and we have several major sponsors. The courtyard renovation project is imminent and the Greengarten Hall is looking great. Over the last couple of months we have had over 1,000 people through our hall!

This year in the area of finances the Synagogue has made many advances. The membership invoicing has been changed to quarterly (rather than annual) and we now accept the American Express card. There has been an overwhelmingly positive response to both these initiatives. With the aim of being a more professional organization an external accounting firm was engaged. Selingers Chartered Accountants have finalised the Accounts according to the Australian Accounting Standards and the Corporations act 2001 and they are currently with the auditor. Due to it being the holiday period the AGM has been postponed till February next year. We have also converted the inherited Overdraft facility to a mortgage – greatly reducing the interest.

Highly successful fundraisers this year included the: 1. Mizrachi Kitchen Tea which fully restocked our empty kitchen and brought in over 50 new members. We raised in excess of $5000 and probably received close to $7,000 worth of Kitchen utensils and equipment. 2. The Jack Felman fundraiser was also hugely successful with over 170 tickets sold on the Saturday night and the Sunday night was a sellout with over 200 tickets sold. The function program was full of advertising and drew many compliments from outside our Kehillah. 3. The Women’s Auxiliary has catered several large sit down lunches and many Kiddushim.

This year we unfortunately lost some members but we are very proud to state that we also attracted many new members. We welcome our new members and those that have returned after a long absence, and thank them for becoming quickly involved in the Shule’s activities and for their generosity.

December has been another busy month for the Synagogue. Happenings included:

1. Over 120 people in shule the last Shabbat before school finished – followed by a sit down lunch.

2. Highly successful Chanukah Party, held in conjunction with Or Chadash. A donation by a member of the Mizrachi made this function possible, with over 100 drums, lots of noise, hot dogs, salads and the blessings over Chanukah candles by Danny Chalmers and Jonathon Ehrlich (Or Chadash).

3. The first joint Friday night service with Or Chadash, (which will continue for the summer) with Nusach swapping each week and Kiddush for the children. 4. The ongoing success of the Sunday Minyan, for the first time in many years!

Early next year we are looking forward to: 1. Continuation of joint Friday night services with Or Chadash 2. Special Kiddush in honour of Mr Freidmans 90th Birthday 3. In line with our program re Visiting Rabonim we are excited to announce Rabbi Apple will be davening with us from the 16th January for 5 weeks 4. Rebbitzin Mandy Lawrence will begin her weekly shiur series “Characters from the Tenach” early February on a Monday night. 5. Courtyard upgrade program

After many years as our administrator Claudia Prosser has resigned. She has done an excellent job and we wish her great success. The weekly newsletters will be produced by the very talented Karen Smith, who redesigned our website and created the Jack Felman Brochure. We are further excited about the nominations for new board members. All are well known to our Kehillah and bring with them a wealth of experience including Max Hersh, Marcel Stein and Karen Smith.


8 Responses to “Not in disarray says Mizrachi acting president”
  1. member of 50 years says:

    When you hide behind names of members who have not written any of these emails you can actually see that there really is not many people who are in opposition to the existing board. You can just count them on one hand.
    Don’t use other peoples names Dan, Sue and Frank. That is really hitting low.

  2. frank says:

    Dear Miriam, Your letter is very interesting. All visitors to the shul are always welcome but why did the board decide to change the nusach of the shul? Was this done by agreement with the membership? Were the membership asked? Has the shul merged with Ohr Cahdash without anyone knowing? And please just answer one simple question. How many financial members are there today? You say some left and some rejoined. Today have more left or more joined? Thank you

  3. sue says:

    Okay,enough is enough,I have been to all meetings and no figure for the legal costs has ever been given,but if you say it has been,or if you say it is known, then just then tell us all.
    We want to know. How much on top of the payments to the Rabbi and his legal costs do we have to come up with?
    Why the secrecy?

  4. Real Long Time Paying Member says:

    Long Time Member – try coming to shule more often.

    If so, you would know there is more than one Karen. The one standing for the board does not have any pre-barmitzvah aged children.

    Possibly you owe her an apology?

    Legal fee have been dicussed several times at meetings – maybe you should also try coming to Shule meetings more often.

    Who are you getting your incorrect facts from? Who is pulling your strings? Let’s stick to the truth and move forward positively!

  5. Karen G says:

    I am not going on to the board what are you talking about?

    Can I ask why this is so important to you? Why can’t you move forward and leave the past behind. I think we have been told what the legals are.

    I can tell you that many entities the size of Mizrachi lodge late and that is why the provisions are there in the Corporations Law and the Constitution of entities. I am an accountant which is why I understand how these things work in practice. Not because I am on the board!

    Woolworths has a very large accounting body and is not run by volunteers whom I assume have businesses or practices of their own also! Be forgiving of people that is part of Yidishkite!

    Don’t worry about how many members we have concentrate on finding new members.

    Move on move forward to a new and better Mizrachi where all our children can grow up in a happy environment like I remember from the past.

    No more posts from me I have deadlines to meet, work to do and children to look after!

  6. long time member says:

    Okay Karen, we need to move on. But you are going onto the Board so perhaps you know things the members do not. We need to hear more about what is happening to our shul. General statements without real information is nice. But. You made an impassioned plea about how Woolies etc operates. But the deadline for the audited accounts was the 23rd of November. Nothing happened, no accounts were presented. Can you please tell us why and a simple unaudited answer to how much was spent on legal costs will suffice. As well how many financial members are there currently and how many were there a year ago? I think that the simple answers to those questions will put them to rest and let us move forward positively.

  7. Paying Member says:

    Great to know! I am at shule regularly and have noted an amazing change over the last year. The new board is doing a fantastic job in a very difficult environment.

  8. Karen says:

    Good to hear a voice of reason!

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