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Congregation Bet Yosef , Jerusalem

Chairman's Report Summer 2006

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The Work of the Vaad 5766  2005-‏2006–07–05


This report relates to the 2nd half of 2005 and the 1st half of 2006


This past year has been a very exciting year for me and the vaad and I know for the entire congregation. I cannot possibly cover all the activities in the this short report but I would like to touch on the main activities over the past 12 months.  The present vaad took over the running of the shul at the beginning of July 2005. Far from being a rubber stamp, the vaad comprises five members of strongly held and sometimes very different views. Vaad meeting were held almost every week throughout the year often running past midnight


Zichronam Livracha

The following members passed away during the past year. Yehi Zichram baruch.

Eliezer Young,   Isadore Schreiber,  Avraham Rosenberger, Freddy Grantz and Yoel Elizur 




On the whole services on Shabbat and during the week are well attended. On Shabbat there are three morning services. To help allieviate the discomfort in the 3rd minyan, we purchased a movable mechitsah. Friday tonights continue to be very popular for all ages. We held a late weekday Maariv service during the Winter, but the attendance was not good.



The new chesed, and building committee’s were active during the past year. As a shul, we should be very proud that we have a group of people that call and visit the sick of our congregation. If you know of a sick person who could  do with a visit, please call and let the office know. Singles are also not forgotten  as well as those who need an invitation for a Shabbat meal.



We didn’t forget the soldier children of our congregants and for Chanukah we sent them care parcels of chocolates,  sweets and a CD voucher.



Bet Hamidrash


This past year saw the completion after two years of the new renovated BM – funded by a generous donation from Rabbi and Mrs Yehoshua Kimelman. The new designer plaques marking the dedications of Aharon, Schreiber, Yehoshua Gamliel and and Rabbi Kimelman is planned for RH.



In the run up to the High Holidays last year, we spent a tremendous amount of money on cleaning the shul from top to bottom. This year this will not be necessary since the shul is now cleaned properly on a weekly basis.



We now have 131 paid-up members. This must be the biggest vote of confidence that the shul can receive. This represents a 30% increase on the previous year. Part of this increase is due to efforts by the vaad and the secretary in urging those who pray with us on  regularly to go the extra mile and join us.



Children’s Activities – Dor Haba

Chanuka, Tu B’Shavat and Purim were all celebrated with special activities. A special mishnayot  siyum was held at Bet Yosef. Friday night activities were held throught the Winter months and we plan Rosh Hashana children’s services.




The vaad views this as a most important project and has passed it on to the building committee to deal with it. The 1st stage stages of preparation  have already started and as soon as the situation with the Irya is clarified, the whole project will be presented to the members for discussion and recommendation for approval.




About 10 years of repairs and renovations have been compressed into the last 12 months. This has been very draining on the vaad but a lot has been accomplished at considerable cost.  The most pressing items concerned the physical wellbeing of the worshippers. Already in 2004 the Irya Fire Dept issued  a damning report of the fire dangers in the shul. The report gathered dust for over a year. At considerable expense a fire door was installed in the sanctuary, all the outdated fire extinguishers were replaced throughout the building, a safety rail was installed leading to the basement, impediments to free movement were corrected, illuminated exit signs were installed in important positions and a safety extinguishing system installed in the electricity panel.

In addition, after 30 years, the main doors to the shul were reinstalled facing the correct and safe direction!




Without a proper functioning office, most of the shul activities could not take place. Last Summer it was decided to appoint a part-time secretary, and equip the officer as befits an active congregation. A  photocopier, fax, scanner was purchased, a new powerful computer was put into operation together with the basic programmes and the Gabai program to keep track of aliyot, donations, yahrzeits etc.  All the programmes were purchased legally. Dina Demalchuta also applies to a shul.




Chazanim/Baale Tefilot

We have made an effort this past year to bring to the shul guest chazanim and the members have been  very appreciative.  The young tenor Naty Bar Am has appeared a number of times as have choristers from the Great Synagogue. We hope to be able to invite the choir back again for this coming Rosh Hashana.





 Each month we have held a Sunday Night Forum with a distingushed speaker. These have proven to be very popular.  Next year's speaker list is already filling up. 



Information Dissemination

Information is passed on to members and the wider community via the shul's Newsletter, after service announcements, noticeboards and via the web (web site and Yahoo group)




Shiurim in BY are not always well attended.  The Friday morning breakfast shiur lasted only a few weeks, Rabbi Druk’s  shiurim only attracted a handful of people. Neither are current nor is the Sunday morning Open Bet hamidrash. The ladies’ shiurim are however successful and there are interesting speakers every week.  Rabbi Urivetsky is now into his 25th year of the Shabbat Talmud Study Circle in English.  Rabbi Kidron gives a well attended Talmud shiur on Shabbat afternoons after mincha. Shabbat would thus seem to be the best day for learning.



 The shul's financial situation is reasonably sound. A large amount of the accumulated funds received from the previous administration have been utilised for much needed maintenance and repair work. 2007 should be a more financially balanced year.



Leyl Seder

This year Bet Yosef held it's first Pesach Seder meal held in the Synagogue. It was well attended and enjoyed by all those whoi attended.  Bookings have been received for next year from members and from outside the shul.   A 2nd night Rosh Hashana meal is planned for this year.


 In all, a good year for Bet Yosef


Jonathan Greenstein


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