The Coordinating Committee of Shaarei Shamayim consists of its officers, Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman, committee chairs, and members-at-large. It functions as the board of the congregation.
Members of the Coordinating Committee are united by their commitment to the vision of Shaarei Shamayim and their belief in the impact they can have on the larger Jewish community. They work in partnership with the members of the community and welcome questions and new ideas.
- President: Jeff Spitzer-Resnick
- Vice President: Sari Judge
- Secretary: Cathy Kaplan
- Treasurer: Tom Hirsch
- Membership/Outreach: Erin McGrath
- Ritual: Aaron Hill
- Children's Education: Shahanna McKinney Baldon
- Adult Education: Judith Heilizer
- Finance: Tom Hirsch
- Social Action: Jen Rubin
- Fundraising: Tom Kaplan
- Bet Sefer Director: Laurie Zimmerman
- Rabbi Liaison Committee chair: Melanie Herzog
- LGBT Liaison: Zoe Werth
- Disability Inclusion Coordinator: Jeff Spitzer-Resnick
- Acts of Caring (Gemilut Chasadim) Liaison: Jean Weissburg
- Website Administrator: Enid Williams
Steering Committee – This is the executive committee of the Coordinating Committee. It is composed of the President, Vice President, Past President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Rabbi (ex officio). It meets monthly and develops the agenda for the Coordinating Committee.
Membership – The focus of this committee is on inreach and outreach. Inreach includes personally welcoming new members, organizing two events for new members each year, updating nametags, conducting exit interviews, following up with membership renewals, and discussing how Shaarei Shamayim can better meet the needs of its members. Outreach includes doing publicity, representing Shaarei Shamayim at community fairs, and coordinating special events. The committee created a prospective member newsletter for people who are visiting our community and a member booklet.
Ritual and Adult Education – This committee plans the Friday night, Saturday morning, and holiday service schedule, makes decisions or recommendations about religious practices at Shaarei Shamayim, and develops educational programs. It created a musical CD of the songs and prayers we sing at services and a Bar/Bat Mitzvah manual to guide families through that process.
Children’s Education – The primary responsibility of this committee is to oversee the Bet Sefer program. It writes policies, revises the curriculum, coordinates teacher training, facilitates registration, holds an annual parents’ meeting, organizes field trips, and plans the class schedule for the year. It developed a Parents’ Manual that contains Bet Sefer’s mission statement, curriculum overview, policies, calendar, and class rosters. A few years ago it introduced a one-on-one tutoring program for Hebrew learning for children in grades three through six.
Social Action – This committee helps the congregation focus on the needs of the greater Madison community by working directly with people in need. This committee also focuses on social change, organizing social action potlucks and helping to educate the congregation on various political issues.
Rabbi Liaison – This committee serves as a confidential place for the rabbi to reflect on her work with the congregation. It helps her address issues and priorities and serves as a communication channel with the Steering Committee. It also provides members the opportunity to share feedback about the Rabbi in her work with the congregation.
Finance – The primary responsibility of this committee is to oversee the financial needs of the community. It reviews the financial status, accounting processes, and cash management of the congregation and considers strategies for setting and collecting membership dues.
Shabbaton – Each year our congregation brings in a visiting rabbi to spend the weekend with us. This committee chooses the guest, organizes the weekend, and promotes it to the larger Jewish community in Madison and throughout the Midwest.