Committees

Moses Montefiore Congregation offers multiple ways for members to get involved in the community. If you have any questions, please contact the committee chair listed.

House Committee
Chair: Steve Bernstein
This committee works to keep our building functioning and in good shape!

Beautification Committee
Chair: Fran Brandau
The purpose of the Beautification Committee is to improve, enhance, and maintain the esthetics of the Temple Building. Recent activities of this committee have been:

  • Adding a faux treatment to the Ark wall
  • Installing carpeting in the Social Hall, classrooms, and hallway
  • Upgrading the foyer space with decorative flooring
  • Renovating the kitchen area (new dishwashers, flooring, counter tops, sinks, commercial refrigerator, moving upper cabinets, painting the existing stove)

Cemetery Committee
Chair: Harry Stern
Our local Jewish cemetery, officially known as the Bloomington-Normal Hebrew Burial Grounds, has just acquired about 30,000 additional square feet along its former Southern boundary.
The original one acre cemetery property was acquired in 1875 for $250. It is just this year that the additional square footage became available and represented the only possible chance for expansion to serve for many future years. Funds for the new land purchase were acquired by continual re-investment of incoming site sale revenues since 1875.

The new property will be used for additional gravesites and off-street parking, the latter being necessary due to the upcoming realignment of the service road on the present Northern boundary.
Improvements to the new property, to be phased in during the next 20 years, include fencing and landscaping. The cemetery is supervised by Harry Stern, Nate Gross, Joe Ehrlich, Mike Herzog, and Tom Woodard.

Education Committe
Chair: Janet Rubin
The Religious School Education Committee consists of the Rabbi, school principal, temple president and 5 other at large members. One of the committee members functions as the Chairperson and another as a treasurer collecting tuition, sending out reminder notices, paying teachers and aides and helping set an annual budget for the Religious School which is submitted to the Temple Board for approval.

The purpose of the Education Committee is to provide support and suggestions for Religious School activities. Main responsibilities of this committee include:

  • Providing guidance on school policy
  • Administration
  • Scholarships
  • Tuition and fees
  • Student registration
  • Staff salaries

Any policy changes are proposed to the MMT Board with a recommendation from the committee. The committee does not meet on a regular basis but schedules meetings as needs dictate. Temple members are encouraged to volunteer for the committee or other Religious School opportunities.

Financial Advisory Committee
Chair:
The purpose of the Financial Advisory Committee is to establish and implement investment policy for the assets owned or under the control of the Moses Montefiore Congregation to meet current and future needs and goals of the congregation.

Food Fair Committee
Chair: Gigi Ehrlich
The next Food Fair will be October 30, 2013. The Food Fair is an annual fundraiser for Moses Montefiore Congregation, and is entering the 51st year of the event. In 2012, MMT sold over 4,300 tickets.  Every year, the community bands together to make sandwiches, wrap pickles, bake items for the bakery, and assemble  bags for the lunches.

Library Committee
Chair: Linda Unterman
We have a wonderful Jewish Library at Moses Montefiore with an especially complete children’s section containing many of the latest Syney Taylor Award winners. The children’s book cart in the front hall displays books for the current holiday or new books on the top shelf so parents and students can find them easily.  The Library helps the Religious School with their yearly book contest by having short “Library Times” throughout the school year to highlight new and interesting books.

We hold an annual used book sale that’s a fun way to clean off our shelves, recycle books amongst our members and raise funds for the Library.  Members are welcome to check out books and media at any time on the honor system.  Check out cards are located in the back of the book or media item.  Fill in your name and the date and place the card in the front of the check out box on the center bookcase in the Library.  Books are also located in the front hallway on display.  Check out containers are also there on the library table and on the children’s book cart.

Please try to return your items promptly within one month so that others may enjoy them.  There is a return basket in the front hall and one on the middle shelf in the library.

We are the “People of the Book”, so enjoy the Library often to increase your Jewish knowledge or relax with a favorite author or subject, and do let me know if you need help finding something. I’ll be happy to come over and give you a “tour”.  If you have suggestions for books or have other ideas for the Library, please let Linda Unterman know, librarychairmmt@gmail.com or 309-664-2067. We are always looking for volunteers to help in the Library, so let me know if you’d like to lend a hand.
Program/Social Committee
Chair: Laurie Bergner

This committee plans social events for the entire Temple community.

Sisterhood
Chair:  Brooke Davison

The MMT Sisterhood coordinates a variety of programs and events throughout the years, including holiday dinners and celebrations. The Sisterhood also finds hosts for onegs and kiddushes. In addition, the Sisterhood Gift Shop is available for Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, births, weddings, and other occasions. To make a special order or look at a catalogue, contact the Temple office.

Social Action
Chair:Naomi Wilansky
Committee’s Goal: Engaging congregation in Tikkun Olam.
Tikkun Olam: Repairing our broken world in small ways and in big ways.
Tikkun Olam goes on in our synagogue in many ways besides what the social action committee initiates (e.g. when a bar or bat mitzvah engages in a project in conjunction with his or her bar/bat mitzvah, when the youth group volunteers at Safe Harbor soup kitchen, when the Religious School uses the tzadakah raised to help victims of a tsunami, when a member offers another member a ride to an event or service that the member may not be able to make otherwise.) When a member takes the recycling from the Temple to a recycling bin. These are all acts that bring healing to our world.

MMT’s social Action Committee has a few regular, yearly activities. We usually do a brunch to educate congregants on a particular social action topic, we run a Chanukah book drive to benefit a low-income public school in the area (purchasing $200-300 worth of new books,) we have a Super Bowl Party for the homeless, cosponsored with Wesley United Methodist Church, that involves adult congregants as well as the Religious School kids.  We are sponsoring a summer Bar-be-que for the homeless with Wesley United Methodist Church. We arrange volunteer opportunities at Safe Harbor Soup Kitchen 2-4x/year, we address disasters as they come up raising funds to send, and we do a regular canned food/non-perishables collection. We are also connected to an interfaith Social Justice group, Illinois People’s Action (IPA) and Faith in Action. We welcome more members; it’s a great way to get involved! For information, contact socialchairmmt@gmail.com.

Worship Committee
Chair: Deb Gordon