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September 23, 2014 | 28th Elul 5774

72nd Biennial of the Union for Reform Judaism--Call for Resolutions

In anticipation of the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial General Assembly to be held starting on Wednesday, December 11, 2013, we want to share with you the timetable for processing resolutions before the Biennial convenes.

Section 11 of Article XIII of the Constitution and Bylaws provides that resolutions may be initiated by a constituent congregation, a Council or Federation, the Board of Trustees, a National Affiliate, or a Commission, not less than ninety (90) days before the first plenary session of the Biennial. This year, the final date for submission will be Friday, August 30, 2013. We ask, however, that resolutions be sent as soon as they are available. Resolutions must be submitted to the Resolutions Committee, in care of Rachel Laser. Following review by the Resolutions Committee, the resolutions are sent to the congregations with the recommendations of the Resolutions Committee at least sixty (60) days before the Biennial convenes. Proposed amendments to reported resolutions may be submitted to the Resolutions Committee at least ten (10) days before the Biennial convenes.

While there is a procedure for initiation of resolutions by petition of five congregations at the Biennial, that procedure should be used only for those matters that could not have been anticipated in time for submission to the Resolutions Committee by August 30, 2013.

Please ensure any proposed resolutions are restricted to important matters on which the Union should take a stand and do not repeat matters that are already established policy. To review the existing Union resolutions, go to urj.org/resolutions.

The Resolutions Committee uses a standard format for all resolutions brought before the Biennial. In place of a series of "whereas" clauses, we favor a descriptive background section of one or more paragraphs followed by the resolution portion that sets forth the specific actions to be taken.

At the 2013 Biennial, we will again be operating under a revised process, adopted in 2008, to guide consideration of resolutions. The process responds to concerns that resolutions were not given the attention they merit at past Biennials and the corresponding frustration among congregations that proposed such resolutions. Your help is vital to ensuring the success of the resolutions process.

In addition, any proposal that would amend the Constitution or Bylaws of the Union must be presented as a proposed amendment pursuant to Article VII of the Constitution or Article XVII of the Bylaws. A proposal to change the requirements of the Constitution or Bylaws by resolution will be rejected. Since those Articles require the Board of Trustees or the Executive Committee to transmit the proposed amendment, with its views thereon, to the constituent congregations at least sixty (60) days prior to the date appointed for the General Assembly, any such amendments must be submitted to Steve Sacks, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, no later than August 30, 2013.

Should you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone at 202.387.2800 or by email at rlaser@urj.org.

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