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August 30, 2015 | 15th Elul 5775

  1. Each week we have a pretty regular and loyal group of people who attend Shabbat morning services. Immediately following the service we have a very simple Kiddush--just challah and wine or grape juice. The problem is that the board of directors has not made any provision for anyone to take care of the kitchen chores. There are three women who usually just go in the kitchen before the service and pour the wine, etc. If one of the women doesn't do it, then the rabbi himself will do so after the service. Last week one of the women received a complaint from a member of the executive committee that the kitchen was not cleaned up. Since we do not have a custodian, shamas, or janitor on our staff, if we don't clean up there is no one to do it. How do other small congregations handle this? The board has never taken any action to organize for this and assign responsibility to a particular volunteer. Sue 160 member units

  2. Our small congregation has a kitchen staff who are present whenever the kitchen is to be used. It is worth a bit of money to allow the congregants to enjoy themselves at functions and not be counted on to be the cleaning crew. Sherry

  3. I put the matter before one of the loyal attendees of our weekly Shabbat Torah study class. This group, of which I am not a member, has met regularly every Saturday morning with our rabbi just before services for more years than I can remember. As far as I know, the temple board has no role in the running of the group and only its members have worked out the details. The stability of the membership has allowed for certain logistical routines to evolve over time.

    My informant suggested that you might consider doing what our Shabbat Torah study class does which is to make up an assignment schedule giving a different congregant responsibility for the task on a revolving basis. This would not be burdensome to any one person or even a "committee." My own observation is that the self "policing of the area" has been effective with little or no follow-up needed for custodial service beyond that created by our normal temple activity. We do have a small custodial staff available, but the group's own senseof responsibility places no undue burden on anyone outside itself.

    David 700 plus families


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