Annual General Meeting

Sunday May 24th 2020 (3-5pm)



  • Participants:
    • 46 members
    • 11 non-members, including 7 members of Playback Theatre Troupe
  • Moderators
    • Benji Loomer
    • Sarah Manolson


    1. Ice Breaker activities
      1. Discussion of what MECh means to people
      2. MECh history quiz


    1. Presentation of Annual Report
      (fiscal year, from Feb/2019-Jan/2020), by Peter Horowitz
      (To view the Annual Report, please email us for the link and password)


    1. The Chavurah from Feb 2020 until now…
      1. The Chavurah Care Team was thanked for their work reaching out to members. 
      2. Participants spoke about what has moved them during this recent (pandemic) period, and mentioned their appreciation for the quick implementation of Zoom activities, particularly weekly Shabbats, and also mention the Passover Seder and Matzah/Passover food  deliveries.
      3. Participants were asked for suggestions about how MECh can better connect with the community.


    1. Appreciation for Vera Kisfalvi
      1. Appreciation was expressed to Vera Kisfalvi for her work on the Board and various committees over the past several years, as she steps down from the Board


    1. Board of Directors
      1. Benji presented the 2020-2021 Board of Directors.
        Returning Board members and new members were elected by acclamation:

        1. Continuing to serve terms on the Board of Directors
          1. Benji Loomer
          2. Sarah Manolson
        2. Newly elected
          1. Dan Seligman
          2. Eva Margo-Dermer
          3. Mindy Stricke
          4. Yaakov Stern
        3. Re-elected
          1. Cara Leibovitz
          2. Melanie Leavitt
        4. Ratification of mid-term appointment
          1. Nancy Rotman
      2. Sarah announced that there will be another open position on the Board in August/September, when she will be starting her maternity leave. Sarah also encourages people to participate by joining committees.


    1. Playback Theatre
      1. The Playback Theatre troupe performed improvised sketches, based on attendees’ expressions of their hopes and dreams for the community.


    1. The Future of Mile End Chavurah
      1. Various members expressed their hopes and/or concerns about the future of Mile End Chavurah.
      2. Sarah addressed the challenge of balancing our growth as an organization while maintaining the intimacy and grassroots nature of our community.
      3. Benji and Sarah
        1. Presented an update on the  the MECh Strategic Planning process, including the members of the“Design Team”
        2. Mentioned some of the issues/orientations that will be addressed during this process, which may include:
          1. How we increase youth involvement
          2. How do we ensure sustainable programming?
          3. How do we get a space/venue?
          4. Do we want to increase our staffing?
      4. Sarah extended an invitation for people to get involved with further defining our objectives, strategies, and benchmarks by joining small teams who will flesh out the Orientation in the coming weeks/months.


    1. Small group discussions
      1. The attendees formed small groups and joined Zoom “breakout rooms” to address insights and observations, formulate questions and responses to the information presented, etc.
      2. We then came back together in plenary and each small group reported back. The issues discussed included:
        1. Gathering safely with social distancing to celebrate Shabbats in the park.
        2. Inclusivity: Events and groups for:
          1. People in their 20s and 30s, who may not have children
          2. People who live in single-generation households (vs multi-generational households)
        3. Space/venue for MECh. What is holding the community back and how to move forward.
        4. Growth versus the status quo
        5. Youth education and engaging teens
        6. Interest in cultural programming
        7. Staffing


  1. Adjournment
    The meeting was adjourned with thanks to everyone, and the intent to convene again soon online to continue the visioning conversation.