Volunteering at Kol Emet
Only by working together do we become a community,
a congregation. There are many ways for you to get involved at Kol
Emet. Below is a list of each of the committees/groups/clubs of
Kol Emet, a description of what they do, how you can get involved,
and who to contact for additional information. Whatever time you
have to spare, you will make a difference.
Rabbi Liaison Committee
In an effort to help facilitate communications between congregants and the rabbi,
the Board has revamped its Rabbi Liaison Committee. All proceedings before the
committee will be CONFIDENTIAL. We will serve in the role of liaison between the
individual congregants and the rabbi. Any concerns as well as positive comments
will be welcomed and noted. The committee members consist of Ellie Fisher, chair;
Carol Kaplan, member, and Neil Baumgarten, member. If you would like to bring
anything to our attention, please email Ellie. She will follow
it up with an email, phone call and, if requested, a meeting with the RLC.
Contact: Ellie Fisher
Adult Education Committee
The adult education committee provides opportunities for adult members
of Kol Emet to learn about and better appreciate various aspects
of Jewish life, culture and history through a wide range of methods.
These include discussion groups, formal classes, seminars/lectures,
and speakers. We strive to offer mainly complementary programming
to members of Kol Emet. The committee also disseminates information
about and coordinates efforts to attend existing/upcoming programs
in our community that fulfill this mission
How you can get involved: Assistance is always
welcome in offering suggestions and topics for future adult events
and in coordinating events for our members and community at large.
There are multiple opportunities for members to exhibit their special
skills in writing, teaching, and organizing workshops on Jewish
Contact: Barb Lavine
The caring committee provides suport to congregant families during
times of illness, loss of a family member, addition of a new family
member or other signigicant lifecycle event. This support includes:
meals for families recovering from illness, attending shiva to represent
the congregation, one-on-one grief support and reading to congregants
recoveringing from illness. We are in the process of adding specific
support for families living with and recovering from cancer. We occassionally
provide other services on an as-needed basis. The synagogue office
prepares e-mails that are distributed to inform congregants of significant
lifecycle events. The committee follows up to see if support is needed.
The caring committee works with Jewish Family Services and other area
agencies to pull resources and participate in projects like bikkor
cholim training for those interested in visiting the sick.
How you can get involved: Our volunteers participate by signing
up for any of the following sub-committees of the caring committee.
And signing up is as easy as sending an e-mail, or making a phone
call. Many volunteers sign up for one or more subcommittee because
the actual time commitment is relatively small.
1) Planning - Overall planning of caring committee projects, operations
2) Meals- Providing an occassional meal to a family recovering from
3) Shiva - Attending a shiva as a representative of the synagogue.
This does not require leading a service or being responsible for
food prep or organization.
4) Grief support - Volunteers who have experienced loss of a parent,
child or spouse volunteer to provide one-on-one support for a congregant
experiencing a similar loss.
5) Reading - Volunteers read to those recovering from illness. This
may be recorded on tape, or could be visits.
6) Cancer - We have several congregants who have expressed interest
in providing peer support during cancer treatment. In addition,
we are working with our local Gilda's Club to bring a program to
the synagogue to inform congregants of the many support services
available free to families living with cancer, such as yoga, meditation
and cooking classes.
Meeting schedule: The committee purposely holds as few meetings
as possible so the volunteers spend the majority of their time involved
in the caring activity. Most interaction is done via phone and email.
We do occassionally have planning meetings. New ideas can be shared
at any time via phone or e-mail. We often publicize and send representatives
of the committee to attend meetings or seminars held on caring topics
within our larger community.
Contact: Roberta Sutker
The Community Relations Committee works externally with the general public and internally with the Kol Emet Community.
For the general public, our goal is to bring awareness of Kol Emet, the unique aspects of our congregation;
especially its mission and its people, information about our programming and events, and the work that's being
done at Kol Emet to benefit the lives of everyone in our world. We communicate our message by participating in
community-wide events and through a press awareness program with the Yardley News, the Bucks County Courier Times
and the Jewish Exponent. Within our Kol Emet community, we work to build enthusiasm and participation in Kol Emet events.
We also work with Kehillah of Bucks County to share both of our community events and to reach out to
both the affiliated and unaffiliated.
The communication subcommittee is responsible for communications both
internal and external to Kol Emet. Internal communication requests come from
individual congregants, committee members, and the synagogue staff.
External communication requests come from other Jewish organizations and the
Community Relations parent Committee. Responsibilities include: this web site, the weekly newsletter (The Whisper), the monthly newsletter (The Voice),
email announcements (A Shout), and establishing a general communications strategy for Kol Emet.
How you can get involved: We need people who have writing or editing
experience, desktop publishing skills for creating print materials,
and web design experience to help maintain the web site.
The committee and subcommittee are open to all congregants and everyone is welcome to join to add new ideas.
Contact: Bradley Pedrow
The Finance committee works internally with the Treasurer and the
Board of Directors to safeguard and oversee the assets of the congregation.
The committee verifies the accuracy of financial transactions and
bank, investment and fund balances. Personnel from the committee meet
to review budgets and analyze restricted and non-restricted funds.
We strive to import new ideas with regard to long-range planning to
help evolve and assure the perpetuity of the organization.
Interested people who have some financial experience are welcome
to join our meetings.
Contact: Tom Kearns
Perhaps the most behind-the-scenes, unsung committee at Kol Emet is the House Committee.
The House Committee is responsible for the infrastructure of the building including operational issues,
capital improvements/projects and design matters. Our building is heavily used by the Kol Emet Community for social,
religious and educational programming and events.
Anyone interested in helping to maintain and
improve the backbone of the Kol Emet Community is welcomed to join this committee - no experience or tool belt required.
Contact: Rich Nedelman
Long Range Planning
Ensure growth and stability by promoting Congregation
Kol Emet's Mission and Vision. We advise and assist on the planning
done by other committees though the coordination and facilitation
of long-range decision-making. All those interested in the long-term
success of Kol Emet are welcomed to join this committee.
Contact: Burt Sutker
Volunteer opportunities with the Membership Committee are year-round
and consist of providing information about Congregation Kol Emet and
welcoming new members. We meet 2-4 times annually to prepare for events
we host. During the summer, we host several “Rap with the Rabbi”
sessions. This is an opportunity for new and prospective members to
talk with the Rabbi in a small group setting, before a Shabbat service,
and to learn more about Kol Emet specifically and Reconstructionism
in general. We volunteer during June at the Jewish Festival and throughout
the year at several community-wide events for the Jewish community.
We are also active greeting congregants during the High Holiday services
and helping the Ritual Committee with logistics. Our annual New Member
Celebration takes place in the winter and provides a wonderful opportunity
for new members to get to know each other as well as Board Members
and many long time members. Our main goal is to provide a welcoming
and informative presence and to help make the transition into the
Kol Emet family a smooth one.
Contact: Julie Asplen
The Men's Club meets as a group to drive particular events and activities in support of the congregation. A few of their activities include
"The Yom Hashoah Yellow Candle" project every Spring as well as building and breaking down one of Bucks County's largest Sukkahs.
Of course every day of hard work is usually followed by a hearty brunch of bagels, lox, and assorted goodies. You are encouraged to reach out and join this committee and tell us how
else this committee can serve you and the community.
Contact: Howard Greenberg
The Pre-School PTO is responsible for assisting the pre-school staff with a variety of holiday, classroom, and fund-raising events.
Our three fundraising/Social events will be things like Comedy Club Night featuring "The Great Holtzie", a Saturday Night Disco and Silent
Auction as well as a night at Bounce U.
How can you get involved: We welcome assistance and input at all levels – chairing or helping with a committee, serving as homeroom parent,
creating event flyers, ordering classroom gifts, etc.
Meeting Schedule: The Pre-School PTO meets the first Wednesday of every month after drop-off.
We also email pre-schools families regularly with event updates and volunteer needs.
Contact Susan Steiner or Beth Zuckerman if you are interested in being a "homeroom parent" for your child's pre-school class.
Contact: Susan Steiner
Religious School PTO
The PTO is responsible for creating and organizing a variety of holiday,
classroom, and fundraising events for the congregation. Some of these
events include an Annual Back to School Party, Sukkah Building Celebration,
Secret Hannukah Shop, Purim Carnival, Passover Candy Sale, Special
Class Seders and Oneg Shabbats, and much more.
How can you
get involved: We welcome assistance and input at all levels –
chairing or helping with a committee, serving as homeroom parent,
creating event flyers, ordering classroom gifts, etc.
Meeting Schedule: Meeting times/days
vary as we try to accommodate working schedules. Most communication
is via phone and email. Contact Beth or Heather if you are interested in being a "homeroom parent"
for your child's class.
Contact: Beth Zuckerman
The Ritual Committee works directly with Rabbi Cove and Rabbi Schein
in planning and suggesting ways to make our services more meaningful
to more congregants. We plan programs revolving around the many
festivals and holidays as well as suggesting changes to enhance
our weekly Shabbat service. In the summer, our main focus is on
preparing for the High Holidays. Throughout the year, a great deal
of planning and work needs to be done in order to accommodate our
congregation’s many needs.
How you can get involved: We are very welcoming of new ideas and
invite you to join us at our regularly scheduled meetings which
are usually held on the third Wednesday of each month.
If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like to suggest
or communicate your thoughts, please feel free to send an email.
Contact: Robert Moses
The Sisterhood is one of Kol Emet's original and long-running organizations.
It is open to all women belonging to the synagogue. We plan social,
fund-raising, and educational events. Every year we open with a membership
brunch that centers around an activity of interest to women. As example,
we organized a panel of experts who discussed staying young without
going under the knife. Some of our other activities have included
a formal gala for the Rabbi's 10th anniversary with Kol Emet, dinner/cooking
demonstration, game night, Passover recipe exchange and a dinner raffle
(with unbelievable prizes!). We welcome everyone's help in planning
our events, and look forward to having a large turnout at each of
them. Come join us.
The Social Action Committee has been working hard to enable congregation
members to meet social service needs in our community. Activities
like Aid For Friends, "Mitzvah Day", Food Collections, Holiday
Gift Drives and the Garden have spurred us on to perform these important
mitzvot. In addition, a focus of the Committee is to increase members'
awareness and understanding of issues in our society that create the
social service needs we try to meet, so that we can begin to address
some of these underlying concerns effectively. We usually meet every
other month on Sundays @ 10am.
How you can help: Our projects occcur throughout the year and most
only require up 2 hrs. of your time. Most of our projects are family
friendly. It only takes one person to make a difference, so why not
be the one!
Contact: Jill Gordon
Our mission is to develop programs that provide social, educational,
and community oriented activities for two age groups: 4th and 5th
graders and 6th through 8th graders. Our youth groups help to develop
friendships, leadership, and responsible young adults. Some of our
activities include in-house events such as movies, improv, a game
show, mitzvah projects, an evening service, the Purim Carnival, or
even a car wash. Our off-site events include fun activities such as
a hayride, the NAC, bowling, ice skating, or reading books at Kol
Emet's Barnes and Noble Day.
How you can get involved: We
are always looking for new ideas, chaperons, or committee members.
We usually meet every six weeks or so and also communicate through
email. We welcome your involvement whether it be for one event or
for the whole year!
Contact: Heidi Bush