The committees and groups described here offer a variety of opportunities to become actively involved in synagogue life. Some of these are social groups, others are charged with critical functions that keep Congregation Kol Ami running smoothly, and still others are responsible for developing programming and activities. While some were created when Congregation Kol Ami opened its doors, others are the brainchild of members who simply saw a need. Members are welcome to join any committee in which they have an interest. If you have questions or are interested in talking to someone about becoming involved, please contact the chairs listed below each description.
The role of the Art & Design Committee is to define the aesthetic goals of the congregation and presents design options consistent with those goals. The committee monitors "The Gallery at Kol Ami" a six or eight week rotation of art by regional artists to grace our lobby walls, supervises installations, scheduling and show openings.
Caring Congregants reaches out to members in times of celebration, sympathy, life cycle events and transitions (births, birthdays, engagements, weddings, hospitalizations, death or extraordinary need) and develops activities to sustain this important outreach. The program provides a consistent means for members to recognize, respond, and provide companionship to one another during important times in each other’s lives.
Elaine Gershenson and Linda George
Enjoy singing? Both Adult and Student choirs meet every Sunday for rehearsals, and each choir sings at Shabbat services once a month. There are also opportunities to sing with other local choirs at community events. Our Student choir is for children in grades 2 through 6.
Cantorial Soloist Rebecca Schwartz
The Finance Committee monitors the financial position of the synagogue. Included in this process is evaluation of financial statements, creation of the annual budget, monitoring performance versus budget, cost control, analysis of dues structure, insurance matters, analysis of the fund accounts, and the creation of strategic partnerships.
Nigel Blower and Lisa Landau
The Fund Development Committee works to create a culture of giving in Kol Ami and creates coherence and strategy for the Congregation's fund raising efforts. The committee provides leadership for specific events.
David Hyman and Jennifer Streitwieser
This committee aims to create and organize a fully LGBTQ inclusive safe space both inside and outside of our walls. We strive to support all people and their identities and welcome any Jewish LGBTQ community member to be a part of the unique experiences at Congregation Kol Ami.
This committee evaluates, develops and recommends to the Board of Trustees policies and procedures concerning the inclusion and participation of all people, regardless of physical, cognitive, emotional or behavioral ability, in all areas of Congregation Kol Ami religious and communal life.
Barry Boise and Joel I. Fishbein
IRD group provides an inclusive and open environment in meetings with the rabbi to discuss challenges unique to interfaith relationships; provides programming to educate and address interfaith issues; and welcomes new interfaith couples/families to the congregation.
Joel Edelstein and Betsy McKinstry
Ladies of a Certain Age provides opportunities for women 50ish and older to spend time together and build relationships. Activities include cultural outings in and around Philadelphia, and lots of opportunities to schmooze at food-centered events such as themed potluck dinners and Shabbat dinners.
Natalie Dyen, Jean Ettinger and Elaine Gershenson
Landscape and Property Enhancement focuses on grounds management, beautification and additional proeprty usage for our physical spaces.
Marketing develops, implements and maintains a communication plan tailored with the principle goal of growing its membership. While focused on direct marketing opportunities that can generate membership interest, we also work to ensure there is consistent voice to prospective members through the Congregation Kol Ami website, the monthly bulletin and social media platforms. The committee also looks inward to solicit feedback on existing and future programming through its digital research tool, the Kol Ami Pulse.
Membership encourages prospective members to join our dynamic and intimate Kol Ami community through maintaining contact, inviting participation and sharing knowledge of the synagogue. The committee also oversees programs designed to retain all members.
Operations develops and implements policies and procedures for operating the facility. With principal focus on our building, its maintenance and improvement, the committee works with the Executive Director to maintain the consistent, low risk and efficient operations of all facets of synagogue life and ensure Kol Ami is a well-run congregation.
Guy Appel and Marshall Schafer
This committee collaborates with our Rabbi and Director of Education, to guide the development of grade-level programs, on-going dialogues between parents and the committee, supports the Youth Groups, Family Education programs, and proposes policies for the governance and operation of our school
Shomrei Adamah develops and provides educational, action and advocacy programs on sustainability issues and topics, in liaison with other standing committees and in coalition with the Jewish Climate Change Campaign and other Jewish originations. This committee provides policy recommendations and promotes efficient, economic and sustainable practices to our Board of Trustees.
As a member of the Delaware Valley Synagogue Softball League, our team offers male and female members an opportunity to have a fun and competitive summer. The league requires players to be at least eighteen years of age.
Eric Pelletier and Jonathan Shandell
In the spirit of Tikun Olam, the committee organizes meaningful activities to address the needs of our surrounding community. Through direct service, advocacy, and action, the focus is on minimizing food insecurity and homelessness; improving the environment, mentoring and resource sharing.
The Spiritual Growth Group provides a welcome, intimate and un-intimidating way to explore God and spirituality. The group studies and discusses Jewish liturgy as well as the writings of Jewish philosophers and theologians. Members engage in down-to-earth discussions about spirituality in their lives and use a multi-faceted approach to their exploration of faith, including creative writing and listening to music. Members design creative services and have presented dvar Torahs at Shabbat services.
Janet Falon and Meryle Gurmankin
The Worship Enhancement Committee develops recommendations for our worship needs within the limits of our by-laws and in conjunction with the Rabbi’s guidance. This committee is accountable for the ongoing development and quality of the worship experience for Shabbat, High Holy Days, healing/youth/Havdalah, and other holiday services. This includes music/choirs, integration of our prayer books, Mishkan T'filah and Mishkan Hanefesh, exploring innovative service options for "specialty services", ushering provisions, and attracting more congregants to worship.
Mindy Levy and William Shapiro