Constitution

Constitution of the Cornwall Jewish Community – Kehillat Kernow

Adopted 15 November 2000, last amended at the Annual General Meeting dated 10 November 2013.

NAME

1. The Congregation shall be called Kehillat Kernow (The Jewish Community of Cornwall).

OBJECTIVES

2. The advancement of the Jewish religion, the advancement of Jewish religious education and education generally and for such other charitable purposes that the council may from time to time decide

MEMBERSHIP

3. Any person, whether male or female, having attained the age of eighteen years and of the Jewish religion as defined by the Laws of The Movement for Reform Judaism (“the MRJ”) current at the time of application shall be eligible for membership of Kehillat Kernow.

4. Persons wishing to become members shall make written application in such form as the Council may from time to time prescribe.

5. Applications for membership shall be considered by the Council, which shall have absolute discretion (without assigning any reason) to accept or reject any such application.

6. Applications for associate membership shall be considered from persons from the wider community who wish to become “friends” of the group. They may also be expected to pay a lower, mutually-agreed, subscription.

7. Children under the age of twenty – five and spouses of members shall be entitled to attend all religious services held by Kehillat Kernow and to such other rights as may be determined by the Council from time to time. On becoming twenty – five children will be notified that they may become members in their own right.

8. A member may be deprived of membership by resolution of the Council. Such resolution shall be valid only if the following formalities have been observed:

9. The agenda for the Council meeting at which the resolution is to be put shall specifically include a motion for such resolution naming the member concerned.
a) At least five members of the Council shall be present at the meeting.
b) At least 60% of the Council members present at the meeting shall vote in favour of the resolution

10. Recorded Delivery Post shall convey notice of the resolution to the member in writing at his last known address. Within fifteen days after the date on which the member receives the notice he may notify the council that he requires the resolution to be confirmed by the members in general meeting. If he does so request, the resolution shall not take effect until it has been so confirmed.

HONORARY MEMBERS

11. The Council may elect persons to be honorary members and such honorary members shall be entitled to receive notice of and to attend but not to vote at General Meetings and to such other rights as the Council may from time to time confer upon them.

SUBSCRIPTIONS

12. The Council shall from time to time fix a scale of suscriptions for membership of Kehillat Kernow and of any other relevant charges and no lower subscriptions shall be accepted save in cases of exceptional hardship (as determined in their absolute discretion by the Council); such decisions shall not be open to review.

13. The financial year of Kehillat Kernow shall commence on 6 April and arrangements for payment of subscriptions shall have been made within thirty days of that date each year or as the Council may direct. No person accepted for membership of Kehillat Kernow shall be entitled to assume any of its rights or privileges until payment of his subscription which shall be due within thirty days of receipt by him of written notification of his acceptance as a member.

14. If any member’s subscription shall be six months in arrears, the Treasurer or other authorised member of the Council may give him notice in writing to that effect. If within one month from the giving of such notice the member shall not either have cleared the arrears or made arrangements to clear the same, his membership rights shall lapse.

ADMINISTRATION

The Council

15. The administration of Kehillat Kernow shall be vested in a Council consisting of a minimum of six and a maximum of ten Council Members namely:
(i) Chairman; (ii) Vice-Chairman; (iii) Treasurer; (iv) Secretary
and may include
(i) Religious Adviser (ii) Librarian (iii) Cheder Officer (iv) Communications Officer, (v) Events Officer (vi) Newsletter Editor (vii) Administration Officer and other elected or co-opted members.

16. The members of Kehillat Kernow at each Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall elect all the foregoing Council Members in the manner hereinafter appearing. They shall hold office until the AGM next following their election and thereupon retire from office. They shall be eligible for re-election.

17. The Council shall be empowered by simple majority of its own members to fill casual vacancies that may arise on the Council and they shall hold office until the next ensuing AGM when they shall retire but be eligible for election.

18. A member shall be eligible for membership of the Council must
a) have been a member of Kehillat Kernow for an unbroken period of three months preceding the AGM or date of co-option, as the case may be.
b) be a full member of Kehillat Kernow and twenty-one years of age
c) attend services on a regular basis (at least on average one service every two months).
d) attend Committee Meetings regularly. If a committee member misses three meetings in a row, he/she should be deemed to have resigned
e) participate in most communal celebrations of major festivals, and work in some capacity if possible, on a regular basis in one or more of our service/event-related activities. This might include: taking services, participating in Cheder, organising field trips, contributing to the newsletter, helping with Kiddush, running workshops, teaching Hebrew, or organising various events of a religious, social and communal nature.

19. The Council shall be empowered from time to time to confer such rights and powers upon any one or more of its members as it shall deem fit, for the purpose of carrying out the affairs of Kehillat Kernow including the appointment of a Religious Advisor who may be a Member and/or a member of the Council.

20. Members of the Council shall be regarded to be Trustees for the purposes of Registration as a Charity.

Council Meetings

21. The Chairman shall preside at all General and Council Meetings. If the Chairman is not present, the Vice-Chairman shall preside, and in his absence those present shall elect some other of them to preside.

22. The Council shall meet at least once every three months. Its meetings shall be convened by at least fourteen days written notice to its Members given by the Secretary at the direction of the Chairman, but in the case of emergency a meeting may, at the Chairman’s discretion, be summoned at shorter notice.

23. A Council meeting may also be called by not less than five members thereof upon notice in writing to the Secretary requesting such a meeting in not less than fourteen days and not more than twenty-eight days following receipt of such notice, which shall specify the matter or matters the said members, shall wish the Council to discuss.

24. The accidental omission to give notice of a Council meeting or Annual General meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting to any member thereof shall not invalidate any resolution passed thereat.

25. The quorum for the Council meeting shall be five members personally present.

26. The Secretary shall:
(a) Issue notice of all meetings of the Council and of Kehillat Kernow members at the direction of the Chairman.
(b) Prepare and keep proper records of the proceedings at all meetings as aforesaid.

27. Voting by the Council shall be one member one vote except for the Chairman who shall have a casting vote in the event of equality. Voting must be in person.

General Meetings

28. There shall be a meeting of Kehillat Kernow members during or after the month of September in every year and such a meeting shall be called the Annual General Meeting (AGM). All other meetings of Kehillat Kernow members shall be called Extraordinary General Meetings (EGM).

29. In addition to the AGM, an EGM shall be convened whenever the Council shall deem fit or whenever a request in writing signed by at least ten members of Kehillat Kernow and stating the purpose of such meeting is served on the Secretary.

30. At least fourteen days written notice of every AGM or EGM shall be sent by post to every Kehillat Kernow member at his last known address. In the case of an AGM there shall accompany such notice an agenda including details of any resolution proposed for consideration at the AGM. The following shall be available for inspection prior to any such meeting:
(a) The report of the Council.
(b) The report of the Treasurer and the accounts (examined independently or audited by registered auditors if required by the Charity Commission) for the previous financial year.

31. In the case of an EGM there shall accompany such a notice a copy of the agenda including details of any resolutions to be debated.

32. At all AGMs and EGMs only those members present whose membership has extended over a continuous period of three months preceding the meeting shall be entitled to vote. Voting shall be in person or by proxy vote. Save, as otherwise provided by these Rules, a resolution shall be carried by a simple majority of those voting; in the event of equality of votes, the Chairman of the meeting shall have a casting vote.

33. At any meeting a motion put to the vote shall be decided by a show of hands, unless a secret ballot is requested.

34. The quorums for an AGM or EGM shall be ten members entitled to vote personally present.

35. No personal shall be eligible for election as a Council member unless nominated by two other members of Kehillat Kernow neither of whom shall be that person’s spouse, parent or child.

36. Where the number of persons nominated exceeds the vacancies on Council there shall be a secret ballot to determine those elected. Where there is no such excess, those persons nominated shall be declared duly elected.

37. At the AGM there shall be considered and transacted the following:
(a) Adoption of the report of the Council.
(b) Adoption of the report of the Treasurer and the Accounts of Kehillat Kernow relating to the financial year next preceding the AGM.
(c) Election of Council members and an Auditor for the ensuing year.
(d) To transact such other business of which notice shall have been given by the Council in the notice convening the meeting.
(e) To transact such other business as any ten members of Kehillat Kernow may have requested the Council by seven days’ notice in writing to the Secretary to place on the Agenda.
b) Adoption of the report of the Council
c) Adoption of the report of the Treasurer and the Accounts of Kehillat Kernow relating to the financial year next preceding the AGM.
d) Election of Council members and an Auditor for the ensuing year.
e) To transact such other business of which notice shall have been given by the Council in the notice convening the meeting.
f) To transact such other business as any ten members of Kehillat Kernow may have requested the Council by seven days’ notice in writing to the Secretary to place on the Agenda.

38. The Chairman whose decision shall be final and binding as to procedure and conduct at council Meetings, AGMs and EGMs shall decide any dispute.

FINANCE

39. The treasurer may issue cheques for payments for any one transaction in the normal course of the running of the organisation up to a maximum amount of £1,000 or such other amount that the council may approve of from time to time up to a maximum of 3.5% of the Net Assets as shown on the latest annual accounts.

40. The Council may decide from time to time authorise the treasurer to make payments for an individual transaction of up to a maximum of 12.5% of the Net Assets as shown on the latest annual accounts provided that the transaction has been approved by at least 66% of the council members attending the meeting of the council at which it is approved. Any amounts exceeding 12.5% of the Net Assets as shown on the latest annual accounts must be subject of a simple majority vote of a General Meeting.

41. The Council may not borrow money for any purpose without authorisation of a General Meeting. Such authorisation to be subject of a simple majority vote of a General Meeting.

RELIGIOUS RESPONSIBILITIES

42. Divine Service shall be held on Sabbaths, Festivals and on such other occasions as the Council in Consultation with the Religious Advisor may direct; it shall take place in such places as the Council and Religious Advisor may from time to time appoint.

43. Every service shall be performed partly in Hebrew and partly in English in accordance with RSGB practice. The timing and procedural details of such services shall be determined by the Council in consultation with the Religious Advisor.

44. The council may from time to time in consultation with the Religious Advisor make regulations with regard to the conditions to be observed in connection with Bnei Mitzvah of children.

45. The Council may from time to time make regulations concerning the conditions to be observed and fees to be paid in connection with marriages arranged by Kehillat Kernow.

46. It is hoped that funerals in accordance with Jewish custom shall be provided for all members and their unmarried children under the age of eighteen. The Council shall determine appropriate fees for the foregoing from time to time.

47. The Council may from time to time make such regulations concerning the conditions to be observed in connection with funerals.

48. If there be any dispute as to entitlement of Members of Kehillat Kernow and their families to the rights given in paragraphs 42, 43 and 44, such disputes shall be referred to the Beth Din of the RSGB and the decision of the Beth Din of the RSGB shall be binding on the Council and Members of Kehillat Kernow and their family and/or any other member of Kehillat Kernow concerned in the dispute.

ENGAGEMENT OF MINISTER

49. A resolution passed at a General Meeting of at least two thirds of Kehillat Kernow members shall be required authorising the engagement of a Minister. Such appointment to be subject to the current government Employment Regulations at time of appointment.

MISCELLANEOUS

50. Subject to the following provisions of this clause the Constitution may be altered by a resolution passed by not less than two thirds of the members present and voting at a general meeting. The notice of this meeting must include notice of the resolution, setting out terms of the alteration proposed.

51. No amendment may be made to clause 1 (the name of the Charity clause), clause 2 (the objects clause, clause 57 (the dissolution clause), or this clause without the prior consent in writing of the Commissioners.

52. No amendment may be made which would have the effect of making the Charity cease to be a Charity at law.

53. The Council shall promptly send to the Commission a copy of any amendment made under this clause.

54. Words in these laws importing the masculine gender shall include the feminine.

55. In the event of a dispute as to the interpretation of these laws the decision of the Chairman shall be final and binding upon the Members of Kehillat Kernow.

56. The Council by a simple majority shall be the sole authority for the making of any decision not provided for by these laws and its decision shall be final and binding upon the Members of Kehillat Kernow.

57. If the Council decides that it is necessary or advisable to dissolve the Charity it shall call a meeting of all members of the Charity, of which not less than 21 days notice (stating the terms of the resolution to be proposed) shall be given. If the proposal is confirmed by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting the Council shall have power to realise any assets held by or on behalf of the Charity. Any assets remaining after the satisfaction of any proper debts and liabilities shall be given or transferred to such other charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to the objects of the Charity as the Members of the Charity may determine or failing that shall be applied for some other charitable purposes. A copy of accounts, or account and statement, for the final accounting periods of the Charity must be sent to the Commission.

Jewish Community in Cornwall