Annual General Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the 39th Annual General Meeting of the

Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue held on Thursday 14th November 2019  



  1. The opening Prayer was provided by Rabbi Larry Becker.


Those present:


Steve Wynne - in the Chair,   Jeff Lustig,  Jeff Soraff,  Mitzi Kalinsky,  Andrew Lewis

Rabbi Larry Becker,  Angela Jacobs – Minute taker

Melvin Pedro,  Daniel Morgan-Thomas,  Jocelyn Shepherd,   Ida Lewinsohn

Rachel Savage,  Tony Leach.  Colin Burns,  Deidre Soraff,  Stuart Jacobs,  Karen Watch


Apologies were received from


Joel Ilson,  Alex Richendollar,  Frank Godson,  Reeva Godson


Welcome from the Chair of Council


I would like to welcome you all to this, the Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue’s 39th AGM and probably one of the most important  for many years.

Later this evening you will be asked to vote on a new constitution for the synagogue which will come into force on 1st July 2020. If approved, the synagogue will, on that date, become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. This will  remove the need for ownership of the Synagogue buildings to be held in the names of custodian trustees and will, for the first time fully protect the membership from any liability claims. In future, the Synagogue, as a CIO, would own the building and employ the staff in its own name.

This is my final speech as your Chair. I have completed my allowance of 7 years on Council, of which 3 have been as Chair.

I leave this position with the Synagogue in good financial health thanks to the work of our Treasurer, Jeff Lustig, aided by his Finance Committee and the Administrator. We have no debt and a membership which is reversing the trend of many by constantly signing up new members.

We had a catastrophic water leak near the current JJBS offices, and you will note from the accounts we are trying to recover some of the fee charged by our supplier. Our local MP, John Cryer has taken up our case with the water companies.

Our Religion school has had a rush of new attendees. At last count we had 15 on the roll, with perhaps a few more to come. Ida Lewinsohn, our Chair of Youth Education together with Bryony Bathie our head teacher has reinvigorated the religion school and formed classes for the 4-7 yr. olds. Our thanks are due to them.

I am not the only member of Council stepping down tonight. Rachel Savage has also completed her 7 years. In those years Rachel has been Chair of the Council, has been our Deputy at the Board of Deputies (and held important roles there), is currently the Chair of Tikkun Olam and has been extremely pivotal in the writing of the new rules for the Synagogue along with assisting with the new Constitution. This synagogue thanks Rachel for her loyal service and we hope that it is not too long before she is back at the Council table. I am aware she is maintaining her non-council roles and on your behalf I thank her.

I would like to thank not only the current Council but the other councils during my time as Chair for all their support and faith in me.

Our Rabbi and Administrator have also made my job easier and sometimes testing but I thank them for their commitment.

As I have mentioned, tonight sees the culmination of many months of work for a new constitution for Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue. We enter a new era although little change will be evident. Thanks are due to the working party set up by Council and led by the Hon. Treasurer, for the preparation of the papers for tonight’s vote.

Finally, I would like to thank my wife Angela, our Hon. Secretary. The role of Chair of this synagogue together with my other roles within the JJBS and elsewhere means that I am at quite a lot of meetings very often. I thank her for her patience.

I wish the new Council with its new Chair every good wish for the future. I will be around though. I don’t intend to disappear.


Minutes of the 38th Annual General Meeting held on 15th November 2018 (these were posted on the website)


The Chair of Council asked for any comments. There were none.


The Chair of Council asked for a Proposer and Seconder for the adoption of the Minutes.


Proposer  Jeff Soraff,        Seconder  Mitzi Kalinsky


A vote took place on a show of hands.  The proposal was carried.



Presentation of the Trustees Report.

This Report had been circulated by post to all members prior to the meeting.


Adoption of the Trustees Report.


The Chair of Council asked for a Proposer and Seconder for the adoption of the Trustees Report.


Proposer   Jeff Lustig,         Seconder  Daniel Morgan-Thomas


A vote took place on a show of hands.  The proposal was carried.


Presentation of the Accounts for the year 2018/2019.


Call on Colin Burns of Gerald Edelman to speak:


Colin Burns stated that Jeff Lustig had covered it all in his excellent Review in the Trustees Report.


The water leak, which the Chair has already mentioned, and a disagreement with the MRJ and the level of capitation which is an ongoing disagreement are mentioned in the Accounts.  Unrestricted Income matched expenditure.

Reserved funds grew due to an increase in the Funeral Fund and the Scroll Fund.  The synagogue is debt free.

The Finances are in a solid state.

The Hon Treasurer Jeff Lustig thanked Colin, Frank and the Finance Committee for their help throughout the year.



Adoption of the Accounts for the year 2018/2019


The Chair of Council asked for a Proposer and Seconder for the adoption of the Accounts.


Proposer   Jeff Lustig,  Seconder  Mitzi Kalinsky


The Chair of Council thanked Colin Burns for his hard work and he then presented him with a gift on behalf of the synagogue.


Election of the Examiner for 2019/2020 in accordance with the Constitution.


The Chair asked Colin Burns if was prepared to continue with these duties for a further year.  He replied in the affirmative.


The Chair of Council declared that Gerald Edelman (Colin Burns) was prepared to carry out these duties for a further year and asked for a Proposer and Seconder.



Proposer   Rachel Savage,  Seconder  Jeff Lustig             


Adoption of Council’s Recommendation that the Synagogue become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) with effect from 1st July 2020 on the basis of the proposed CIO Constitution (Association Model) and the proposed Synagogue Rules.


The Hon Treasurer proposed two amendments to the resolution.  (Amendments appended at the end of the Minutes)


Tony Leach raised a question regarding the amendments which he withdrew after a short discussion.


Proposer   Jeff Lustig,  Seconder  Steve Wynne


The resolutions as amended were carried.


The agenda item with the amendments were discussed.


Tony Leach thanked everybody involved in the preparation of the new Constitution.  He went on to say how pleased he was that Adult Education now has its own Chair and committee and that Leo Baeck is a part of the infrastructure of the synagogue.


Proposer   Jeff Lustig,  Seconder   Colin Burns


Election of a Council    

for the period 14th November 2019 to 30th June 2020 (or to the next AGM of the Synagogue should the Council’s Recommendation under Item 9 not be adopted) in accordance with the various Articles (under 11) of the Constitution.

The Chair announced that as there were no dual nominations for any of the Honorary Officer positions therefore those that have agreed to stand are elected.


The Council for the period 14th November 2019 to 30th June 2020 is therefore as follows and was read by the Honorary Secretary.


Honorary Officers


Chair of Council                                  Jeff Soraff


Vice Chair of Council                          Vacant


Senior Warden                                    Melvin Pedro


Honorary Treasurer                             Jeff Lustig


Assistant Honorary Treasurer             Mitzi Kalinsky


Honorary Secretary                             Angela Jacobs


Chair of Education                              Ida Lewinsohn


Other Council Offices


Head of Security                                 Vacant


Chair of House                                    Jocelyn Shepherd


Care Coordinator                                Reeva Godson


Council positions                                 Joel Ilson

                                                            Oren Rosanmann

                                                            Karen Watch

                                                            Andrew Lewis



The current Chair Steve Wynne stood down at this time and the new Chair Jeff Soraff continued taking the AGM.

The new Chair made the following comments.   Before we continue with the agenda, I would like to say a few words, most of which Steve has already stolen, but I will repeat them, anyway. I would like to thank Steve for the last seven years on council, the last three of which were as Chair and, if I can do half as a good a job as he has done, I will be very pleased. Fortunately, he has agreed to exercise his right to attend Council as immediate past Chair and, although he will not have a vote, it means that we will have the benefit of his advice around the table, something which I will need plenty of. Steve will also be continuing with various other duties within the community and, as a token of appreciation from the community, I would like to present him with this gift of theatre vouchers.

I must also thank Rachel for her past seven years on Council, two of which were as Chair and I am delighted that she has agreed to continue as Chair of the Tikkun Olam working group. I am sure that I can call on her for advice when necessary.

I would like to welcome Karen back to Council after a short break and, although he is not here tonight, I would like to welcome Oren to his first time on Council.


Election of the Charity Trustees to serve as CIO Trustees for the period 1st July 2020 until the first AGM of the CIO.


CIO Trustees


Chair                                                   Jeff Soraff


Vice Chair                                           Vacant


Senior Warden                                    Melvin Pedro


Treasurer                                             Jeff Lustig


Secretary                                             Angela Jacobs


Chair of Youth Education                     Ida Lewinsohn


Head of Security                                  Vacant


Chair of House                                    Jocelyn Shepherd


Care Coordinator                                Reeva Godson


Trustee positions                                Joel Ilson

                                                            Oren Rosenmann

                                                            Andrew Lewis

                                                            Karen Watch

                                                            Mitzi Kalinsky


To consider any other Special Resolutions (Duly notified prior to the meeting) or any other business.   


There were none. 


The Chair of Council closed the meeting at 8.30pm and announced that the 1st Council meeting date would take place on Tuesday 3 December 2019.


The Resolutions are as follows:


  1. That it is in the best interests of the Synagogue for the Synagogue to be incorporated by the establishment of a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and that the charity trustees authority to deal with the registration of a CIO be confirmed.

  2. That the form of constitution presented to the meeting be approved, subject to such amendments as the charity trustees consider reasonable, and that application be made to the Charity Commission (CC) for the registration of the CIO as a charity.

  3. That following the registration of the CIO by the CC the assets and liabilities of the Synagogue be transferred (subject to the approval of the CC) to the CIO on terms to be agreed by the charity trustees (the Transfer) the effective date of such transfer being described as the Effective Date (being anticipated to be 1 July 2020).

  4. That the form of Synagogue Rules presented to the meeting be approved to operate in                                                                                                conjunction with the CIO constitution as from the Effective Date.

  5. The current constitution of the unincorporated association should be amended as from the Effective Date (subject to the completion of the Transfer) whereby the following resolutions are proposed:

    1. Article 4 (Members) of the constitution of the Synagogue shall be amended so that the Members shall be the persons for the time being who are the charity trustees of the Charitable Incorporated Organisation Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue.

    2. Article 9 (a) (Management) shall be deleted and substituted with the following Article 9: "The Management of the affairs of the Council shall be vested in a Council consisting of the persons who are the charity trustees (for the time being) of the Charitable Incorporated Organisation Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue."

    3. Article 9 (b) shall be amended to read as follows: "The quorum for a meeting of the Council shall be 3 members personally present."

    4. Article 10 (Annual General Meeting) shall be amended to read as follows: "The quorum for the Annual General Meeting shall be 5."

    5. Articles 5 (Subscriptions), 6 (Rabbi) and 7 (Wardens) shall be treated as deleted.

Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue

1 Victory Road,
Hermon Hill,
London E11 1UL

Tel: 020 8530 3345 | Email:
Registered Charity Number 283615.

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