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2021 KH Board Nomination and Election Process and Timeline

In February 2018, Kehilat Hadar elected a new Board and adopted bylaws, which included an outline for the election process of Board members. Below is a timeline and some FAQs to clarify the details about the 2021 nomination and election processes, the KH Board, and membership.

Thursday, January 28 through Thursday, February 11 
Open call for KH Board candidate applications
Those interested in running for a KH Board seat must fill out the nomination application.

By Thursday, March 4
Nominations Committee publicizes slate of candidates
The Nominations Committee selects qualified candidates based on service to, and impact on, the KH community.

Friday, March 5 to Friday, March 19
Window for a non-slated candidate to petition to be included on the ballot
Those who have applied to join the KH Board but were not selected by the Nominations Committee for the slate can still run by petitioning to be added to the ballot as a non-slated candidate.

By Thursday, March 25
Full KH Board ballot and voting process publicized 
The Nominations Committee will share information on the slate and other candidates running, as well as on live and proxy voting processes.

Monday, April 12
Election at KH Annual Meeting
Members vote (RSVP and voting info TBA).


What is the Nominations Committee?
The Nominations Committee sets up the nomination process for the annual KH Board election, reviews statements of interest to join the Board, and selects qualified candidates to include in the slate for the KH Board election.

What is the KH Board?
KH Board members are responsible for the community’s strategic vision, high-level planning, and fundraising efforts. The KH Board also supervises the Steering Team (which runs KH services and programs). 

Learn more about the Board’s responsibilities and its current members.

What is KH Membership?
Kehilat Hadar strives to be welcoming and inclusive of everyone who attends our services and programs. Everyone who participates in our activities is considered a member of the Kehilat Hadar community. 

The Kehilat Hadar bylaws, adopted in February 2018, and revised in July 2019, define voting membership as available to individuals for whom at least one of the following is true:

  • An annual contribution at the requested level was made by them or on their behalf in the previous calendar year, or
  • They regularly served the community by volunteering five times in the previous calendar year.

Learn more about membership. If you have specific questions or concerns about membership, email Tim Bernard, KH Board Secretary.

2021 Candidate Bios & Statements

Allison Kapusta

Allison Kapusta is currently the Manager of the Department of Synagogue Leadership at United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Previously, Allison spent several years as Assistant Director of Family Life and Learning at B’nai Jeshurun where she created innovative educational experiences for families. In 2018, she received the Young Pioneers Award from the Jewish Education Project. Allison holds an MA in Jewish Education from JTS and has been part of the Hadar community for 10 years. 

Why do you want to join the Kehilat Hadar Board, and what you hope to accomplish as a Board Member?
I am excited about the opportunity to serve on the Kehilat Hadar Board. As a Board Member, I would be eager to help shape the vision for the community going forward, particularly at this time of change, and to think about how to best serve our members in thoughtful and intentional ways. I hope to focus some of my attention on our families with children and ensure that their needs and desires are considered in strategic conversations. I look forward to building on family engagement and education; creating a vision for how families and children engage, learn, and grow, in the community. I would like to work towards creating a warm and accessible community where people at every age and stage can feel a sense of belonging. 

How have you participated in and served KH?
I have been involved in Kehilat Hadar for 10 years, and, in the last few years, have become particularly involved with family engagement and education. I worked to re-establish a regular Tot Shabbat program, first bi-weekly, and then weekly, and created a meaningful and joyful prayer service for families.  I currently serve as a co-chair of family programming and have empowered other parents in the community to join a roster of Tot Shabbat leaders. I have also helped to plan and implement family holiday celebrations and have led High Holiday family services for the past 2 years. 

Steven Melzer

Steven works at The New School, exploring the future of creative higher education and the urgent present of rebuilding from COVID. His career spans over 15 years in .com, .gov, .org, and .edu organizations in business strategy, analytics, policy, technology, and management roles. Steven has served on several education nonprofit boards. Steven has attended Kehilat Hadar since 2005 and served in multiple leadership and participatory roles. He holds degrees from Columbia University and Hunter College. He cures and smokes meat and fish in an UWS apartment he shares with his infinitely patient wife and 18 month old daughter.

Why do you want to join the Kehilat Hadar Board, and what you hope to accomplish as a Board Member?
Kehilat Hadar faces its greatest challenges and opportunities as we navigate evolving COVID and Joint Operations environments. During 3 years on the board (and 10+ before then), I’ve been fortunate to learn about and experience who and what KH is, can be, and should be - now and in the future.

For years, I didn’t know how or why I’d be involved in KH. Over time, as KH ebbed and rebuilt, I became energized with the start-up mentality and saw where I could define and expand access to the best of KH.

I want to serve on the Board to increase access to the best of our community and continue to make it better. KH is a home - ritual, social, family. Many of us need more connections in more ways, even after COVID restrictions abate. Through technology, partnership with SZ, and an expanded vision of what KH is, can be, and should be, we can engage current and next generations of KH to rebuild stronger and more resiliently.

How have you participated in and served KH?

  • Occasional service leader, Torah and Haftarah reader, shlepper and greeter, announcements heckler (2005-present)
  • Shavuot Retreat Food, Alcohol, and Financial Aid Coordinator (2015-present)
  • Scotch Club and Whisk(e)y Society Chairperson and COO (2015-present)
  • Purim Trivia Lead (2015-17; 2021)
  • Board Member and Vice President (2018-present)
    • Build start-up organizational and board capacity, vision, structure, and financial strategy
    • Design and facilitate community meetings
    • Establish and update Joint Operations and future planning with Shaare Zedek

Heather Rosen

After growing up in Conservative community in central New Jersey, Heather studied architecture at Virginia Tech and graduated in 2015. Since then, she has worked as an architectural designer, workplace strategist, and project manager for a large architectural firm. Heather has volunteered with Uncommon Schools to teach high school students about careers in design and consulting. She also has been an ACE Mentor and involved in the NY AIA Women in Architecture committee. 

Why do you want to join the Kehilat Hadar Board, and what you hope to accomplish as a Board Member?
I have loved being a part of this warm, actively engaged, egalitarian community. I want to join the board so I can help Kehilat Hadar continue to thrive. My goal on the Board would be to focus on a broad community strategy and big picture vision for the future of Kehilat Hadar. I want to work with fellow KH leaders to strategically plan our future to support the needs of our ever growing and evolving community. Since I am somewhat new to the community, I bring a unique perspective of those who may be less familiar with us. I also believe that my professional experiences in strategic planning, organization culture, and building design will enable me to support the Board through various efforts. 

How have you participated in and served KH?

  • I first discovered Kehilat Hadar in 2017 and have been a regular attendee (pre-COVID) since moving to the Upper West Side in early 2019. 
  • I have participated in Shabbat morning davening, Purim megillah reading, High Holiday services, and community meals. I have also hosted community members in my home for Shabbat meals.
  • During COVID-19, I helped design and conduct two community surveys. At the beginning of quarantine, I also helped set up the pre-Shabbat virtual happy hours. This involvement inspired me to want to give back even more to the community.
  • I have been filling an empty seat on the Board in the interim before nominations and voting could occur. 

Emily Scharfman

Emily is a lawyer at Salesforce, where she serves as the communications chair for their interfaith employee resource group.  She is part of the inaugural young leadership trustee cohort for JTS, and last year served as a member of the JTS Chancellor Search Committee.  She is also co-chair of the Governance Committee of the JTS Board of Trustees.  Emily is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Leadership Fellowship - a two year fellowship for Jewish lay professionals.  
Personally, Emily lives on the UWS (and has for almost 16 years) with her husband and her son, and she is expecting a new baby in July.  Emily has been part of the KH community since 2005, and she owns her apartment, so she anticipates being part of this community, God Willing, for a very long time.  

Why do you want to join the Kehilat Hadar Board, and what you hope to accomplish as a Board Member?
I've served as the inaugural President of the Kehilat Hadar Board for the last three years.  We have accomplished a tremendous amount, and I am very proud of that.  Although it will be in the Board's discretion as to whether I continue as President, I would like to- at a minimum- be able to continue working on some of the major initiatives we've started.  Among the top of the list, of course, is Joint Operations with Shaare Zedek.  And, if I am elected to serve another three year term, then we as a Board, will have to lead the community through a decision to merge and join with SZ and move into their building.  I have been part of this process from the outset, and I think it would be valuable for me to continue because of the relationships I've formed, the things I'm working on, and the institutional knowledge I have.  As we are  a community in time of transition, we are also as part of a larger community in a time of transition due to Covid.  I have been involved in all of our Covid decisions, as well as our annual fundraising campaign.  Ultimately, I leave it to you all to decide whether you think my record merits me being renominated.

How have you participated in and served KH?
Please see above, and my track record as KH Board President.  I'd like to take this space to thank the Nominating Committee, for their volunteer work.  

Mon, April 12 2021 30 Nisan 5781