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Joint Operations

Last updated July 23, 2019

Below is a summary of the Joint Operations agreement between Kehilat Hadar (KH) and Congregation Shaare Zedek (SZ) which was approved by unanimous approval of each of the Kehilat Hadar and Shaare Zedek Boards. The voting members of Kehilat Hadar and the members of Shaare Zedek have also each approved moving forward with Joint Operations at their respective community meetings in July 2019. For more details on any aspect of Joint Operations, please email Emily Scharfman, KH Board President.

Joint Operations refers to the first phase of integration between Kehilat Hadar and Shaare Zedek. Shaare Zedek will join us for joint Shabbat and holiday services at Schechter Manhattan, beginning on Shabbat Bereishit in October 2019, and we will co-host certain programs together. The goal of Joint Operations is to provide the members of each community with an opportunity to envision the full integration of Shaare Zedek and Kehilat Hadar, so that we can make an informed decision about further integration.

1. Services

  • Joint services will follow the existing KH order of tefillah.
  • The KH volunteers currently responsible for asking individuals to read Torah, lead services, and give divrei Torah will remain in place. SZ members will be included in the pool of people asked to take on roles in services. SZ and KH are committed to growing and empowering tefillah leaders, which will include running workshops and other training opportunities.
  • Kehilat Hadar’s Steering Team and Shaare Zedek’s Religious Life Committee will discuss questions of ritual policy relating to the joint services and will together make decisions by consensus. At least two SZ members will join the Shamash Team.
  • SZ will hold services on all Shabbatot and Holidays for which KH has no scheduled service. SZ and KH currently plan to hold separate High Holiday services in 2020.

2. Community Life

  • Joint teams will work together to coordinate shared children’s programming, kiddush, and other joint programming like community meals and Lunch & Learns.
  • Each community may also run any program independently that is open and welcome to all. 
  • Each community will maintain its own communications platforms. A joint team will coordinate on communications to both communities for joint programming and activities.

3. Leadership

  • Kehilat Hadar and Shaare Zedek will maintain separate boards and membership structures.
  • A Coordinating Committee comprised of the presidents of SZ and KH and 2-3 representatives of each community will meet regularly to evaluate and improve Joint Operations and prepare our communities for possible full integration in the future.
  • Individuals from KH will participate in SZ real estate, building design, and cemetery conversations, and will be updated on details of SZ’s finances in these areas.
  • SZ will not have a pulpit rabbi during Joint Operations. SZ and KH anticipate engaging one or more qualified people (preferably from within the community) to offer pastoral and other lifecycle services for those who request it.
  • When halakhic questions arise related to Joint Operations, each community will consider the issue following their existing internal processes. If the two communities reach different conclusions, SZ and KH will work together to resolve those differences.

4. Finances

  • All joint expenses, including rental for our davening space, will be shared equitably.
  • SZ will continue to employ an administrative manager and pay for all work that they do for SZ exclusively. KH and SZ will split her salary for any work done on behalf of both communities.
  • Each community will continue their current fundraising strategies to meet their operating budgets.

5. Planning Beyond Joint Operations

  • Assuming Joint Operations proves successful, the Coordinating Committee aims to complete a draft agreement for full integration by the summer of 2020, with the goal that both communities will move into the new building when it is completed. Within nine months of moving into the new building together, the Boards and full memberships of each organization would then vote on the final agreement.
Sun, March 3 2024 23 Adar I 5784