2020 Annual General Meeting
September 10th, 2020
JSA Adapts to the Times
Written by Shanie Levin
The Jewish Seniors Alliance of Greater Vancouver held its Annual General Meeting on September 10th via Zoom. Because of the pandemic, we were unable to have our usual format—in spite of these obstacles, we succeeded in dealing with our ongoing activities and resolutions for our future.
Gyda Chud, Co-President of JSA, focused her remarks on the hard work of the volunteers of our Peer Support Program, who have been putting in extra time contacting their clients by phone several times per week. She thanked Grace Hann and Charles Leibovitch for their support of the volunteers during these demanding times. Gyda also thanked the rest of the staff, Liz Azeroual, Executive Administrator, Rita Propp, Administrative Assistant, Jenn Propp, Graphic Designer and Webmaster, and Wendy Lo, Bookkeeper. She mentioned two new staff members, Margot Beauchamp, Quality Assurance Liaison, and Rochelle Garfinkel, Donor Relations and Philanthropy. Gyda asked for a minute of silence to remember the member/supporters who passed away over the last year.
JSA’s Co-President Larry Shapiro called the meeting to order. JSA’s Financial Statements were presented by Treasurer Alan Marchant in a clear and precise manner. Larry Shapiro commented on the harmony of working with his co-chair, Gyda Chud, and also with the Board Members of JSA. He emphasized the importance of the Peer Support Program. Larry urged everyone to stay in touch and to read Senior Line magazine.
Tony DuMoulin, who is in charge of Governance Issues, then presented a special resolution for a change to the constitution. This involved removing the word “Jewish” in the section saying that we work with Jewish seniors. Since we interact with all seniors, this description is misleading. He reiterated that the name of the organization, Jewish Seniors Alliance, remains the same. The resolution was approved by 82%.
Next Tony proposed a special resolution to change a number of the by-laws such as—all donors automatically become members; meetings may be held electronically; officers to be elected by the Board; and an extended term for members. These changes were approved by 88%.
Ken Levitt, chair of the Nominations Committee, thanked Larry Meyer and Pam Ottem, who are retiring, for their years of work on behalf of JSA. He moved that the number of Directors on the Board be changed from 20 to 21. This was passed by 97%. Ken read out the nominations for the upcoming Board and these were passed by acclamation. Next came the reports of the various committee chairpersons. These reports are available on the JSA website. Briefly, the Committee Chairs are as follows: Rita Roling, Peer Support Services. Rita is taking over from Pam Ottem. They are presently handling 100 clients and would like to increase the service. Lyle Pullan, Membership, stated that we have 517 members and 102 life members. Lyle believes that many become new members as a result of reading the Senior Line magazine. Serge Haber reported on fundraising. We have hired Rochelle Garfinkel, for Donor Relations and Philanthropy. We have a contract with Vancouver Coastal Health for $70,000 annually to stabilize the organization.
Shanie Levin reported for the Program Committee. The committee is planning a Fall Symposium in November and an Empowerment event in October to be held via Zoom. Dolores Luber, Editor of Senior Line magazine, thanked Jenn Propp for her graphic design and collaboration, and the members of the Editorial Committee for their efforts.
Tony DuMoulin spoke on behalf of the Advocacy Committee. They have established collaboration with COSCO, anti-poverty groups, and they have approached the Provincial Government regarding making the high dosage flu shot free for all seniors. They want to pressure the government for improvements in long term care homes; increase in pensions and free lifeline pendants for poor seniors.
After a short video showing the work of the Peer Support Program, Serge Haber thanked an anonymous donor. Serge explained that five years ago, we were contacted by a lawyer about a $25,000 donation from a donor who wished to remain anonymous, which JSA continues to receive annually. Larry then thanked everyone for zooming in and adjourned the meeting.