September 16, 2017
From the Desk of Sandy Lopater – President of Congregation L’Dor Va-Dor
Greetings to all our wonderful members, friends, and supporters. I hope and trust that everyone made it through the storm relatively unscathed. Rose and I do have some minor damage to our home, but I will be able to repair most of it myself.
I apologize to all for missing last night’s Friday night Shabbat celebration. I work event security at both the Coral Sky Amphitheater and for the Miami Dolphins/Hard Rock Stadium. Last night I was working a country music concert at the Coral Sky Amphitheater. Occasionally, I will miss our services due to these work requirements.
I would like to comment on the discussion of the Concert to End Gun Violence, scheduled for September 24, 2017 at Park Vista High School. There are several issues that I would like to clarify to all our members and friends/supporters.
First, and foremost…the Board of Congregation L’Dor Va-Dor does NOT support gun violence, in any way, shape or form. Even I, an avowed 2nd Amendment supporter, do NOT support the unlawful, careless, and criminal use of any type of weapon. To believe that we on the Board somehow do not support the Rabbi’s and our members positions on gun violence is ludicrous. I know that Rabbi Barry did not mean to suggest that we do, but in speaking with the members of the Board I have found that there are people who were in attendance last night who do believe this.
Secondly, the specific point that is in question is whether Congregation L’Dor Va-Dor would purchase the liability insurance as a sponsor of the event. This was initially brought up, discussed, and voted on at the end of July/early August. The initial request was for the Congregation to purchase liability insurance to cover all issues for the promoters to be able to rent the venue. The School Board of Palm Beach County will not rent any facility without liability insurance already in place. For this we would have been listed as a sponsor of the event. After much discussion, it was decided then that the Board, acting in the best interests of the Congregation, did not want to open itself up to any possible liability.
On September 14, 2017, Rabbi Barry came to me and asked the Board to reconsider this matter. He forwarded a letter to me explaining why he requested this review, and clearly explained his reasons for doing so. I forwarded this letter to the Board with a request for the Board to review his letter, and get back to me with a new vote. This was completed early on Friday, September 15, 2017. As with all Board business, this was democratically voted on using the simple majority method. The results were 12 against, 1 for purchasing the liability insurance for this event. The reasons were the same as before…acting with the best interests of the Congregation in mind, and following a sound fiduciary policy, the members of the Board felt that the possibility of liability was too strong for us to assume the risks involved.
I respect Rabbi Barry’s position as a liability attorney, and his assurances that the liability risks are minimal, perhaps no different than attending our regular services or the High Holy Days services at Santaluces High School. Perhaps he is right that nothing will go wrong. However, your Board believed that it is not prudent to ignore possible risk or assume additional liability over what we already do on a regular basis.
Third, so that the membership has full disclosure concerning the Board’s actions, Board Treasurer Steve Kirshner did contact our insurance agent to see what would be involved in such an insurance purchase. The Congregation would have to purchase a separate event insurance policy over and beyond our regular liability insurance, which already covers both our temple and Santaluces High School. The insurance agent forwarded a list of necessary information that the promoters of the concert would have to supply so that the insurance underwriters could give a us quote. This quote will not happen until all information would be supplied to them. This process would probably have taken an additional two weeks just to get a quote back. Rabbi Barry did explain to me that the promoters do not have the time to wait for this, as they are close to cancelling the concert due to the lack of insurance from any of the other sponsors of this event.
Fourth, the Board takes its responsibilities to the Congregation very seriously and feels strongly that its mission is to manage the Congregation successfully. In fact, it is in our By-Laws that the Board shall have the general management of the affairs of the Congregation, and shall act on all matters of policy for the Congregation. I would like to point out that our membership voted for and entrusted our Board members to guide this Congregation to the best of its ability, taking into consideration information that might not be available to the general membership. As with our representative form of government at the Federal, State, County and local levels, your Board has been entrusted to manage and guide this Congregation, trying to limit exposure to liability, and to make our Congregation as successful as possible. I thank and salute them for this. We are not trying to thwart the will of the Congregation, and we are not working against the Rabbi. We support his social action issues, but we insist on doing so in a manner that is responsible to the entire Congregation.
Lastly, please allow for my only political statement. Let us not become what our government is so good at…partisan politics. We are all on the same page; let us continue to work towards the goals of social influence and guidance. Let not emotion and incorrect or partial truths overrule logic and our established guidelines.
In closing, I thank you for your support as your President and I trust in your continued support for the members of the Board.