Jewish Youth work is a diverse field that encompasses a variety of endeavors and job descriptions.
The term “informal Jewish educator” might better describe those who seek to teach, engage and
involve our young people on so many different levels. Recognizing the specialized nature of this work and as
part of the Conservative Movement, the Jewish Youth Directors Association has been formed. It seeks to encompass
those who work in synagogues, camps, agencies and institutions. It includes those who work directly with young
people, those who may work with the greater family unit and those who handle the administration of these programs.
Its purposes shall be:
- To promote professional relationships and exchanges of experience among the Youth Directors, and to provide for the professional growth and development of it’s membership.
- To help develop personnel standards and qualifications for Youth Directors.
- To safeguard the integrity of the profession of Youth Work and to insure job welfare.
- To serve, when asked, as an advocate for Youth Directors before Congregations, before the Department of Youth Activities, its Commissions and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
Article I – Name
The Organization shall be known as the Jewish Youth Directors Association (JYDA).
Article II – Membership
- Full membership in the JYDA shall be open to anyone who meets the following qualifications:
- Bachelors Degree or
- Holds two of the following:
- Three (3) years experience as a Full Time Youth Director (as defined by the By-Laws) with three (3) written recommendations, two (2) of which must be from supervisors (Rabbi, Education Director, Youth Committee Chairman, Regional Director, and International Director.)
- For Youth Director working in Israel, Bachelors Degree from an accredited university in Israel, and two (2) years experience as a Full Time Youth Director (as defined by the By-Laws) in Israel with three (3) recommendations, two (2) of which must be from supervisors.
- Five formal Judaic studies courses (post High School) with a minimum of 15 hours each. (Can include university level courses, Adult Education, Home Study or equivalent as approved by the Board.)
- Serve as a Full-time Youth Director (as defined by the By-Laws) for two (2) years, one (1) of which must be in a Conservative Congregation or within the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
- Recommendation of two (2) members of JYDA.
- Anyone admitted under the Grandfather Clause prior to 1973.
- Associate membership shall be open to those who do not meet qualifications for full or sustaining membership, but who, because of career interests,
- lay involvement, or for other reasons wish to become involved with a professional Youth Workers Association. Candidates for Associate membership must be at least nineteen (19) years of age.
- Sustaining membership shall be open to those who have held full membership but have moved into allied fields and no longer work in the informal youth field.
Article III – Administration
- The administration of the JYDA shall be vested in an Executive Board consisting of four (4) officers, and no less than five (5) committee chairpeople.
- All past presidents of the JYDA who are members in good standing shall be ex-officio members of the Board.
- The officers of the JYDA shall consist of a President, a Vice President, a Secretary and a Treasurer.
- The officers of the JYDA shall be elected bi-annually as outlined in Article VI.
- The President with the approval of the Executive Board may fill unexpired terms of members of the Executive Board of the JYDA.
- The Executive Board of the JYDA shall meet at the call of the President or by written request of two (2) Executive Board members.
Article IV – Duties
- The Executive Board of the JYDA shall conduct such business as is deemed necessary for the proper functioning of the Association. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Board and the general membership. In the absence of the President, the Vice President shall preside in the President’s stead. The President represents the organization at all outside functions.
- In the event that the President can no longer fulfill his duties and obligations, the Vice President shall, with approval of the membership, be deemed successor of the President. The Vice President, during the term of office, shall represent the President in all matters, which the President may assign.
- The Secretary, on instructions from the President, shall notify the members of the Executive Board and the general membership of impending meetings.
- The Secretary shall further be charged with all secretarial responsibilities that the President and the Executive Board shall deem necessary.
- The Treasurer shall collect all dues; deposit same; issue checks with proper authorization and authorize disbursements of funds. The Treasurer shall keep a record of all financial transactions, and shall submit an annual financial report.
- Any Officer may be suspended for gross neglect of duty by a two-thirds vote of the membership.
Article V – Committees
- The President in consultation with the officers of the Association shall appoint all committees, temporary or permanent.
- There shall be no less than five (5) permanent committees, including but not limited to membership, publications, convention, placement and professional development. The committee structure may be changed and expanded at the discretion of the Executive Board.
- All committee appointments shall be for a term of one year. Committee Chairpeople may be re-appointed an unlimited number of times at the discretion of the President.
- Nominations Committee: Bi-annually, no later than November 1, the President, in consultation with the officers of the Executive Board, shall appoint a Nomination Committee. The immediate Past President of the Association chairs the Nomination Committee as long as the immediate Past President is a member in good standing. It shall consist of four (4) members: two (2) current Board members, and two (2) non-board members. This committee shall seek nominations from the general membership for all elected positions. It shall be their duty to present a certified list of nominees to the membership no less than four (4) weeks prior to the elections. A list of all nominees shall be presented to the membership at the beginning of the Convention at which elections will take place.
- Associate and sustaining members shall be eligible for appointment to all committees but may not be nominated for or hold elective office.
Article VI – Elections and Referenda
- Elections shall be held bi-annually at a general meeting of the membership.
- The Chairperson of the Nominating Committee shall read the list of those nominated at the meeting where elections are taking place. A brief biography of each nominee shall be circulated to the membership. This biography will take the place of a nominating speech.
- Nominations will be taken from the floor for all positions. Nominating speeches for those so nominated will be limited to three (3) minutes.
- A candidate for an elected position must be a member of the JYDA for three (3) years, and be a full member at the time of election.
- Voting shall be by secret ballot. Members shall vote for one (1) candidate for each office. In the case of a candidate running unopposed, a voice vote may be taken.
- Candidates must receive a majority of the votes cast in order to be elected. Shall no candidate review a majority, a run-off election shall be held as soon as possible.
- Should it happen that a general meeting of the membership cannot be held, elections shall be carried on through the mail. The Nominating Committee shall send its list of nominees to the general membership six (6) weeks prior to the elections. Members wishing to place additional names in nomination shall communicate this desire in writing to the Chairperson of the Nominating Committee no less than four (4) weeks prior to the election. The Nominating Committee shall send out ballots to all full members in good standing and such ballots shall be returned within to (2) weeks of their receipt.
Article VII – Voting Privileges
- Meetings of the Executive Board shall be called at the discretion of the President or by petition of two (2) Board members, but not less than twice a year.
- Meetings of the general membership shall be called at the discretion of the President with the approval of the Executive Board, but not less than once a year.
Article IX – Ratification
This Constitution shall be considered in force when ratified by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the members present at a meeting of the general membership, or through a mail ballot.
Article X – Amendments
- Proposed amendments to the Constitution shall be submitted in writing to the President who shall circulate same among the general membership at least one (1) month prior to balloting.
- Adoption of all amendments to the Constitution shall require a three-fourths (3/4) vote either of the members present at a meeting of the general membership or of those responding through the mail.
- Membership dues in the JYDA shall be $50.00 for full members.
- Membership dues in the JYDA shall be $25.00 for sustaining members.
- Dues shall be based on a calendar year which begins on September 1st and which ends on August 31st. Dues must be paid prior to the Convention in order for the member’s registration fee to be applicable and in order to vote. Dues may be changed either by the majority vote of the membership present at a meeting of the general membership or by a majority of the membership in a mail ballot.
- A member shall be considered to be not in good standing when he or she has failed to pay membership dues for a period of one (1) calendar year.
- The Secretary of JYDA will send out all proposed amendments to the Constitution to the entire membership prior to the next annual meeting at which time a vote will be taken for ratification. The Secretary is responsibility for maintaining the Constitution.
- A full time Youth Director is defined as one:
- who is responsible for organizing, planning and administering the youth program in a synagogue or agency.
- whose major occupation in terms of salary and time must be derived from work as Youth Director or in a combined program with Jewish education or another synagogue or agency related field and youth work.
- The By-Laws to this Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote, either of the members present at a meeting of the general membership, or by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the membership in a mail ballot.
This constitution was last ratified on March 22, 1995.