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, agencies and institutions. It includes those who work directly with young people, and handle the administration of these programs.
Its purposes shall be:
- To promote professional relationships and exchanges of experience among the Youth Directors/Advisors, and to provide for the professional growth and development of its membership.
- To help develop personnel standards and qualifications for Youth Directors.
- To safeguard the integrity of the profession of Youth Work and to ensure job welfare.
- To serve, when asked, as an advocate for Youth Directors before Congregations, 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
Membership in the JYDA shall be a tiered-benefit system, outlined as:
- Full membership is open to those who serve as a Full-Time or Part-Time Youth Professional (as defined by the By-Laws) in a Conservative Congregation or within the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
- Associate membership is open to those who serve in lay-led capacities who support their Youth Professional. Associate members are able to utilize the JYDA Board to assist in the development of their Youth Department, and/or Youth Professional only.
- Sustaining membership is open to those who have moved into allied fields (Conservative Jewish Summer Camp, etc) and no longer work in the youth group field. Sustaining members are able to receive communication from the JYDA and utilize any resources, with exception of virtual JYDA Sessions, and the JYDA Annual Conference.
- Membership will never be decided based on race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity, or transgender status), age, disability, genetic information, marital status, and/or political affiliation.
Article III – Administration
- The administration of the JYDA shall be vested in an Executive Board consisting of four (4) officers: President, Executive Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
- 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 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.
- In the event that the President can no longer fulfill their 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.
- Any Officer may be suspended for gross neglect of duty by a two-thirds vote of the membership.
- General duties of the JYDA Board shall include, but not be limited to the following:
a) President – Oversees all aspects of the organization. Shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Board and the general membership. The President represents the organization at all outside functions, unless the President designates another to serve in their place.
b) Vice President – Shall take all notes and records at all meetings of the Executive Board. In the absence of the President, the Vice President shall preside in the President’s stead.
c) Secretary – Shall notify the members of the general membership of impending meetings and events. Shall create and execute all email campaigns. Additionally, the Secretary shall oversee all aspects of social media and website creation and maintenance.
d) 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. The Treasurer shall also keep all records of membership.
Article V – Committees
- The President, in consultation with the officers of the Association, shall appoint all committees, temporary or permanent.
- Committees are strongly encouraged to be created, at the discretion of the Executive Board, including but not limited to: nominations, membership, publications, convention, social media/website, 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, at the discretion of the President, an unlimited number of times.
- 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 create a Slate of Officers to serve the Association for the next term.
- 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, during the JYDA Annual Conference.
- Nominations will be sent to the Nominations Committee no later than 1 month before the meetings where elections are taking place.
- To be considered by the Nominations Committee, the candidate for an elected position must have been a member of the JYDA for, no less than, two (2) years, and be a full member at the time of election.
- The President shall open Elections for the Slate of Officers of the JYDA for the following term. The Chairperson of the Nominating Committee shall then read the slate of those nominated at the meeting where elections are taking place. A brief biography of each nominee shall be circulated at this time, as well. At the conclusion of biographies being read, the President shall call for a Voice Vote (to voice your approval for the Slate of Officers, as it has been read, please say “ai”). At the conclusion of the Voice Vote, the President shall congratulate the new Slate, and close Elections for the Slate of Officers of the JYDA for the following term.
Article VII – Voting Privileges
- Voting will be open to all Full and Associate Members of the JYDA, as classified by the start of the JYDA Annual Conference, or the Elections Meeting (whichever comes first).
- Voting in the JYDA will be open only to Members in Good Standing.
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 electronically.
Article X – Amendments
- Proposed amendments to the Constitution shall be submitted in writing to the President who shall circulate the 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 electronically.
- A Youth Professional is defined as one of the following:
- A Youth Director is one:
- Who is responsible for organizing, planning, and administering all aspects of informal youth programs in a synagogue or agency.
- Whose major occupation in terms of salary and time must be derived from work as a Youth Professional.
- Youth Advisor is one:
- Who is responsible for organizing, planning, and administering all programs for a specific youth group (or multiple, as their contract specifies) in a synagogue or agency.
- Whose major occupation in terms of salary and time must not be derived from work as a Youth Professional.
- A Youth Director is one:
- Membership dues in the JYDA shall be $50.00 for full membership.
- Membership dues in the JYDA shall be $25.00 for associate and/or sustaining members.
- Dues shall be based on a calendar year which begins on July 1st and which ends on June 30th. Dues must be paid prior to the JYDA Annual Conference 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 electronically by a majority of the membership.
- A member shall be considered to be not in good standing when they have 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 responsible for maintaining the Constitution.
This constitution was last ratified on June 30, 2021.