How to Work as a Productive Board

December 14, 2022
Sydney Bienstock

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

Class of 2024

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My chapter, Shaina BBG #1618 is very spread out.  We reside in locations from Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham, Wake Forest, Apex, and Cary. For context, Chapel Hill and Wake Forest are an hour apart so getting all of us in the same place is not an easy task. This term we learned a ton of ways to work well together despite the distance and I wanted to share both our struggles, how we overcame them, and some tips that have strengthened our board.

First off, we do not have a central JCC or even a central member who can host which makes things difficult. We were able to find a shopping center that is fairly central. For weekday dinners we will go to that shopping center and other than that, we do not have weekday events. On weekends, we alternate locations and have longer programs so it makes sense for members to travel up to an hour for an event.

My region has regional execs where we are able to calendar the whole term, but when the second term rolls around, we get stuck. As travel is hard, in person board meetings are rare. A strategy we figured out is having one in person board meeting at the beginning of each term to plan out the year. Whether that meeting is at execs or a coffee shop, it makes the entirety of the year much easier.

My next tip is to do board bonding. Because lots of your communication as a board will be via text, it is important to know your board members to minimize miscommunication. Understand how everyone talks and texts so nothing is taken the wrong way. Additionally, if there is miscommunication or any issue amongst the board, reach out to your n’siah/godol and/or your advisor. They are there to help you and it is essential that the board works well together in order to have a strong chapter.

A new strategy our n’siah implemented this year is board meeting schedules. We have our board meetings Monday evenings so on Monday morning we are sent a schedule of the meeting. This helps us stay on task and know what to expect when we log on. As chapter sh’licha, this holds me accountable for planning, leading, and communicating my shabbat program plans. Additionally, this ensures our calls do not run over an hour. At the end of the call, our mazkirah sends us a to-do list to the group chat with tasks delegated for each of us which helps hold us accountable, stay organized, and prevent miscommunication.

This term, we set up a google drive with all the information we could ever need as board members. This consists of a google sheet with all of our members, both active and inactive, their contact information, general location, bigs/littles, as well as our prospects because we cannot see that information on mybbyo. We have a budget form so we can communicate with our gizborit when we need to be reimbursed for anything we purchase for a program. We have a list of program ideas as well as the election packet and lastly we have a program planning sheet for each program so we can communicate all of our plans as well as edit them on our own time. This google drive has been amazing for my chapter organization as well as communication and I would recommend every chapter to implement it.

Finally, we are beginning to take advantage of the group me calendar. we can include links to register, locations, and times and dates. This calendar syncs up to any calendar you could use. If this doesn’t work best for you, I would recommend setting up a google calendar which members and parents can subscribe to as an extra way to keep them updated about every event.

Sydney Bienstock is a BBG living in Chapel Hill, NC and can tell you A LOT about mayflies.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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