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Feb 25

Ian West’s encouraging budget report to last week’s AGM

In his treasurer’s report to the AGM last Thursday night, Ian West said that although he budgeted for a deficit of R85 500, Beit Emanuel effectively made a surplus of R9 933. The Shul started the year with cash reserves of R312 440 and ended with R597 344, an increase of almost R285 000.

Ian attributed this success to vigilant cost controls, a closer eye on property and equipment maintenance, and to the excellent work of the fund raising committee, naming in particular Lee Greenblatt, Bianca Shakinovsky and Hester Hollander. Each of the events organised last year brought in a profit. A total of R 812 000 was raised overall and a profit of R104 000 was made at the games evening last November. He also thanked the Shul’s regular donors “who have come through year after year”.

Fees from members and from basic Judaism classes come to R122 370 per month. But monthly expenses are R328 150 per month. Part of the shortfall is made up from rents received from the major cell phone companies and billboards overlooking the highway, which brings in R92 000 per month. The rest, R113 780 per month, comes from donations and fundraising, life cycle events, parking and office rents, hall and boardroom hire, memorial offerings, sale of prayer books, brocha sponsorships and catering.

Ian urged people to contribute to the Friday night brochas:

“I’ve said this before and will say this again, where in Johannesburg can you get a top-class, three course dinner for R30?”

He also praised outgoing vice chairman Russell Cohen for the innovative new membership fees structure he has introduced, which makes it possible for even the less well-off members of the congregation to contribute in some way. More details of these options are on our website and will be given in future Bulletins.

At the first meeting of the newly elected management committee, incoming chairman Irwin Manoim praised the work of the previous committee and said he faced the difficult task of following the popular and immensely capable Professor Merle Williams. But he was grateful to her that she had left him with a largely intact and experienced committee, many of whose members have worked together successfully for a number of years.