A Most Perplexing Motion

February 13th, 2008 by bebersghost

The first motion for IC business relates to modifying the qualifications for being elected Grand Aleph Godol, adding the following the job description:

In order to be elected for the Godol of the Grand Board of the Aleph Zadik Aleph, one must be a member in good standing as well as have either served as a Regional/Council Godol or previously served on the Grand Board of the Aleph Zadik Aleph.

Now having some sort of qualifications for the office is common sense. It’s rather odd that none currently exist. What makes this motion odd is that the introduction to the motion includes this:

WHEREAS; There has never been a Grand Aleph Godol who was not previously a member of Grand Board or a Regional/Council Godol under the current voting system,

This raises the question – why is this motion needed? Are today’s delegates any less wise that those of prior generations in terms of evaluating the qualifications of candidates? Is there some highly qualified candidate who through fate and circumstance only made it to regional Aleph S’gan who must be prevented from trying? Sure this rule may be just confirming what is existing practice, but is confirming existing practice enough reason to amend the constitution? Is there is fear that future generations might think differently from the current generation (heaven forbid that future generations should make up their own minds).

In the greater scheme of things, this motion will probably not matter (unless, of course, there is that poor regional Aleph S’gan who will be forever denied his chance to run). But even the most innocuous amendments deserve careful thought and consideration – and an understanding of the motives of the makers, and potential consequences (both intended and unintended).

12 Responses to “A Most Perplexing Motion”

  1. Baer's Ghost Says:

    I find your excerpt from this motion too be pretty interesting. Have they really done their homework on this motion, because I could’ve sworn that there were at least a few instances of this happening over the course of the history of AZA. I’m not sure what is entailed under “the current voting system.” Do they mean since IC has exploded in attendance? If we’re looking at it from that point than sure. But only two Grand Aleph Godols have been elected since this transition, soon to be three. History and current memoryare very different things.

    I agree with the intent of this motion, but is it really in our best interests to limit the pool of such candidates to roughly 50 individuals instead of thousands?

  2. bebersghost Says:

    I don’t see how the increased attendance at IC would matter, as most of the increased numbers are not voting delegates. But severely limiting the pool of available candidates does seem a step in the wrong direction.

    The Ghost

  3. AZAleph Says:

    When I first saw the IC ’08 motions packet on Monday, this one stood out to me the most also. Why would anyone even consider running for GAGodol if they were not experienced anyway. Plus, unqualified candidates wouldn’t even be able to survive the caucusing process, especially for GAG. Everyone should have a right to declare for whatever office they want to, unless they have negative intentions. This motion is a waste of time, and therefore, in my opinion, shouldn’t even be considered by the assembly.

  4. bebersghost Says:

    Well, it’s going to be considered by the assembly. The question that really interests me at this point is: what will the assembly do with it? Will they just rubber stamp it? Will they, in fact, put it to serious debate? I look forward to seeing what happens.

    The Ghost

  5. AZAleph Says:

    Well, there was not enough overall support from the voting body, so it failed to pass, and I obviously see this as a good thing. The motion would have incredibly undemocratized the already tedious process of caucusing. For the most part, the only regions who voted for it were the regions where the Grand Board members were from, and the Grand Board. However, it goes without saying that the motion was, clearly, not going to pass when it came time for the Grand Board to vote for it, but they all ended up voting in favor for it. I think that makes a big statement. I mean, the assembly voted these guys into office democratically last year, but now, they are willing to let the office of Grand Aleph Godol be not only selected by a small number of people (delegates), but also be an even smaller group (RAG or I-board).

    Also, nominations should be open from the floor. The fact that nobody dissented on the call for acclamation of the election for GAS’gan, since only one person had declared (Joel Feinberg), was wrong. I feel ashamed that I, myself didn’t appeal from Jason Wachs’ decision to not allow nominations STRAIGHT from the floor, when I clearly had the chance. Aren’t we as Alephs supposed to "cherish and promote harmony and DEMOCRACY" (from the song For Tomorrow and Today)? Of course Joel will do a good job, since he was a good job as IC administrative assistant.

    Well, that’s my 2 cents (for change haha) on these topics here. Oh, and by the way, bebersghost, isn’t Sam Beber’s Yartzeit coming up soon? That’s what my friend told me… Observing it would make for a good program to be done simultaneously with chapters, across the order. I’m from Omaha, so it’ll be easy for me to obtain the date on that. I’ll get back soon with that, after you reply back to my comment.

  6. bebersghost Says:

    I’m glad to hear that the motion did not pass, given that nobody has come up with a good reason for it. It does sadden me that the Grand Board is so out of touch with the electorate. Hopefully the newly elected board will remember that they were elected to serve the membership – and not the staff or their own agendas.

    As for the Yartzeit, I confess to have suppressed the memory of that particular day (not one of my favorites), however if you have the date that would be great. If you’d like to write a short statement with it, feel free to Email it to me and I’ll be glad to post it as a guest entry on the main page.

    The Ghost

  7. Anna Says:

    Im very glad this motion didnt pass for the boys, it was put on the floor for the girls, but our stuff took to long so we couldnt vote on that motion. I really hope the girls follow in the boys footsteps.

    My personal belief is that everyone deserves a chance to vote, if you want to run you can -it doesnt mean you’ll win, but you deserve the right to try.


  8. RK841Maz Says:

    “It does sadden me that the Grand Board is so out of touch with the electorate. Hopefully the newly elected board will remember that they were elected to serve the membership – and not the staff or their own agendas.”

    I think it is wrong for you to falsely accuse the Grand Board of not serving the members. As chapter Mazkir, I was personally invited to CXC (chapter execs conference) and the board didn’t spend two days in board meetings with Regional head delegates, they spent two days helping ME and 90 other chapter leaders around the world!

    After CLTC last summer and planning to attend both ILTC and Kallah this summer, I have a great appreciation and admiration for the hours upon hours of work that board does. Yes, in years past, there have been members of the board who probably shouldn’t have been on it. But, I would argue that this Grand Board, collectively, is the strongest working board in recent history.

    The GAShaliach (Steven Mintz) is from my home chapter and I’ve personally watched him spend hours on the phone with chapter Shlichim helping them plan services and Judaic programs. He told me this year the Grand Board declared “The Year of the Chapter.” I cant speak for the entire board, but I do know that he made it his priority to work more with his chapter counterparts than his regional ones because of the importance of as you said “serving the membership.”

    I would be careful before you are quick to accuse the Grand Board of not doing their jobs. You are very proud of your chapter advisor status, however, I feel the members would know more of their productive levels than you as a volunteer staff.


  9. bebersghost Says:

    RK841Maz, thanks for your comment. I felt it deserving of a proper response in a full post here.

    The Ghost

  10. orange Says:

    should this actually make it t august xxs or IC business next year, i can assure you it will not pass with the girls, either. the day we start deciding which idealistic (yet hopeless) dedicated BBYO members can’t run for things is the day we start going downhill.

  11. norespectsquare Says:

    Your comment about the Regional S’gan winning actually became part of AZA history. Our current GAG was never a chapter Godol or Regional Godol and won his election. He was Regional S’gan of CRW, this past year before running. This sentiment alone just proves anything is possible in the Aleph Zadik Aleph and we should keep these success stories happening in our Order

  12. SETTLERS Says:

    Hindsight is funny. The current GAG hasn’t even made it to chapter high board. Clearly, there’s a reason why the word “Aleph” is mentioned before the position held.

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