The following by-laws were adopted by the Study Group at its meeting in New Orleans, 1 November, 2012.
Article 1. Name of the Study Group. The Name of the group shall be the Study Group on Jewish Studies and Music (hereafter referred to as SGJSM).
Article 2. Purpose of the Study Group.
(1) The SGJSM fosters the study of the intersections between Jewish culture and music. Its focus is both Jewish music—its complex meanings and varied roles—as well as, more broadly, the processes and negotiations that condition music in various Jewish contexts, including the compositions and activities of Jewish and non-Jewish musicians, responses to those musics and activities, and their historical and cultural foundations.
(2) The SGJSM shall undertake initiatives including, but not limited to, the following:
- Meet annually at the national conference of the AMS. These meetings shall include a Business Meeting and Scholarly Presentations as determined and approved by the Board;
- Maintain an internet presence that will link to useful resources and provide information about current research in Jewish studies and music;
- Maintain an e-mail list to distribute announcements and encourage collaboration and discussion among scholars.
Article 3. Membership. Membership in the SGJSM shall be open to anyone who requests it, either by joining the e-mail list or by attending the annual Business Meeting of the SGJSM.
Article 4. Officers.
Article 4, Section A.
(1) Officers must be current members of the SGJSM and the AMS at the time of their election and must remain so for the duration of their terms.
(2) Each officer shall have one vote in decisions related to the activities of the SGJSM. Tied votes shall be decided by the Chair.
Article 4, Section B. Officers shall be as follows:
(1) Chair of the Board. The Chair shall be executive officer of the SGJSM, and shall therefore be responsible for presiding over all Business Meetings, enforcing all resolutions passed by the membership, convening meetings (in person or remotely) of the Board to direct the affairs of the SGJSM, and representing the interests of the SGJSM within the AMS and the larger scholarly community. The Chair may also choose to delegate responsibilities to the Board Members at Large, or, with the Board Members’ approval, to other non-officer members.
(2) Four (4) Board Members at Large. The Board Members shall be jointly responsible for directing the affairs of the SGJSM, including but not limited to the following:
- Reading proposals for scholarly programs to be held at the meeting of the SGJSM at the annual meeting of the AMS and deciding whether to accept such proposals;
- Representing the interests of the SGJSM within the AMS and the larger scholarly community;
- Helping the chair to direct the affairs of the SGJSM.
(3) Secretary / Webmaster. The Secretary / Webmaster shall keep minutes of the business portion of the meetings of the SGJSM; maintain the web site and e-mail list (or delegate their maintenance to another individual, while still overseeing content); attend to any business affairs of the SGJSM; and oversee elections of officers by collecting nominations and ballots.
- Election of the Secretary / Webmaster shall take place in alternate years from that of the Chair and Board Members at Large. (See Appendix.)
Article 4, Section C. Terms of officers shall last two years. Officers shall assume their roles and duties at the start of the Business Meeting directly following their election.
Article 4, Section D. Election of the Chair and Board Members at Large shall be held every two years, and run by the Secretary / Webmaster.
(1) Elections shall be held electronically through a secure and confidential web site to be chosen by the Secretary / Webmaster and approved by the Board. Anyone on the e-mail list shall be eligible to submit a ballot, and no person shall be allowed to vote more than once.
(2) The Secretary / Webmaster shall collect nominations for a period of three weeks during the month of March. A Call for Nominations shall be issued via the e-mail list at the start of the nominations period, and shall include a date by which nominations must be submitted. Any member may nominate any number of other members, and self-nominations are welcomed.
(3) The Secretary / Webmaster shall confirm that nominees wish to appear on the ballot, and shall then send out ballots via the e-mail list during the month of April. The voting period shall last for three weeks, and a message appended to the ballot shall include a date by which ballots must be submitted. The Chair shall be elected by a plurality of votes; and the four Board Members at Large shall be those four individuals with the highest number of votes. In the case of a tie for the fourth place, the Board may be expanded to include all those with the four highest numbers of votes.
(4) Officers shall assume their roles and duties at the start of the annual meeting directly following their election.
Article 4, Section E. Election of the Secretary / Webmaster shall take place in alternate years from that of the Chair and Board Members at Large. (See Appendix.) The election of the Secretary / Webmaster shall be overseen by the Chair, and may take place at SGJSM Business Meetings.
Article 5. Meeting Programs. Annual meetings shall take place as part of the annual meetings of the AMS, and shall consist of two parts:
(1) Business Meetings of approximately one hour.
- An agenda for the business meetings shall be drawn up by the Chair with the Board’s approval, and distributed by the Secretary / Webmaster via the e-mail list no later than one week prior to the annual meeting.
- The agenda shall include an opportunity for members to ask questions and raise new business.
- The Chair shall oversee the Business Meetings. In the event that the Chair is unable to attend the Business Meeting, s/he shall designate one Board Member to oversee the Business Meeting.
- A quorum for the Business Meeting shall consist of five (5) members of the SGJSM. Any items requiring a vote must be called for and seconded by any member. All votes shall pass by a majority of members present at the Business Meeting EXCEPT amendments to these by-laws, which require a two-thirds (2/3) majority (see below).
(2) Scholarly programs of approximately two hours.
- No later than February 1 of each year the Board shall issue a Call for Proposals for two-hour-long scholarly programs to be held at annual meetings of the SGJSM. (The duration of the meetings shall be used for business of the SGJSM.)
- Proposals shall be submitted each year no later than March 15. The Board shall read all proposals submitted and select the one it deems most meritorious and most in accord with the mission of the SGJSM.
- The Board’s decision shall be made public no later than May 1 of each year.
- Following the scholarly programs at the annual meetings, a mechanism for evaluation and feedback from members shall be distributed via e-mail.
Article 6. Committees. The Board may appoint ad-hoc committees as it sees fit. It may also form a standing committee by means of a majority vote at the Business Meeting of the SGJSM.
Article 7. Amendments to these By-Laws. Amendments may be proposed by any member at least two weeks prior to the annual meeting of the SGJSM. Proposed amendments shall be discussed and voted on at the Business Meeting, and they must pass by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of members attending the Business Meeting.
Special Provisions for the Initial Enactment of the By-Laws
In order to maintain continuity from one board term to the next, the election of the Secretary / Webmaster shall take place in alternate years from those of the Chair and Board Members at Large. In order to set this schedule, the first Secretary / Webmaster shall serve a term lasting three years (starting at the AMS meeting in 2012 and ending just prior to the AMS meeting in 2015).