Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Welcome to the Jungle

I'd meant to blog more humorous posts, in the aftermath of my great and hilarious weekend in Toronto. I'd meant to post sooner. But for the past few days, my mind has been occupied by a totally unanticipated and unfunny situation in my shul. Despite my deep dislike of shul politics, I've found myself smack dab in the middle of it.

The Background
The shul General Meeting, during which new board members are elected, will take place in a couple of weeks. In past years, the number of nominees has been exactly the same as the number of open slots. According to the shul by-laws, additional candidates can be nominated by petitions receiving a requisite number of signatures. A current board member circulated petitions adding three additional nominees to the slate. This year, therefore, there are more candidates than positions, meaning that some of those running for re-election may not win.

What Does This Have To Do With You?
I am one of the three additional candidates. I did not ask to be nominated (although I am honored to now be on the slate), so I really had nothing to do with the petitions.

No, Really...What Does This Have To Do With You?
One of the other nominees sent out an email to members of the community directly attacking me. He indicated that I was somehow trying to stage a coup and pull the board "to the right", and that I was the ringleader of this plot to add myself and "two of my friends" to the slate. He implied that I am immature, and lack commitment to the shul. He didn't even mention the other two write-ins by name. It was just about "Cara and her friends".

Yeah, that's what I said. It was an unwarranted, unprovoked attack. Don't ask me why he chose to single me out, because I honestly do not know. I don't even know who he sent his email of lies to initially- I only received it after it had been forwarded to those who thought I should know what was being said about me.

What Happened Next?
I immediately wrote to this individual, calmly and maturely defending myself against his accusations. The rabbi and shul president were copied on that email. One of the other maligned write-in candidates also wrote to him, copying the entire shul board on the letter, asking that the three of us be given a public apology.

It's now been two days since I sent my reply. I've received private replies from the rabbi, the president, and various members of the board, all of whom have sympathized with me and distanced themselves from him. The only public reaction has been a letter sent to all board nominees, offering us a chance to write position statements that will be sent out before the election.

There has still been no apology, or response of any kind, from the person responsible for sending out lies and insults.