A qualified 501c(4) nonprofit corporation

( and includes amendments through 1-3-2012 )



The members of the SEATTLE SEPHARDIC BROTHERHOOD in accordance with its existing By-Laws and Constitution hereby adopt the following as the Constitution and By-Laws as amended by the Executive Board and ratified by the General Membership of the Seattle Sephardic Brotherhood at a meeting of the general membership on January 3, 2012.



Objects and Aims


The objects and aims for which the organization was formed are as follows:


1. To foster brotherhood and mutual benefits among its members by maintaining a fraternal organization which shall conduct meetings, be governed by a representative form of government, be organized under a lodge system, follow a ritualistic format and to provide educational assistance for its members.


2.   To foster brotherhood and mutual benefits among its members by:

a.     Elevating the members of the organization intellectually and socially;

b.    Promoting the Americanization of its members and other Sephardic Jews in and around the City of Seattle;

c.     Alleviating the distress and suffering of impoverished members and other Sephardic Jews in and around the City of Seattle;

d.    Attending the sick among its members and other Sephardic Jews;

e.     Coordinating, promoting and encouraging cultural, social and educational activities among its members and other groups in the Sephardic community;

f.     Sponsoring and assisting in the creation and development of youth organizations and youth activity for families of its members and others in the Sephardic community;

g.    Operating and administering cemeteries in or about the City of Seattle for the members of this organization and others who might qualify under the requirements of the Orthodox Jewish religion to be buried there.


3.      Contractual Services: To provide, on a contractual basis, cemetery, funeral benefits and services to persons who are members of other similarly purposed organizations and/or congregations at their own cemetery, even if such persons are not Members or Associate Members of the Seattle Sephardic Brotherhood and to operate and administer such organizations or congregations cemetery, subject to such terms and conditions as may be adopted by the Executive Board.







1.      Regular.  A candidate for membership admission into this organization must be Jewish males or females as defined by Orthodox Jewish Religion, over the age of twenty two (22), and a member in good standing of either the Ezra Bessaroth Congregation or the Sephardic Bikur Holim Congregation for at least two years, and shall pay such dues and initiation fees as may be set by the Executive Board from time to time.  Initiation, Dues, and Lifetime fees as applicable shall be payable prior to the applicant’s admission to membership.  All members shall receive the Rights and Benefits as stated in Article VII of this Constitution, vote, hold office, and serve on all committees.



       2,  Widow - Divorcee

a)  If otherwise qualified for membership, a widow of a deceased member in good standing at the time of his death may continue as a Member without the requirement of initiation fees, regardless of whether or not she remarries, and will be billed the Member annual dues.


b)  A Jewish divorcee, divorced from a Member may apply for Membership within one year of the divorce without the requirement of initiations fees, if she qualifies, and will be billed the Member annual dues.


3.       Lifetime Membership

An applicant or regular member may obtain a Lifetime Membership by:

a)      payment of the Lifetime Membership fee as may be set forth from time to time by the Board or,

b)      reaching the age of 80 years,

c)      upon initial entry into the Brotherhood. 


Lifetime Membership status is passed to the widow of a Lifetime Member upon his death.  Lifetime membership, rights and privileges do not pass on to their children over the age of 22.


4.          An applicant who has not been on the current rosters of either the Congregation

Ezra Bessaroth or the Sephardic Bikur Holim Congregation for a period of longer than 1 year shall be considered as a new Synagogue member.  Therefore, the 2 year eligibility time requirement as a new synagogue member shall be required in order to apply for membership into the Seattle Sephardic Brotherhood.  Any previous time in their respective Synagogue shall not be considered as ‘grandfathered time’.


5.          If a member currently classified as ‘Member’ or ‘Lifetime Member’ and marries or 

          remarries, all rights of the Member/Lifetime Member, pass on to the new spouse,

          providing he or she qualifies, without initiation.






Voting on Application for Membership


Applications for membership shall be made by application to the Membership Chairman, in writing and shall be referred to the Executive Board for their vote, when validated.  A majority of the votes cast in favor of the candidate is necessary to admit said candidate to membership.




Expulsion and Suspension of Members


Members may be suspended or expelled by the Executive Board for the following reasons:


a.   Violating the Constitution and the By-Laws;

b.    Unjust criticism of organization and/or the officers of the organization;

 c.    Non-payment of dues for a period of six months after said dues became payable, provided, that such member shall be notified in writing at least one month prior to his/her expulsion or suspension and be given an opportunity to pay the dues owing.   In the event a member is in arrears of his or her dues for more than 12 months, and after notice in writing, said membership shall be cancelled and the member shall no longer be entitled to any of the benefits of membership.

e.         Continuous misconduct during meetings;

f.         Any fraud in securing benefits offered by the organization to its members.


Any member may appeal the action of the Executive Board in the suspension or expulsion of a member to the membership at large at any regularly scheduled meeting, and a majority vote of the members present shall be required to affirm the action of the Executive Board.

A defaulting member may be reinstated upon his petition for reinstatement upon the recommendation of the Membership Committee, the subsequent approval of the Executive Board, and the payments of all dues in arrears and applicable initiation fees.






Dues shall be set by the Executive Board from time to time and shall be payable in advance commencing on the first day of December of each year for the following year. 






Entitlement to Benefits and Rights


Except as may be limited by other provisions hereof, each member or spouse and their Jewish children under the age of 22 (as defined by the Orthodox Jewish Religion), are entitled to all of the rights, and benefits of the Seattle Sephardic Brotherhood as long as the member remains current with the dues which may be set by the Executive Board.




Benefits and Rights of Members


Cemetery and Funeral Benefits. 

Cemetery and Funeral Benefits shall consist of the following:


One Cemetery Plot (maximum size: double plot and in a location at the discretion of the Cemetery Committee of the Seattle Sephardic Brotherhood.  Single plot cannot be reserved)

Pick up and local transportation of the body

Preparation, washing and watching the body



Hearse or other Seattle Jewish Chapel transportation vehicle

Use of the Chapel

Opening and closing of grave

Foundation for monument (maximum height of monument and base; 48 inches for a single plot monument and 36 inches for a double plot monument). Quiring Monument Company is the ONLY AUTHORIZED COMPANY allowed to erect monuments in the SSB Cemetery.  All monuments must be purchased by the family of the deceased and are not part of the burial fees.


Costs of such items to members shall be determined by the Executive Board from time to time and shall be uniform to all members.  Membership in the Seattle Sephardic Brotherhood DOES NOT include the costs of the burial services, but allows its members the privilege of membership rates in the above offered Cemetery and Funeral Benefits.


The items comprising the above cemetery and funeral benefits (except double plots) may be provided to non-members at such fees as may be determined by the Executive Board from time to time, which fees shall be higher for non-members than those set for members.  This non-member accommodation may be revoked at any time as deemed necessary by the Executive Board. 






In addition to the Executive Board, the following committees shall be standing committees of the Seattle Sephardic Brotherhood:


1.      Funeral Committee

2.      Cemetery Operations Committee

3.      Financial Committee

4.      Health and Welfare Committee

5.      Scholarship Committee

6.      Program Committee

7.      Membership Committee

8.      Rituals Committee



In addition, such other committees as the President of the Board may feel are necessary and appropriate from time to time may be formed.






1.      Title of Officers.  The officers of this organization shall consist of the following: President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Financial Secretary/Treasurer, Recording Secretary, and Trustees (up to eleven in number).  The immediate past President of the organization shall be automatically designated as the Grand Trustee, the Head Rabbi of the Congregation Ezra Bessaroth, the Head Rabbi of the Sephardic Bikur Holim Congregation, and all past Presidents of the Seattle Sephardic Brotherhood shall be de-facto members of the Executive Board with full voting privileges.  The above officers, trustees and the above specified de-facto members shall constitute the Executive Board of the Organization.


2.   Duties of Officers.


a.   President.   The President shall preserve order and strictly enforce the provisions of the laws of the organization, and as set forth by this amended Constitution and By-Laws.  The President shall see that all the officers and members of the committees perform their respective duties.  The President shall appoint all committees and the chairpersons thereof.  The President shall not vote except for application of membership and election of officers.  When there is a tie vote on all other issues, the President shall cast the deciding vote.  The President shall not make or second any resolution or motion.  Neither shall the President participate in any debate while in the chair.  The President shall at any time have the right to examine the books of the organization and perform all other duties pertaining to the Office of President.  The President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.


b. Vice Presidents.  They shall assist the President in maintaining order in the organization.  The First Vice President shall preside at all meetings in the absence of the President.  The Second Vice President shall preside at all meetings in the absence of the President and the First Vice President.


c.   Recording Secretary.  The Recording Secretary shall at all meetings read the minutes of the previous meeting, report all the communications of the organization, shall keep accurate minutes of all meetings, and write all communications summons and notices required. 


d.      Financial Secretary/Treasurer.  It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to submit statements for dues and funerals, to collect and keep all monies of the organization, and at all times have an accurate record thereof, and pay all bills and expenditures of the organization when so ordered by the President.  The Treasurer shall be responsible for the Secretarial work of the organization not allotted to the Recording Secretary and shall receive all requests for charitable contributions and shall establish and maintain a fiscal budget for the organization. 


e.       Trustees.  The Board of Trustees shall consist of up to 11 members who meet the necessary requirements at stated in Article IX, 4.  It shall be the duties of the Trustees to look for ways and means of improving the activities of the organization, participate at all Executive Board meetings and assist the officers of the organization in the carrying out of their work. 


f.       Honorary Trustees  Member(s) of the Board upon recommendation, may be                appointed  by the Executive Board as an Honorary Trustee.  The Board Members appointed to this position: 


1)   must be an active Board member for a minimum of 10 years continuously, and in                                                        good standing with the Brotherhood; 

2)   approval of member(s) to this position must have a majority approval of those  Board Members in attendance at the meeting; 

3)       there is no limit to the number of individuals in this position; 

4)       Honorary Trustees are required to participate in all activities as listed in Article IX, 2,e, above and shall have all voting privileges as a Trustee in all Brotherhood Board activities; 

5)      terms of this position are indefinite.  Individuals in this position may be removed by the Executive Board if said Honorary Trustee(s) is/are in violation of any of the provisions of Article IX, 7; 

6)      the number of Honorary Trustees do not count toward the mandatory Brotherhood Board Trustee requirement as stated in Article IX, 2,e, and this position is created solely for the intent of bringing new Trustees into the Executive Committee in order to maintain continuity and perpetuity.


3.    Term of Office.   The term of office shall be for two years or as decided by the Board.


4.    Requirements:   To be eligible for the office of President, Vice President, Secretary,
Treasurer or Trustee, a candidate must be a member in good standing of the Brotherhood for at least one year.


5.         Nomination of Officers.  In October of the President’s final term, the President shall appoint a nominating committee who shall submit to the Board members the slate of candidates for Officers and Trustees for the ensuing term.  Nominations shall be held on the last Board meeting in November.  After the nominating committee has submitted its candidates, the President shall call on the members to submit additional nominations at the General Meeting if they so desire.


6.         Election of Officers.  Elections shall be held at the last General Membership meeting in January, and shall be by secret ballot.  A majority of all votes cast shall constitute an approval.


7.         Removal from Office.  An Officer and/or Trustee may be suspended or expelled by the Executive Board for the following reasons:


a)      Violating the Constitution and By-Laws;

b)      Unjust criticism of the organization and/or officers of the organization;

c)      Continuous misconduct during meetings or in the execution of their duties;

d)     Lack of attendance at Board Meetings;

e)      Any fraud in securing benefits offered by the organization to its members.







General membership meetings of this organization shall be held at such times as may be set by the Executive Board, but in no event shall there be fewer than one general business meeting every two years.  All members shall be given due notice in writing, at least 20 days before each General Meeting.


The Executive Board shall meet at least six times annually, and such meetings shall be called by the President.



Amendments to the By-Laws and Constitution


Every proposed amendment, alteration or addition to this Constitution and By-Laws must be received by the President electronically or in writing, and the President shall present the same to the Board at the next following Board meeting.  It may be adopted by a favorable vote of two-thirds of the members present. Once approved by the Board, the proposed Constitutional and By-Law changes and any other changes to the Constitution shall be read in full to the General Membership at a general meeting for their approval.




Order of Business


a.         Presentation of the Colors of the United States of America, the State of Israel and the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America;

b.         Invocation prayer in accordance with the Orthodox Jewish Ritual;

c.         Roll call of officers;

d.         Reading and approval of minutes of previous meeting;

e.         Report of Secretaries and the Treasurer;

f.          Committee reports;

g.         Unfinished business;

h.         New business;

i.          Good of the Order;

j.          Closing prayer; and

k.                  Adjournment




Roberts’ Rules Of Order


The meetings of this Organization shall be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order.  All members at all meetings shall constitute a quorum.



                                                       ARTICLE XIV

Certification of Cemetery Rules and Regulations


As the Cemeteries of the Seattle Sephardic Brotherhood are Jewish Orthodox cemeteries, said Cemeteries shall be administered and operated under the guidelines, policies, and procedures as set forth under the Amended Cemetery Rules and Regulations of the Seattle Sephardic Brotherhood.  The Rules and Regulations contained therein are binding and must be followed.  These Rules and Regulations are to be maintained and updated by the Chairman of the Cemetery Operations Committee in accordance with all Jewish Orthodox laws and local government policies.


                                                        ARTICLE XV

Board Members’ Confidentiality


As it is the responsibility for the Executive Board to look after and protect its membership, all Brotherhood members’ financial and other proprietary information of the Seattle Sephardic Brotherhood shall be held in the strictest confidence by the Brotherhood’s Executive Committee and board.