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Sun, Jun 02


Venture X

Name Change Discussion

Name Change Discussion
Name Change Discussion

Time & Location

Jun 02, 2024, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Venture X, 98 Lower Westfield Rd, Holyoke, MA 01040, USA

About The Event

Over the past few years, there has been on and off discussions about a possible change of name for our synagogue. With the potential sale of the building, temporary quarters, and the search for a new home to house our community, our congregation has an opportunity to decide the issue of the name of our temple to see if “Sons of Zion” should remain or change as we envision our future. In the hope of bringing this issue to an equitable resolution, a committee has been charged with gathering relevant input, and developing process for making the decision.

This process is intended to be inclusive. Courteous regard for one another is of the utmost importance. We respect the views of those who wish to keep the current name in consideration of our synagogue’s long and proud history. We also respect the views of those who prefer that our synagogue’s name reflects the fact that we are an egalitarian congregation. All ideas regarding a possible name, whether it is to retain the current name or a proposal for a new name, will be welcomed and respected.

To that end, we have planned two (at minimum) in-person with Zoom option meetings to gather information.  There will be no voting at any meeting, only open and respectful discussion of the variety of options presented by those in attendance, whether in-person or on Zoom.

On Sunday, June 2, 2024 from 11 am to 1 pm, there will be a general facilitated meeting for all members of the Congregation Sons of Zion community at Venture X 98 Lower Westfield Road. We will share our thoughts regarding a possible name change, to discuss/think about what goes into creating a name for our congregation from a Jewish perspective, and what priorities we might want in a name for our congregation. The goal of this meeting is to think about the issue and examine the potential for a name change from all aspects.

Beginning on Monday, June 3rd, 2024, the “SOZ Committee for a Possible Name Change” invites each individual member of our synagogue community to submit up to three (3) potential synagogue name suggestions. If any submission contains more than three potential names, only the first three names will be accepted. Our current name

(“Sons of Zion”) may be submitted as one option of each community member’s potential name suggestion.  Submissions will be accepted:

1)  By email to the synagogue office ( and must be received by 11:59 o’clock PM EDT on June 22nd, 2024.

2)  Through the US Postal Service and must be postmarked by 11:59 o’clock PM EDT on June 22nd, 2024, and received by 11:59 o’clock PM EDT on July 8th, 2024.

The name suggestions that are timely submitted will be collated, checked with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to see if the name is available, and subsequently will be circulated to all members of our synagogue community.

At the second meeting (date to be determined), only the suggested names which were timely received and documented on the list collated and circulated will be discussed.  No additional names not on the list that is circulated among the members will be considered.  The second meeting is expected to be held at 380 Dwight Street, Holyoke (rear entrance).

Ultimately, a final vote will be held for a decision, however it is likely that more than one round of voting will be needed before the last ballot.

All voting, when appropriate, will be conducted using “Survey Monkey” for those who have email, or through the US Postal Service for those that do not.  Only members in good standing** and their qualified household members*** may vote. Each member will be permitted to cast only one vote.  There will be no proxies, no anonymous votes.

A lawyer will review any bylaw changes needed should a new synagogue name be selected. The name change, should it occur, will not affect the name of the synagogue’s cemetery.

We look forward to your participation in this process.

**A member in good standing has paid her/his Gift of the Heart (dues) or is in the process of paying Gift of the Heart from June 1, 2023 to May 31, 2024, and beyond.

***For voting purposes on the name change decision only, eligible family members of each household in good standing include the following if their residence is the same as the head of household:

Head of household, spouse, dependent children aged 13 through 25, dependent adults/seniors.

SOZ Committee for a Possible Name Change

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