In accordance with Sections 1-4, of the Amended and Restated Bylaws of the Association for Jewish Studies, Inc., as revised on January 23, 2022, the Board of Directors resolves to establish the following Committees of the Corporation and committee-related guidelines:
The AJS seeks diverse participation in its committees and task forces. The make-up of these committees and task forces should reflect the overall diversity of the association’s membership. The AJS will post open calls to the membership for nominations or self-nominations to committee membership.
The AJS strongly encourages involving as many members as possible in its committees. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, no member should serve in more than two capacities simultaneously. Unless otherwise determined by resolution of the board due to specific circumstances, the maximum length for a term of service on a committee is two years and service on the same committee is limited to two consecutive terms.
To encourage greater transparency and accountability, all committees will maintain minutes, which they will share with the association’s Executive Director. Every November 15, committee chairs will circulate short reports on their committee’s work during that calendar year. Those reports will then be made available on the AJS website.
Committee on Contingent Faculty works to enhance the visibility and status of contingent faculty as valued members of the AJS and the profession, and to advocate for just working conditions for scholars working in part-time or temporary roles. Toward this end, the committee works with AJS staff and members to encourage self-advocacy among contingent faculty, to create opportunities for professional participation and development, and to provide guidance regarding best practices in hiring and employment. The chair(s) is/are selected by the board after being nominated by the executive committee. The chair(s) will appoint committee members in consultation with the Vice President of Membership, the Executive Director, and a board member chosen by the President to help cultivate leadership within the organization. AJS members who are themselves contingent faculty should play prominent roles in this committee. The Vice-President for Membership will appoint at least one member of the board to serve on this committee and will serve as the board’s liaison to it.
The Committee on Sexual Misconduct constitutes an accessible and trained body that answers inquiries, facilitates the resolution of informal complaints, and hears formal complaints of sexual misconduct fairly and expeditiously in accordance with the AJS Sexual Misconduct Procedures. The committee consists of a chair; a secretary; a team of up to 6 ombuds team members, and a group of up to 12 core members. The Board appoints the committee chair and secretary upon recommendation from the Executive Board, and the President appoints a current member of the board to serve as liaison to this committee. Due to the unique nature of service on this committee and the training required for carrying out the AJS Sexual Misconduct Procedures, the term of service for the chair and secretary is three years, with the possibility renewal for a second consecutive term. To ensure sufficient numbers and training of ombuds and core members, the chair will appoint ombuds and committee members for a minimum of two years, with the possibility of annual renewal, in accordance with the AJS Sexual Misconduct Procedures.
This committee works with the association’s Executive Director and board to help grow the organization’s resources. While it is not the committee’s responsibility to do the actual fundraising, members may be called on for help as needed in this area. The board appoints the committee chair upon recommendation from the executive board. The committee chair then selects committee members in consultation with the Executive Director, Treasurer, and a board member chosen by the President to help cultivate leadership within the organization. The Treasurer serves as this committee’s liaison to the board.
This committee works with the board to accomplish our strategic priority of creating an inclusive and diverse membership community at the AJS conference and in all of the AJS’s programs and offerings. The board appoints the committee chair upon recommendation from the executive board. The committee chair then selects committee members in consultation with the President and a board member chosen by the President to help cultivate leadership within the organization. The President will appoint at least one member of the board to serve on this committee and will serve as the board’s liaison to it.
The Governance Committee’s primary task is to review AJS policies and procedures. The board appoints the committee chair upon recommendation from the executive board. The committee chair then selects committee members in consultation with the President, Executive Director, and a board member chosen by the President to help cultivate leadership within the organization. The President appoints at least one board member to serve on this committee and serves as the board’s liaison.
The AJS bylaws govern the function, appointment process, membership, and terms of the Nominating Committee. This committee is also subject to the general guidelines of this resolution.
The Program Committee oversees the call for papers and the paper selection process in an equitable and consistent fashion that reflects AJS goals and values. The Program Committee meets at least twice a year and in consultation as necessary. The Vice President for Program chairs the Program Committee and selects its members in consultation with a board member named by the President to help cultivate leadership within the organization; roughly half of the committee’s membership should be appointed each year.
Division chairs organize scholarly sub-divisions within the organization and oversee the selection process for proposals submitted in their respective divisions. Division chairs meet collectively as the Divisional Leadership Committee once a year and communicate regularly with the Vice President for Program, especially during the call for papers and paper selection process. The Vice President for Program chairs the Divisional Leadership Committee and selects one or two chairs for each division after making a public call to the membership for nominations or self-nominations. Divisional leadership appointments should be staggered so that roughly half of the chairs are appointed each year.
As stated in the bylaws, the Vice President for Publications nominates the editors of AJS Review and AJS Perspectives, to be approved by the Board. Each publication should have two main editors, selected in tandem. Each publication may also have one or more section editors (e.g., book review editors) whose appointment by the Vice President for Publications is not subject to Board approval and whose terms will generally not coincide with those of the main editors. Due to the nature of editorial work, both main and section editors serve for four-year terms, with new editors of AJS Perspectives overlapping with the outgoing editors for at least one full issue cycle. Editors may not serve two consecutive terms in the same role; in the event of a failed search for a successor, however, the Vice President for Publications may extend the current editor’s term on an annual basis. The Vice President for Publications appoints incoming editors in consultation with continuing and outgoing editors. Selection criteria should include diversity and vision as well as pertinent skills and experience. Incoming editors should be selected several months before assuming their responsibilities so that they can shadow the outgoing editors.
The main editors of AJS Review serve as the co-chairs of the AJS Review Committee, and section editors of AJS Review serve as members of that committee. The main editors of AJS Perspectives serve as the co-chairs of the AJS Perspectives Committee, and section editors of AJS Perspectives serve as members of that committee. The co-chairs of each committee will also select additional committee members, known as editorial board members, in consultation with the Vice President for Publications. Due to the nature of editorial work, editorial board members serve three-year terms; roughly a third of the editorial board members should be appointed each year. Editorial board members may not serve more than two consecutive terms in that role, but current editorial board members may become main or section editors and outgoing editors may become editorial board members.
Selection Committees determine the winners of AJS prizes and grants (e.g., the Jordan Schnitzer Book Prize). The Vice President for Membership nominates the chairs of these committees to the board for their approval and serves as the board’s liaison to these committees. Because the specific focus of these committees sometimes varies on an annual basis, the term of service on selection committees is a single year. Service on the same selection committee is limited to four consecutive one-year terms.
The Board may establish Task Forces of limited duration to make recommendations to the Board regarding specific strategic issues, opportunities, or concerns of the AJS membership. In so doing, the Board shall establish the Task Force’s mandate and duration of such Task Forces, the method by which its chair and members are selected, and the means by which the Task Force will remain in regular communication with the Board. The initial duration of a Task Force shall not exceed two years; the Board may renew the Task Force’s mandate and membership for up to four years in total.