The Elders serves to keep the people and leaders of B’ney Yosef North America focused on the promises of God to regather, redeem, and restore His covenant nation of Israel, and on our covenantal responsibilities to Him and to His Messiah, Yeshua. Being constantly devoted to prayer and to the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:1-4), they are charged with setting the direction of B’ney Yosef North America and communicating that directive guidance to the Administrative Council for translation into action. As an apostolic body, the elders exercise oversight over the Administrative Council and other duly constituted offices and representatives of B’ney Yosef North America to ensure adherence to the standards of Torah as given by Moses, demonstrated by Yeshua, and taught by the Prophets and Apostles.
Nations have courts that resolve conflict. The Bʼney Yosef North American Congress must also have an ability to resolve conflict. It is important that we offer a good witness of who we are. We must be known as peaceful, God-fearing people who can clearly designate who is with us and who is not. Many people may desire to associate with us, but act in a manner we consider reprehensible. The Council of Elders must be willing to make judgments and settle disputes between brothers/sisters and congregations. The Bʼney Yosef North American Congress is not set up as a moderator of minor disputes or a determiner of proper halakha (interpretation of Torah), but it is necessary for them to handle and enforce disputes that go beyond the congregational level. If a participating congregation must discipline a person, the Bʼney Yosef North American Congress is an institution which can act as a supreme court, if necessary, in order to resolve disputes and enforce disassociation. Recognizing the importance of adhering to complete unity within the judging body, decisions will be carried only by a unanimous vote rather than a majority vote. If someone does not wish to comply with congregational and Congressional discipline, let him not be accounted with this group. All those wishing to be a part of the Bʼney Yosef North American Congress should summit themselves to the direction of the Elders in matters of disputes. The Council is not required to hear a case if they do not see it worthy of handling.
Directors must give guidance in matters of direction for the North American Congress. The Bʼney Yosef North America Elders shall review and approve or reject plans of the Congress. The Elders serve to keep the people and leaders of B’ney Yosef North America focused on the promises of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to regather, redeem, and restore His covenant nation of Israel, and on our covenantal responsibilities to Him and to His Messiah, Yeshua. As an apostolic body, the elders exercise oversight over the Executive Council and other duly constituted offices and representatives of B’ney Yosef North America to ensure adherence to the standards of Torah as given by Moses, demonstrated by Yeshua, and taught by the Prophets and Apostles. Additionally, the Elders are the only body endowed with the power to make changes to the qualifications and job descriptions for elders. Suggested changes can be submitted by anyone in the Congress, but all changes can only be approved by a unanimous vote of the Elders. The Council can refuse to consider a submitted idea if they so choose.
Elders must be able to humbly approach brothers/sisters with matters of controversy, including the correction of sin, to restore all to a godly walk. They must be able to present Congressional decisions in a way that will give guidance and bring unity.
The Elders should vet and appoint new elders for the group when vacancies are made. Nominations for elders should come from the Congress at large following the guidelines set forth by the qualifications document. The elders should then vet and appoint from those nominations. No elder shall be installed without a unanimous vote from the presiding Council. No elder shall be removed from his seat without a unanimous vote from the remaining elders. No elder being removed shall vote in his own proceedings. An elder may resign his position rather than go through proceedings. Elders will not be appointed, approved, or removed by popular vote from the Congress. The only popular vote, if deemed necessary, shall be for confirmation of the process.
Elders will serve as representatives of the North America Congress and meet with other groups to present the vision and purpose of Bʼney Yosef. They will select elders to represent the North America Congress to national leaders when needed, as well as select men to represent the Bʼney Yosef North America Congress to the parent Bʼney Yosef International Congress. If implemented, they will also elect members to sit as elders for the International Congress.
It is the responsibility of elders to vote on motions brought before the Council, rendering one of the following: a yes, a no, or an abstention. Any vote requiring unanimity that has one or more abstentions should not be counted against the unanimous vote. In cases where unanimity is required but cannot be reached, the motion must be reworked until unanimity can be reached—or dropped if it is deemed unworthy of spent time.
The Elders are to oversee all matters carried out by the finance committee, which approves purchases, pays bills, and supports ministries. Financial records must be open for inspection by any active member of the Elders. All financial matters require a unanimous vote.
Matters of Confidence
Any matter of confidence brought before the Elders must be kept private. It is the duty of each elder to keep in confidence all matters shared in confidence. All discipline matters should remain in confidence unless the Council deems it necessary to release details of a particular issue. Elders shall not release prior to their official release by the full number of Elders or share details about decisions that the Elders choose not to make public.
Wives of Elders
Elders may bring their wives to Elder meetings, recognizing the necessity to include the valuable asset of a woman’s perspective in matters discussed. Elders are not required to do so if they deem it unnecessary or unhelpful in their situation. An elder’s wife shall not be required to attend any meeting except by her husband. Wives do not have a vote in matters requiring one, but an elder will make decisions considering the insights shared by his wife. A wife should keep matters in confidence just as her husband is required to do so.
Terms are permanent barring resignation or removal in cases where individuals no longer meet the original qualifications. There will be a vote of confidence or no confidence from the Congress at specific intervals determined by sitting elders.
Elders members should not be removed except for actions deemed inappropriate for an elder of the Bʼney Yosef North America Congress. Such actions would include legal infractions of Torah plus any obvious diversion from the original qualifications listed for their service. An elder can only be removed from office by the full number of sitting Elders. Impeachment can be initiated by any member of the Congress, but the impeachment can only be heard by the elders and determined by them. There can be no impeachment without two separate witnesses as stated in Torah. A unanimous vote is required.