TRSTY Elections

Dates at a Glance:

Sunday May 14th – Letter of Intent and Election Statement due
Sunday May 21st – TRSTY Elections starting at 9:30 AM
TBD – Board Banquet – required for new and old board
TBD – Board retreat – required for all new board members

Important Documents:

Election Statement

TRSTY Elections 101


Everything TRSTY Elections

Interested in hanging with friends, building a teen community?  Come make memories while gaining skills in leadership, communication, and teamwork. Build your experience while building your college app!

The TRSTY Board leads the youth group, planning and running all events throughout the year.  Board members make decisions regarding TRSTY activities, policies, and procedures.  Serving on the Board is an honor, a responsibility, and a special opportunity to serve the Temple Rodef Shalom community.  Come learn from your peers as they learn from you!  You belong here!

Never considered yourself the “leadership” type?  Speak with the Director of Youth Engagement about opportunities to make TRSTY your place.

What do I need to know about being on TRSTY Board?

TRSTY Board is a group of elected officers who commit to dedicating their time, energies, and talents to lead TRSTY, the Temple Rodef Shalom Youth Group. Serving on the Board is an honor, a responsibility, and a special opportunity to learn and practice leadership, communication, and teamwork skills. Board members pledge to work both independently and together in constructive, respectful, and creative ways to help make TRSTY a success for every member.

What are the positions I can run for?

TRSTY Board is broken into two categories: Executive Board and the Cabinet.

  • TRSTY Executive Board (in gavel order): President, Junior Youth Group Vice President, Programming Vice President, Social Action Vice President, Religious and Cultural Vice President, Communications Vice President, and Membership Vice President.
  • TRSTY Cabinet (in gavel order): Junior Youth Group Chair, Programming Chair, Religious and Cultural Chair, 12th Grade Representative, 11th Grade Representative, 10th Grade Representative, 9th Grade Representative, and 8th Grade Representative.

What’s the difference between Executive Board and Cabinet?

The major difference is responsibility.  The Executive Board is ultimately responsible for managing, overseeing, and planning TRSTY business.  This includes programs, policies, and procedures.  The TRSTY Cabinet supports the Executive Board by providing feedback, expertise, and knowledge.

Am I eligible to run for the Executive Board and Cabinet?

Executive Board
Any TRSTY member entering 10th-12th grades may run for an Executive Board position. It is preferable that that Executive Board already have experience on TRSTY Board or relevant leadership positions.
Rising 9th graders may only declare candidacy for Executive Board positions if no rising 10th-12th graders are candidates for that position.

Any TRSTY member is eligible to run for cabinet.

What do I have to do as a Board Member?

  • Executive and Cabinet Board members are required to attend bi-monthly meetings. During these meetings, we will conduct Board business, have group work time and learn various leadership skills.
  • All Board members are required to attend NFTY LEAD September 15-17, 2017(a training weekend for all youth group boards in the area).
  • All Board members are required to attend at least one NFTY-MAR (North American Federation of Temple Youth-Mid Atlantic Region) Kallah each of his or her first two years on the Board. NFTY-MAR Kallot are an important part of leadership training and networking in our community as well as establishing a broader Jewish identity.
  • All Board members will be involved in the planning, development and execution of TRSTY events. Appropriate feedback from Board members is expected and encouraged.

What do I have to know about elections?

Elections are Sunday, May 21 from 9:30am until we have elected a 2017-2018 TRSTY Board. The length of time depends on how many candidates there are and how quickly we can get through speeches and voting. Lunch and snacks will be provided.

Here are the steps to being on Board:

Before Election Day!

(1) You must submit a Letter of Intent and an Election Statement by Sunday, May 14 (1 week prior to elections). This is the first of many deadlines you will have as a Board member and the date is non-negotiable. You MUST turn in the letter and statement by May 14, no exceptions.

(a) Letter of Intent should detail the following: name, position for which you are running, any drop downs, qualifications, goals or ideas you have for the position, and previous experiences. Letters of intent will be made available to voters on the day of the elections, so make them creative and fun. You may include pictures, quotes and anything else that helps us get to know you. They may be up to 1 page in length.

(b) The Elections Statement is a form that lists the position you want to run for and up to two additional positions that you feel qualified to run for should you not be elected to your first choice position. This form must be signed by you and your parents. This also signifies that you’ve read the TRSTY Constitution.

(2) The Director of Youth Engagement will contact you the week before elections to discuss your candidacy and offer help.

(3) Prepare a speech to deliver at elections. Candidates are encouraged, but not required, to send a proof to the Director of Youth Engagement. Speeches for Executive Board candidates can be no longer than 5 minutes and speeches for Cabinet candidates can be no longer than 3 minutes. Dropdown speeches can be no longer than 1.5 minutes.

On Election Day!

(1) Show up on time. We have a lot to do! We’ll provide lunch.

(2) Position descriptions will be read before the candidates present their statements to voters.

(3) Candidates will read their speeches in gavel order starting with President. If there is more than one candidate for a position, candidates will give their speeches in alphabetical order by last name. When not giving their speech, the other candidates will be asked to leave the room.

a. In the event a candidate will not be available for elections, a formal excused request must be made in writing to the Director of Youth Engagement at least 7 days prior to the election. The Director of Youth Engagement must approve the request. The speech, which will include a reason for the absence from elections, will be read by the current TRSTY President.

(4) After all of the candidates for a position have given their speeches all candidates will go outside of the room and the voters (TRSTYites not running for that position) will vote by secret ballot. The Director of Youth Engagement and a graduating senior will count the ballots.

a. A simple majority of votes (50%) is needed to gain office; otherwise, a run-off election will be held. If no individual candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, then a run-off is held between the two candidates receiving the most votes. In a run-off election, the candidate with the most votes will win the election.

(5) Once the ballots are counted and a winner is determined, a temple youth professional will tell the candidates first and then the voters. The person who did not win the position may then drop down to another position, if they have listed drop downs on their Letter of Intent.

Can I campaign? What am I allowed to talk about before elections?

There is absolutely no campaigning. You may not give out stickers, candy or anything else that would give others the idea that you are “trading” their vote for some object. Campaigning also includes overt “advertising” such as writing notes on facebook walls. Any campaigning will make you ineligible to run for any Board position. If you have a question about if something may be considered campaigning, please contact the Director of Youth Engagement.

Election Day is your chance to share your ideas for TRSTY with the entire group. While it is okay to chat about these ideas with a temple youth professional or the Board member that currently holds the position you wish to run for, please do not widely share your ideas with TRSTYites before then. There will always be gossip and discussion of who is running for which position, but please try to avoid talking about this excessively and putting others down in the process. Hurtful gossip and rumor spreading is not the type of behavior that a leader should engage in. If any of this occurs, please talk to the Director of Youth Engagement immediately.

What is the Board Banquet?

The Board Banquet is a special opportunity to welcome our new Board, honor our graduating Board members and look towards the future of TRSTY. This is a dress-up affair where we will take our official Board picture and everyone is encouraged to look their best. This event is tentatively scheduled for early June.

What is the Board Retreat?

All Board members are required to participate in the annual TRSTY Board Retreat that will be held in spring of each year following elections. The date for this is still TBD. If an individual is absent from the retreat without prior notification, he or she may be subject to a vote of no confidence. This meeting is especially important for planning the 2015-2016 calendar and bonding as a Board. We are also looking for a location for this event. If you could volunteer your home, please let Nathan know!

Still have questions? Contact Nathan Smuckler (Youth Director) at 703-532-2217 ext. 308 or