My old synagogue has had a regime change, and it's not a good one. We're well out of it.
The old board had a tough minded, independent president. I didn't always like him, and I certainly didn't always agree with him, but he had the best interests of the synagogue at heart. He was never a friend, per se, but he was someone I respected.
At least one of the vice presidents was extremely outspoken - often too much - but he also thought independently and about the synagogue. He and his family have donated much time and money to the synagogue and did so because they believed it was something important. And, yes, he is a friend of mine.
Another board member took it upon himself to run the membership committee - a man who isn't actually religious, but since the person he loves loves this synagogue, he is prepared to work to make it the best it can be, because he was raised to be active in whatever organization he joins. And he's been a mainstay ever since. And then there is the person he loves, a past president who still keeps the welfare of this synagogue in his heart. (It's a unique place.)
Now. The president is no longer president and he's only on the board because he was president. The vice-president is now off the board entirely, and his wife did not make it on. The member who joined for love is also off.
Who has taken their places? A man I like a great deal - I used to teach his wife - but who has absolutely no views at all is the president. The vice-president has been replaced by a woman who, when she was elected secretary over Jonathan, never went to meetings, so that Jonathan still took the minutes, and when he wasn't there, I did. And she's basically a mouthpiece for the rebbitzen, who is now on the board anyway.
And that's the problem. What had been independent minded people are now people who echo only what the rabbi wants. Because of this, he now has a lifetime contract, which makes him unaccountable to anyone. Now, Jonathan, who has never gotten along with this rabbi, had pushed for a ten-year contract at a time when the rabbi had a shorter term one, but lifetime is something else. But we're not there any more, and we have our own president problems at our new synagogue.
At least my current rabbi has enough power - he's the dean of a college. :)
It's just that, with the board in his pocket and a lifetime contract, they've given what is essentially an employee far too much control,and I now question the purpose of having a board at all.