SOUTH JERSEY TAMIL ASSOCIATION (SJTA)
The South Jersey Tamil Association (SJTA) is a Non-Profit Socio-Cultural organization that was formed with the objective of fostering culture and popularizing Tamil language literature and Indian mythologies among the new generation of children. The Tamil language is one of the ancient languages and it is spoken in Tamil Nadu (a state in India), Singapore, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. There are Tamil speaking people who are settled all over the globe.
Our charter includes activities to help
- Promote Tamil language and culture
- To provide a forum for the future generation Tamils to participate, learn and grow in the rich heritage of the Tamil language and culture.
- Teach Tthe Tamil language to the younger generation
- Teach Indian mythologies/ epics and prayers
- Organize cultural events like dance, drama, and music
- Provide an opportunity to families to connect with each other sharing similar culture and values.
- To foster the commitment to the promotion of Tamil Values, Art, and Language including Indian culture.
- Conduct competitions to foster the love of Tamil literature among students.
- Time and resources permitting, participate in voluntary activities in the South Jersey region.
SJTA, as of today, has about 24 families and is expected to grow in future. Membership to SJTA is open to all Tamilians who are interested in Tamil language and organizing, participating and enjoying cultural, social and entertainment programs conducted by and for the Tamil community.
The association provides means and mechanisms for many talent displays. It also provides a great place to nurture social contacts. To help facilitate this we organize about four to six get-togethers per year.
- Pongal Vizha (Tamil harvest festival)
- Tamil New Year
- Annual Picnic
- Deepavali Festival
- Charity events
Our association is being run by volunteers who spare their personal time to help our community. We are guided by our associations Constitution and Bylaws, These collectively form a set of guidelines for operational conduct for our association.
The name of the association shall be South Jersey Tamil Association, herein referred to as SJTA.
1. SJTA shall be a non-profit organization. Its income will be derived from the membership dues and from other revenue generating fundraising events.
2. SJTA shall be a socio-cultural organization. The purposes of SJTA are to foster Tamil culture and popularize Tamil literature and Indian Mythologies among the modern generation.
3. SJTA shall be a non-political and nonsectarian association. It is open to all USA citizens and non-USA citizens, irrespective of race, place of birth, religion, caste, creed, color or gender and shall not discriminate against any person because of his/her religious beliefs or ethnic background.
The organization structure of SJTA shall consist of a duly elected executive committee elected or appointed sub-committees.
Our charter includes activities to help
ARTICLE 2 OBJECTIVES
Our charter includes activities to help promote Tamil language and culture
1. To provide a forum for the future generation Tamils to participate, learn and grow in the rich heritage of the Tamil language and Indian culture.
2. Teach the Tamil language to the younger generation.
3. Teach Indian mythologies/ epics and prayers.
4. Organize cultural events like dance, drama, and music.
5. To foster a commitment to the promotion of Tamil values, art, and language.
6. Provide an opportunity to families to connect with each other sharing similar culture and values.
7. Conduct literary competitions to foster a love for Tamil language and literature among students.
8. To give back to the community by volunteering in activities in the region.
1. The membership to SJTA shall be open to all those who are interested in the Tamil language, and in organizing, participating and enjoying cultural, social and entertainment programs conducted by and for the Tamil community.
2. Though SJTA does not endorse any organization (without prior consultation with the General Body), yet it will not preclude any members and their children to participate in such programs and/or activities in their individual capacities.
3. The Bylaws of SJTA defines the types of membership and may set qualifying criteria or eligibility for membership at a later date.
1. The General Body of SJTA (referred herein as GB) shall consist of all active members. Active members are defined as members of SJTA who have paid their dues and in good standing.
2. The General Body shall have the power to elect, disband, or dismiss any member of the Executive Committee. It shall have the power to make specific recommendations to the Executive Committee. It shall have the power to change the provisions of SJTA Constitution and Bylaws, and the power to dissolve SJTA. The General Body shall exercise these powers outlined above provided it has a two-thirds majority of the active members.
3. The Annual General Body Meeting of SJTA shall be held two times a year. The business carried out at the Annual General Body Meeting shall include reviewing the activities of the group, financial status and any other matter related to SJTA as deemed necessary.
4. A simple majority vote of all present in the meeting shall be used for passage of all resolutions except those specified explicitly. Any resolution(s) that are deemed essential for the normal and routine functioning of SJTA may be approved by a majority vote of all present in the meeting.
5. The motions to amend the Constitution or Bylaws of SJTA shall require a two-thirds majority vote of the GB members.
(Herein referred to as EC)
1. The bylaws of SJTA shall define the composition, term and the process of electing the EC members. EC is entrusted with the task of planning, developing, organizing and carrying out all the necessary activities and functions to fulfill the mission, goals, and objectives of SJTA. The EC shall be responsible for developing and managing the financial and membership resources of SJTA. It shall be responsible for planning and executing SJTA programs. It shall formulate policies and procedures for SJTA.
2. The EC shall consist of three members including the President, Treasurer, and the General Secretary.
3. SJTA will have different subcommittees to handle the various activities pertaining to the events arranged for its members. Some of these include the Cultural Committee, the Food Committee, the Venue Committee, the Summer Activities Committee, and so on. The individual sub-committees also have the task of planning, developing and carrying out the activities. Furthermore, each family will commit to one of these subcommittees when they register with SJTA.
4. The EC members shall be jointly and individually responsible for the successful and orderly conduct of SJTA activities and programs.
5. The bylaws of SJTA may further specify the term, roles and responsibilities, and the eligibility criteria for the members of the EC.
6. The EC is responsible for creating a channel of communication for GB members by providing an e-mail mechanism for communication. There must be an appropriate official response to concerns raised by any member of the association within a reasonable time.
7. The teachers plan and formulate the content of the teaching material in the interests of the children. Any major changes recommended will be presented to the GB by the teachers for endorsement before implementation.
8. All decisions made by EC should be in the common interest of the association and no way be influenced by individual interests.
9. Any member of the association can be expelled by passing a resolution to this effect by GB by a two-thirds majority of the GB. Any member(s) can disengage from the association on their own volition.
10. EC does the filing of the annual report for SJTA.
1. The EC will consist of three members – the President, the Treasurer, and the General Secretary.
2. The EC will appoint different subcommittees to handle the various activities pertaining to the events arranged by SJTA for its members. Some of these include the Cultural Committee, the Food Committee, the Venue Committee, the Summer Activities Committee, and so on.
3. It is required that at least one member of every family will be part of one of these subcommittees.
4. The members of the subcommittees will be chosen on a “first come, first served” basis.
5. Each subcommittee shall have a leader and this person will be appointed by the members of the respective subcommittees.
6. In the event no one volunteers or is chosen to head a given subcommittee, the current EC will choose the leader(s) for these subcommittees.
7. The composition of each subcommittee (and the minimum number of members) will be announced prior to its formation by the current EC.
8. Once the term of the current EC expires, the members of the new EC will be drawn from the heads of these subcommittees and the new EC thus formed will choose its President, Treasurer, and the General Secretary and this process will continue in the subsequent years.
1. As we are a non-profit organization, we need the active financial support from our members.
2. The budget of the SJTA shall be funded from the membership dues and from other revenue generating fundraising events. It may also receive contributions and gifts towards the establishment of an endowment program.
3. SJTA funds are categorized as follows:
a) General Funds: These funds are generated from membership dues, SJTA functions or gifts or donations. These funds may be utilized to fund SJTA’s day to day activities or any purposes deemed necessary for fulfilling the goals and objectives of SJTA.
b) Restricted Funds: These funds are generated and received expressly for restrictive purposes or given by donors for restricted causes. These funds may be used only for the purposes for which they were collected and/or as stipulated by the donors.
c) Endowment Funds: Following the recommendation of the EC and the members, these funds may be created to provide a long-term financial strength to SJTA. Endowment funds shall be maintained in a separate investment account. Only the interest income of the restricted endowment funds may be accessed for the purposes specified by the endowment donors. Under certain circumstances, following the recommendation of the EC, the committee by a majority vote may authorize the use of a portion or the whole endowment fund for supporting SJTA.
4. The treasurer submits an expense report twice a year- once after the Diwali program and the second after the Tamil New Year program. Treasurer’s responsibilities include but not limited to:
a) Post any cultural event, Treasurer to share with the EC event expenses, receipt, and details of available cash balance for remaining events.
b) Treasurer hosts the responsibility to store all available expenses and receipts with the SJTAEC yahoo groups file system. The EC shall have the responsibility for managing and maintaining the SJTA funds and assets.
Dissolution of SJTA
1. If at any time the General Body and the EC are convinced that SJTA is not fulfilling its mission and the mandates of this Constitution, a motion to dissolve SJTA shall be in order. If the EC and the General Body in a joint session pass the motion by the 2/3rd majority for the dissolution of SJTA, SJTA may be dissolved.
2. Immediately following the dissolution of SJTA, the EC, as well as the General Body, shall be disbanded.
3. Prior to the dissolution of SJTA, the EC, on the recommendation of GB will decide to donate the available fund to any other reputable non-profit organization.
Amended: 21st, August – 2013.
Original Bylaws adopted 2005-2006.