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Home From the President President's Message - September 2019
President's Message - September 2019 PDF Print E-mail

Dear friends,

Keeping it  cool  at the Temple…

The new condenser units arrived yesterday, and the new air handler is scheduled to ship from the factory on September 10th.  What this really means (I hope this doesn’t jinx it) is that we are going to have a COOL auditorium for High Holy Days!  Many thanks to the hardworking people at ProTech for working with us to provide a good, cost effective solution for our air conditioning needs. 

Speaking of cool places, I spent Labor Day weekend at Greene Family Camp working with a dedicated crew of staff and fellow youth group advisors to create an amazing weekend experience for 120 high school teens from across Texas and Oklahoma, including two of our own.    The weekend included all the usual camp activities like sports, art, music, swimming, campfire, and just hanging out, but because this was a NFTY-TOR youth group event, there was so much more.   The teens participated in programs and discussions that focused on Yiddish, our Eastern European Jewish roots, and the contributions of Jews to American society.  We played the “game of life” which focused on how factors like income and access to health insurance impact outcomes when families are faced with challenges like illness, loss of a job or unexpected major expenses.  In connection with Saturday morning prayer, the teens incorporated art, original music, and debate into the service.  The group I participated in debated the topic, “Which is more important in Judaism, prayer or actions.”  The success of this weekend is due, in no small part, to the efforts of Ethan Lane-Miller who is the new regional advisor of NFTY-TOR.  Ethan brings a youthful exuberance and playfulness to his role of advising our region.  The teens are drawn to him, and if this event is any indication, we are in store for a really fun and exciting year.  The next opportunity to participate in an event at GFC is the weekend of November 1st.  I hope all of our parents consider giving their children the opportunity to participate! 

The High Holy Days are right around the corner.  It is a time of reflection, renewal, and rejuvenation.   We take time to reflect on the past year, make amends for our sins, and look forward to a new year with a clean slate.  We must also keep in our hearts the people in the Bahamas who are suffering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Dorian.  In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, we are all too familiar with the hardship facing people caught in the path of a hurricane.  We are grateful that Dorian spared Florida, and pray that she spares the rest of the coastal United States.  Unfortunately, we must also be cognizant of the times in which we live.  This past weekend we experienced another senseless mass shooting.  As the High Holy Days approach, our safety and security is foremost in my thoughts.  With this in mind, I want you all to know that an off duty Corpus Christ Police Officer will be present at every service throughout the High Holy Days. 

I wish you all a healthy, happy and sweet new year.  Most especially, I wish us all a year of peace.

Gregory Marks
President, Congregation Beth Israel



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