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Home What's Going On What's Going On - Febuary 2020
What's Going On - Febuary 2020 PDF Print E-mail


Dear Parents,

Thank you all for your continued support and involvement in Religious school! February is a full month of Sunday school. We hope to see all your children in attendance. This month we will be focusing on Tu B’shvat which is the New Year for Trees. Not only will we be teaching that it is customary to consume on this day the species of the fruit which the land of Israel is praised for, but shall also, in celebration, be planting trees on our temple grounds.

Our students will come to understand an inner meaning of this holiday, in deciding to choose our path in a harmonious environment, plant and invest ourselves in it, so that we may grow to become more connected.  We must be strengthened with the quality of kindness, because for this we merit fruit, which is called ‘a tree bearing fruit.”” On this day we remember that “man is a tree of the field” (Deuteronomy 20:19).

The blessing recited on fruit is
Baruch atah A-donoy, Elo-heinu Melech Ha’Olam borei pri ha-aitz.
Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the tree.


Odelia Rios     
CBI Religious School Lead Teacher

February School Schedule:
February 2, 9, 16 and 23rd

Hebrew     9:00 – 10:15am
Religious   10:30 – 12:30pm


Spring is just around the corner and the Sisterhood is active and in full bloom planning!  We want you to be engaged.  We have many programs, activities and roles that are meaningful, engaging and fun that we would love for you to be a part.  What can you do? Become a member if you are not.  If you are a member, upgrade to the Kavod membership and get a 24K gold plated custom designed Sisterhood pendant.  Join a committee, serve in a leadership role for Foodfest, as a Passover coordinator, lead a social or simply come to one of our many social events!  You’ll read about several of these below.

So how did we do for Foodfest 2019?  We did well, but how well?  The Sisterhood engaged an accounting firm to bring its records up to date.  The process has been slower than anticipated but we look forward to having up to date accounting books.  The accounting delay has made it difficult for us to assess the Foodfest 2019 results.  It appears that the Foodfest sales were slightly stronger than the previous year while costs were up a bit.  However, the lack of a raffle in 2019 greatly impacted our bottom line.  While we await a full, accurate accounting, the Sisterhood voted to give CBI $30,000 and hopes to have additional funds to provide once we have a full financial picture.  We will share the full financial results as soon as these are made available. 

Now it’s time to turn our focus to Foodfest 2020!  We are pleased to announce the 2020 Foodfest dates:  November 14 & 15th! Rikki met with leaders of the Greekfest and is looking into efficiencies to improve the flow of Foodfest for this year.  Sisterhood members determined that we should bring back the raffle.

A huge thank you with much gratitude to Foodfest co-chair (Big Dogs, as they liked to call it), Chris Adler and Phyllis Roseman who led two years of very successful and well-run events.  So many incredible individuals come together each year to make this fundraising festival so fantastic.  A special thank you to Rikki Schmitchel who is essentially the project manager, PR and glue to Foodfest every year and has led this effort for the past 13 years!!   We seek two individuals to co- chair the 2020 Foodfest and work with Rikki and all of us who do our part to make the event so successful.  This is a wonderful mitzvah to do for our congregation.  Foodfest is so well planned that leadership should be easily managed. Interested parties, please contact me regarding this opportunity.

At our last meeting, Sisterhood discussed adding several socials to our programming.  These include a return of the popular Progressive Dinner that will take place May 17th.   Be sure to mark this on your calendar!  Other socials discussed include “Bowling with the Brotherhood” and a “Bunko night”.  More details to come for all the above. 

Other news:  Manuela suggested and led the charge for Sisterhood to provide two changing tables in the CBI bathrooms.  We are thrilled that families will have access to this wonderful addition.

It was voted to close the Sisterhood shop.  The remaining items in the store will be sold at a “fire-sale” that will take place during the Purim Carnival, March 7th at CBI.  You’ll be able to pick up some of the remaining inventory at decent prices at the carnival event so be sure to come!

More ways to be a part: The Sisterhood membership drive will begin soon.  We are looking for a chairperson and committee members to help drive memberships.  Other opportunities?  Consider becoming a Passover coordinator for the upcoming CBI seder.  We will also be looking for officers for next year.  Please consider being a part of this amazing group of women and the heart of the congregation.   Lots of ways to be engaged and we need you!  Men and women can both be a part of all we do, so please reach out to me and be a part of our wonderful Sisterhood as we support Congregational Beth Israel!

I can be reached at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and by phone or text: 630-287-0900.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Warm regards and happy almost Spring!
Carol Rehtmeyer




It's hard to be a liberal Jew in Israel. The Orthodox establishment assumes that theirs is the only legitimate form of Jewish religion, that they have an exclusive right to power and money and government support. Reform rabbis cannot officiate at marriages or funerals; our conversions are challenged; our rights are always under assault.

 At no place is this situation more dramatic than at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Men and women are strictly separated, and the only form of worship allowed is Orthodox. Heaven forbid that a woman might want to wear a tallit or read from the Torah. The authorities are quite certain that God told Moses on Sinai that gender segregation and Orthodox practice were to be the perpetual order of Jewish prayer.

Enter ANAT HOFFMAN, Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center in Jerusalem. Since 2002, this powerful community leader has spearheaded Reform Judaism's drive to promote equality, justice and religious freedom. A native Israeli, but educated at UCLA, Anat and her staff tirelessly seek to overturn laws and customs that discriminate against liberal Jews and other groups whose rights are diminished in Israel.

Thanks to the Harvey Grossman Fund for Continuing Education, Anat will join us for two talks in mid-March. Her motivational presentations will both educate us about current Israeli events and will inspire us to further involvement. Some CBI members have heard her speak, and they will testify that she is a remarkable person.

Please join us at CBI on Saturday, March 14 at 5:00PM for light refreshments. At 5:30, we shall gather in the Sanctuary to listen, as she speaks about

Women of the Wall and Other Efforts to Secure
Liberal Jewish Rights in Israel


On Sunday morning, March 15,
we'll have a nosh at 10:00 AM, followed by Anat's second talk.

The Alleged Orthodox Monopoly Or How One Side Distorts the Jewish State and What You Can Do About It



Celebrating the 100th anniversary of
Women Winning the Vote!

There will be several Corpus Christi events throughout 2020 celebrating the centennial of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment.

On Saturday, March 7 at 10:00am, the Social Action Committee will be joining the first event which will be a short march beginning at the Nueces County Courthouse and ending at the Artesian Park. Preceding the march there will be opening remarks by Judge Barbara Canales in the Central Jury Room. It is free, open to the public, and you are encouraged to attend. 

* please also note- While at the Courthouse you don’t want to miss a wonderful historical exhibit “Women’s Right to Vote: Celebrating the U.S. Suffrage Movement, 1848-1920.” In the lobby near the cafeteria. 











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