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Home From the President
From the President
President's Message - September 2014 PDF Print E-mail
As I mentioned last month, your board was busy in August with various board meetings, committee meetings and a board workshop.   The workshop was led by Rabbi Emanuel, based on a session he attended at the URJ’s Meeting for Rabbi’s moving to a new congregation.  He knew our “story” about the merger, but what he did not know was our “story” prior to the merger, the stories of B’nai Israel and Temple Beth El.  What followed was an interesting walk down Memory Lane.    Following this conversation, we had other discussions which concluded with homework for the next Board meeting.  Many thanks go out to Rabbi Emanuel for leading this exercise.  

Now we move on to the holiest days of the year.  As you can imagine, Rabbi Emanuel and your board are busy preparing for the holidays.  Services are reviewed, Rabbi Trostser is consulted, Sisterhood is busy preparing to tempt us with treats, Debbie and Natalie work on the memorial book, and finally, your board selects an area to spotlight for our High Holiday Appeal.  If you will recall, Rabbi Roseman held several sessions about the new prayer book adopted by the Union of Reform Judaism.  The Ritual Committee in conjunction with Rabbi Emanuel and the Board of Trustees has decided to move ahead with adoption of the Mishkan T’Filah prayer book.  This book can be used for Shabbat evening services, including the possibility of a Saturday morning service.   The adoption of the new prayer book means we will be encountering a substantial out lay of cash in order to secure enough prayer books to accommodate  a well attended Shabbat Service.  We are asking our congregation to help cover the cost of these books, and in exchange you can publicly honor a loved one. We will gratefully accept any and all donations to the High Holiday Appeal, but will be able to offer a name plate for every $50 donation made to the fund.   Following the end of the High Holiday Appeal, I encourage you to continue to make donations to the Prayer Book Fund.  We will continue to place dedication plates in a prayer book for any contribution of $50.  We will be purchasing books over a several year period which may include festival services and some large print books as well.  

My Family and I wish you L’Shanah Tovah with hopes for a year of peace for Israel.  

                                Suzy Hilliard    
                                CBI President
President's Message - August 2014 PDF Print E-mail
I am very pleased with Rabbi Emanuel’s first month at Congregation Beth Israel.  He has handled the various duties with tact, charm, excitement and respect. During July, he led three services, gave four sermons, held three Shabbat Morning services and led three torah studies. (and celebrated his birthday at one of the sessions.) He conducted a funeral during his first week on duty and visited sick members in the hospital.  He participated in a number of meetings with Bar and Bat Mitzvah families, met with various committees and chairman, and even spent a week at Green Family Camp, bonding with our children and other area Jewish professionals.  Many thanks to Rabbi Roseman, Brian Honigbaum and Gary Blum for assisting with services during Rabbi Emanuel’s time at camp.

We are all looking forward to August.  I hope you will join us at services and other activities and become better acquainted with the Emanuel Family.  Check out fun facts about the newest members of our congregation later in this issue.  For your Board, August will be busy with plans for the High Holidays, a board workshop led by Rabbi Emanuel, and the beginning of the religious school year.  

Lastly, I know all members of the Jewish Community have concerns about the situation in Israel.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to family, friends, and fellow Jews who are living in fear each and every day.  The Union of Reform Judaism along with the Conservative Movement and the Jewish Federations of North America has chosen to support the Stop the Sirens Campaign, which will be highlighted in this bulletin.  Please consider contributing to this effort as we do all we can to Stand With Israel.  

        Suzy Hilliard    

President's Message - July 2014 PDF Print E-mail
No resting on our Laurels around here.  I am writing this article, following our celebration and recognition of Rabbi Roseman’s retirement.  As with most things in life, everything has a beginning and an end.  We have just ended The Roseman era, one that  we will look back on with gratitude and appreciation for all Ken Roseman did for Temple Beth El and Congregation Beth Israel.  Now we move on to Beginnings. On July 1, we welcome Rabbi Ilan Emanuel, his wife Randi and daughter Mira to both Corpus Christi and Congregation Beth Israel.  I am looking forward to the challenge of acclimating our new Rabbi to our Family of Families. A small congregation is not new to Rabbi Emanual, however he has spent the last three years in Toronto as one of three Rabbis in a very large community.  Rabbi Emanuel will bring a different perspective to CBI, having been educated during a different time period in the cycle of Reform Judaism.   In preparation for assuming the role of Rabbi for our Congregation, he has had many conversations with both Rabbi Roseman and me about our community and what to expect.  He also attended a Union of Reform Judaism conference on the first 100 days on a new pulpit.  He has been provided with the past two years of minutes of board meetings and has been receiving a copy of our bulletin, since he signed his contract last December.   Even with all of this time and effort spent learning about us, please allow him time and understanding while he becomes familiar with our congregation. (And as he and his family tries to get used to our lovely heat and humidity)

The Rabbinical committee will be meeting with Rabbi Emanuel on a regular basis to help guide him through his first year here at CBI.  If you have any questions going forward, please feel free to let me know.  Just a note, he will be spending some time at Greene Family Camp during the month of July.  This was his request and your board thought this would be a wonderful benefit to him, our congregation and of course Greene Family Camp.  As you may remember from our High Holiday Appeal drive, camp attendance by our Jewish children is important in maintaining and developing a strong Jewish Identity.  Next month, we will learn a little more about Rabbi Ilan, wife Randi, and daughter Mira and officially install him as the Rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel.   Until then, please join us at services this month and introduce yourself to our new leader.  

                                    Suzy Hilliard    

President's Message - June 2014 PDF Print E-mail

June is a special month for Congregation Beth Israel. We will bid Farewell and Happy Retirement to Rabbi Ken Roseman.  We will commemorate the occasion with a memorable Shabbat celebration on June 20 to thank Rabbi Roseman for leading us for the past 12 years.  We are also helping him to celebrate the end of a career, one of which he should be very proud to look back on. During this special Shabbat, we will hear from our full High Holiday choir, as well as a choir of past Bar and Bat Mitzvah students of Rabbi Roseman.  In addition, we will have other special moments during the evening, culminating with a grand Oneg Shabbat.  Your Board of Directors has selected a gift to be presented to Congregation Beth Israel, in honor of Rabbi Roseman’s retirement.  A Ner Tamid, created by Artist Claude Riedel will be dedicated in our sanctuary during services on June 20.  This eternal light is the perfect symbol to recognize Rabbi Roseman’s dedication first to Temple Beth El, then later to the merger and the resulting Congregation Beth Israel.    If you would like to make a contribution to the Eternal Light in honor of Rabbi Roseman’s retirement, he will receive a card acknowledging this gift and your Board of Directors would greatly appreciate your help in funding of this beautiful piece of art.  

Also this month, we will be having our annual Congregational Meeting on Wednesday, June 25 at 7:00 pm.  We will conduct our usual business of approving the slate of officers, approving the budget for the upcoming year, hearing a few reports and recognition of a special member of the congregation.  We also hope to have our incoming Rabbi, Ilan Emanuel in attendance, as he plans  to be arriving from Canada that week.  And of course, there will be refreshments following the meeting.  Please watch your mail for a copy of the 2014-15 Budget, for your review prior to the meeting. As was the option last year as well, proxy votes will be allowed. However, it is our hope   that our members will make every attempt to attend this meeting in person.  

One last bit of exciting news:  Congregation Beth Israel has received a donation from Chai Minded, an anonymous charitable person who donates Chai amounts, in our case $10,188 to religious organizations,  do with as we please.  You can check out the website at ChaiMinded.org.  We have checked this donation out with our attorney, and other people who are familiar with the organization and have humbly accepted this generous gift.  Your Board of directors chose to split the amount between two of our most worthy “special funds”  One half will be placed in the Mitzvah Fund, which pays for the meals taken to ill congregants and also supplies food and other needs for grieving families.  The other half of the funds will be placed in our Camp Scholarship Fund, so that we may assist our students to attend Jewish camps again next summer.  

Suzy Hilliard    

President's Message - May 2014 PDF Print E-mail
As we come to the end of our fiscal year on May 31, your CBI board of Trustees is busy preparing for next month’s congregational meeting.  Prior to the June 25 meeting, we must work out a budget for the coming year, review bylaws for possible changes (yes, there are some) and prepare a slate of officers for approval by the congregation.  Each task can be quite  time consuming so I feel very fortunate to have a great group of committees taking the helm of  each issue. Special thanks to Robin Adams, Brian Honigbaum and Jim Gold for chairing each related committee.   Not only are we preparing for the end of our fiscal year, but we are also preparing to celebrate the retirement of our fearless leader, Rabbi Ken Roseman.  Not only is he retiring from Congregation Beth Israel, but he is retiring from a long illustrious career that has taken him all over our great country. We will celebrate Rabbi Roseman retirement with a special service and Oneg on Friday, June 20.   More details will follow about this wonderful event.  Yet, these are not the only tasks of your board.  We are also preparing to greet our new Rabbi, Ilan Emanuel.   I am forever grateful for the hard work and thoughtful consideration that our board gives to each and every issue that comes before it.  This year has probably required more time than usual and I feel we have been quite successful in our endeavors. Our goal is always the same, to be good stewards of the trust put in us to run a thoughtful, financially secure, religious organization.

Suzy Hilliard    

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