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Mike Trimyer

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From the President
President's Message - April 2014 PDF Print E-mail

Passover is one of my favorite holidays.  Most years, our entire family manages to come together and celebrate the Pesach meal.  I love the traditions, the food, the symbolism and the challenge of keeping Passover in Corpus Christi. Year after year, our Sisterhood lovingly puts on a beautiful Seder.  This is definitely not a fundraiser, as they usually lose money.  However, it is a great service to our community and I appreciate all the hard work that goes in to this meal.   I want to thank our congregation once again for contributing to this year’s High Holiday Appeal.  As a result, we are able to assist nine children with partial scholarships to attend camp. With such a wonderful interest in attending Jewish camps, we were only able to provide a portion of the tuition.  A great deal of the burden is still on our congregant families.  Thank you to our families, for choosing to reinforce your children’s connection to their Judaism.  Another way of enriching our congregation is the addition of new members to our CBI family.  We will be celebrating the addition of new families to our Congregation on Friday, April 25.  If you are aware of new member prospects, please contact our CBI office.  Please join us on that evening, as we make them truly feel part of our family.  Have a wonderful April!  

Suzy Hilliard    

President's Message - March 2013 PDF Print E-mail

What’s on my mind this month?  Sisterhood!  I am proud to be a member of this backbone group of our congregation.  At the February Board meeting, the women of Sisterhood presented funding for a variety of projects.  They supplied $6,000 for the Programming position within our congregation and $5,000 to the High Holiday Appeal, which was directed toward camp scholarships.  In addition they made a $10,000 contribution to the CBI Endowment Fund, an important link to our long term sustainability.   Last but not least, they contributed $15,000 to our general operating budget.  This, of course, is in addition to their large contribution towards the re-carpeting of the facility and their monthly program of providing cab rides to congregation functions.  All of this, of course is possible due to the success of the Food Fest, which we all support.  But these women are not only fabulous fundraising machines; take for example, Sisterhood Shabbat.  This year’s spiritual evening was dedicated to honoring Phyllis Roseman, a woman whose efforts on our behalf have yielded many great things.  The women of Sisterhood work tirelessly all year long, but I wanted to especially recognize their many great deeds this month. On behalf of the entire Congregation Beth Israel family we say thank you for supporting us financially, spiritually, and lovingly.

Suzy Hilliard    

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

I wish to take this opportunity to fill you in on actions of your Board of Directors.  Our December Board meeting was devoted to the Rabbinical Search process and as you are all aware, we were quite successful in our goal of finding a rabbi to take over upon Rabbi Roseman’s retirement.  We are greatly anticipating the arrival of Rabbi Ilan Emanuel on July 1.  But as one project ends, many other are begun or continue. Improvements are ongoing at Seaside Cemetery.  Committees, including the Ritual Committee and Bylaws committee are meeting to review and improve their specific areas.  One exciting piece of news: The Board voted to approve two new members to complete the uncompleted second year of a two year term.  We are pleased to welcome Norma Levens and Jeri Kolpack to the 2013-2014 Board of Directors of Congregation Beth Israel.  

I wanted to draw attention to an opportunity available to members in the 18-26 year age group.  We have the opportunity to give special consideration for our young adults to participate in the Birthright “free” trips to Israel through the Union for Reform Judaism.  These trips are usually held during the winter break and summer break, to work around a student’s schedule.  The Birthright program is sponsored by numerous organizations, one of which is our own Union.  Both of my daughters have participated in the past and my daughter Meredith just returned from a ten day trip last month.  The students visit many historical and religious sights, perform mitzvah projects, and spend time with Israelis their own age. Each trip is slightly different, but always includes visits to Masada, the Dead Sea, The Western Wall, and The Holocaust Museum, just to name a few examples.  These trips are guided by adults and the utmost care is taken for their security.  I would love to nominate your 18-26 year old for a place on the summer trips, with registration beginning February 19.  The connection they will feel to their Judaism is just one of the positive aspects and for someone from a city with a small Jewish population; the feeling is even more powerful.  Check out the website: gokesher.org. Please feel free to contact me regarding this wonderful experience.  As the website states: The trip lasts ten days, the memories last a lifetime.  

Suzy Hilliard    

President's Message - January 2014 PDF Print E-mail
I am composing this article on my flight back to Corpus Christi from the Union of Reform Judaism Biennial in San Diego. My mind is buzzing with all that I experienced throughout the event. The sessions I attended were both timely and enlightening. Topics included Clergy Retirement, the Rabbi-President Relationship, Clergy Contracts and cultivating Leaders in Small Congregations, just to name a few. The ritual experiences were equally thought provoking and spiritual. It's hard to imagine not having a special connection when worshipping with over 5000 Jews. Sharing this experience with Robin Adams, I know we both felt the amazing power in the room. In addition, I had the chance to connect with Reform Judaism leaders, staff and fellow presidents, another valuable advantage to attending the biennial. My sincere thanks to the congregation for sending me to this event, I hope we will continue to provide this type of training development and opportunity to board leaders in the future. Now that I am inspired and prepared, I am looking forward to the coming year. The year 2014 will be filled with changes for us all, and I am counting on all congregants to pitch in and help us make it a successful year for Congregation Beth Israel.    
Suzy Hilliard    

President's Message - December 2013 PDF Print E-mail
I want to begin by saying how proud I am of the Congregation Beth Israel family.  Thank you all for assisting the CBI Sisterhood in yet another very successful Food Fest.  We all did an amazing job of producing a weekend of Jewish Hospitality.  Special thanks of course, to the Food Fest Committee that seemed to handle every shortage, problem or issue with a smile and a solution.  The event ran like the smooth machine that it has truly become.  

I believe November was definitely a very busy month.  I wanted to especially thank Brian Honigbaum, Jim Gold and Gary Blum for handling some of the Rabbi duties this month.  Between the Food Fest, Two 92nd Street Y Programs, and the Thanksgiving Service, we had plenty or events to choose from.  

December will be just a little quieter, but personally, I am looking forward to attending the Biennial Convention for the Union of Reform Judaism, which will be held in San Diego from December 11-15. I will be spending time in various seminars and religious events and am appreciative of the Board for allowing me the opportunity to experience one of the advantages of our membership in the Union. Rabbi Roseman will also be attending the event for a few days, as a speaker on Merging Congregations.  Robin Adams will be attending, representing the Sisterhood. Congregation Beth Israel will be well represented at this international conference.
Best Wishes for a Hanukkah filled with peace and joy.
    Suzy Hilliard    

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