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Bill Adams &

Richard Leshin

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From the President
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    

President's Message - November 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Dear CBI Family,
November is the month of our CBI Sisterhood Food Fest. I am using my space this month to brag on my fellow sisters.  I may be a little biased, but this group does amazing things with a small core group of volunteers.  As a past Sisterhood president and a past Food Fest Chair, I know exactly what they are all going through at this moment. Heavy duty cooking of mass quantities of kugel, matzo ball soup, cabbage rolls and rugelach have already taken place. Raffle prizes have been gathered and tickets mailed out to congregants, enabling all members to participate in the event.  Many meetings and numerous hours of planning have happened up to this point.   We have people chairing silent auction that are busy gathering prizes, others working on equipment, set up, signage and public relations.  Others are gathering and planning the popular vintage shop.   Co- chairs are meeting, baking, and organizing the sweet shop.  Honestly, everyone in our congregation is needed to pull off this Jewish Food Fest.  And everyone is needed to help in more than one area.  Encourage friends to attend the event, provide silent auction items, bake sweets for the ever popular sweet shop, and look through your closets for special accessories that would be perfect for the vintage shop.  However, one of the most important things you can do is attend the event on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.  Be ambassadors for our congregation.  This is a wonderful opportunity to shine, to show others that we are a welcoming group, eager to share our home and heritage with our neighbors.  There is still cooking and preparations to do.  Call and volunteer your services, and start encouraging your neighbors to join in the fun on November 16 and 17. Looking forward to seeing all of you there!      
 Suzy Hilliard    
President's Message - October 2013 PDF Print E-mail

Dear CBI Family,

     It has been a busy yet successful High Holiday Season.  I am pleased to see congregants pulling together to take care of the details throughout the synagogue. Extra special thank yous to the crew that constructed the temporary traditional sanctuary including Chris and Robert Adler, Carla DePena and Quentin Cook, Brian Honigbaum, Tim Noble, Andrew Sheinberg, Mike Hiatt, Jim Gold, Mike Trimyer, David Jacobs, Joe Hernandez, Gary Blum and Jeff Itkin.  We all owe a special thank you to Gary Blum who coordinates the entire traditional service throughout the Holidays. And we cannot forget to recognize Debbie and Robert Bustillo, who took care of cleaning over 50 chairs, which were used during the Holidays.  It truly takes a village to make it through the High Holidays.  And the entire village came though on the High Holiday Appeal.  At last count, the total collected for the Camp Scholarship High Holiday Appeal was  $5,500.00. Many thanks to all of you for making camp a possibility for our students.  Holy Cow is also appreciative of the extra funds generated in recognition of the Holidays.  If you have not had a chance to contribute to either project, it is not too late to consider a donation.

Your Board has also been hard at work.  The group attended a workshop to brush up on understanding the Bylaws and interpreting our various financial statement a few weeks ago.  Many thanks go out to Natalie Honigbaum for educating your board on the intricacies involved in our financial reports.  We have excellent attendance at all meetings and meaningful discussions and contributions from the entire group.  I am most appreciative of the preparation and time needed to be a board member.  
We are a small group but we can accomplish a great deal by working together.  Keep up the good work!

Suzy Hilliard    

President's Message - September 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Dear CBI Family,

     I can’t remember when Rosh Hashanah has ever fallen the same week as Labor Day.  The congregation office is busy preparing for another High Holiday Season.  Torah covers have been changed, reading assignments have been mailed out, and the larger High Holiday choir has begun to review their music pieces.  And as always, the annual High Holiday Appeal as begun.  As I hope you have read, we are calling on our CBI family to help build up our camper scholarship fund.  Please read my letter and consider a donation to this worthy cause.
     Even though we are all busy preparing for the high holidays, there is always congregational business to handle.  Past President Jim Gold has accepted my request to chair the Ritual Committee, which will go through a bit of a reorganization phase.  Our treasurer Robin Adams has spent a great deal of time reviewing our financials and some changes have been made to monitor funds and consolidate accounts for a better return. We have also engaged a CPA firm to help review and streamline our procedures.
     One of the more surprising discoveries during my first few months in office is the helpfulness of our congregants.  Some of our members truly help make Congregation Beth Israel run more smoothly.  In just the past month, several people have made a difference at CBI. Julia Noble and Chris Adler put together a nice reception following Dr Groner’s funeral.  Natalie Honigbaum and Susan Martin stepped in to help cover the office to allow Debbie some time off after her father in law’s death.  Rikki Schmitchel kept an eye on landscaping issues, gathered bids and had trees trimmed on our grounds.  The Fedder Family often helps Linda clean up after the Onegs and even handled clean up detail one Friday night when Linda was away.   Chris Adler has spent endless hours working on a cemetery project, and I already mentioned the great amount of time that Robin Adams has spent working on money matters for our congregation.  This list is only a sampling of what has gone on this month.  
     I look forward to seeing you all during the High Holidays.  Please join us to welcome in the New Year and reflect on how we can make this a better year for both ourselves and our Congregation.  

L’Shanah Tovah!     
Suzy Hilliard    

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Friday, September 8
Shabbat Service @ 6:30 pm
*Followed by Family Dinner

Saturday,  September 9
Shabbat Service @ 9:00 am

Friday,  September 15
Shabbat Service @ 6:30 pm

Saturday,  September 16
Shabbat Service @ 9:00 am
Selichot Services:
     Refreshments @ 7:30 pm
     Program @ 8:00 pm
     Service @ 9:00 pm

Sunday,  September 24
Kever Avot Memorial Services
     Seaside Cemetery @ 11am
     Hebrew Rest @ 12pm
Wednesday,  September 20
Rosh Hashanah Service times on front page

Thursday,  September 21
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Friday,  September 22
Shabbat  Shuva Service @6:30 pm

Saturday,  September 23
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Friday,  September 29
Kol Nidre Service @ 7:15 pm

Saturday,  September 30
Yom Kippur Service times on front page 

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