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Laura Hausman

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From the President
President's Message - August 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Thank you is at the top of my list, to all of you.  I am honored to be serving as President of Congregation Beth Israel.  I stand in the steps of some outstanding presidents, including Suzy Harris Hilliard, who has just completed her term as president.  Suzy was a very good president and is continuing to help me get acclimated to my new job.    I’m sure we all want to say “Thank you, Suzy, for great leadership, and for the time you gave to our Temple”.  
Having been in this office for 3 weeks, I’ve been reviewing the committees, and familiarizing myself with many of the details of the Temple.  We have a lot of members who give so much time and energy to our Temple.  I don’t think any of us realize the hours that go into keeping our Temple running smoothly.  Not to get into naming all of them, but Julia keeps our kitchen running smoothly, David keeps our library current and maintains our social media (Facebook) page, Bill spends so much time on maintenance, and keeping everything in working condition.  There are others…who would appreciate a pat on the back, or a thank you for their on-going volunteer time and dedication.

We have a few new board members for the coming year, and I want you to get to know them.  We had an Executive Committee meeting of the Board meeting last week, just to explore some directions, discuss some ideas, and set some schedules.  Finances are very near the top of our agenda.  We will be exploring new ways to add income and new activities.  We will continue with our new Outreach program to new and/or unaffiliated Jewish residents, and of course one of our largest events, Food Fest, is one of our priorities.  Jim Gold will head our Food Fest event.  Many capable people have stepped forward to chair committees and volunteer to help with Food Fest. We need YOU to help with this huge community focused project.   Our new SISTERHOOD PRESIDENT, Jerri Osberg, is already hard at work on several activities.  We are very happy to have Jerri leading our Sisterhood this year.  Thanks, Jerri, for “stepping up”.
Our first board meeting will be on Wednesday, August 12th, at 6:30 at the Temple.   I look forward to beginning a new year, preparing for the upcoming High Holy Days, and working with each of you.  

Chris Adler
President, Congregation Beth Israel

President's Message - June/July 2015 PDF Print E-mail
As I write my final article for the bulletin, I can’t help but reflect on my last two years as your president.  It has been both better and more difficult than I could imagine.  Attending more congregational events has been very fulfilling and meaningful and has truly made me more spiritual, and for that I am very appreciative.  I must say, one of the best parts of being president is being behind the scenes and discovering the very best in people.  There are several people that spend many hours doing things for our congregation, and most members have no idea this occurs.  I have been blessed to discover these little secrets.  Special thanks to Susan Martin, Julia Noble and Bill Adams for all the little things you do behind the scenes.  We are also fortunate to have staff that often goes beyond the scope of their regular duties.  Thanks so much to Debbie Bustillo, Mike Trimyer, Linda Bustillo and Natalie Honigbaum for taking such good care of our congregation.  

I have been fortunate to have been given a board that cares deeply for their congregation and they have tried diligently to do what is right both religiously and financially.  Together, we have put in many hours to make Congregation Beth Israel a special place.   Speaking of special, I feel fortunate to have worked with two great spiritual leaders during my two years as president.  I was honored to work with Rabbi Ken Roseman in his final year as our Rabbi, and then to work with Rabbi Ilan Emanuel in his first year here at CBI.  I have learned a great deal from my association with these two men.   

June will find us busily preparing for the annual congregational meeting.  We will be electing our new officers, hearing end of year reports, honoring some exemplary members and approving a difficult budget.  I feel the last two years have seen a great deal of positive change and growth for our congregation, but running a business the size of Congregation Beth Israel is expensive.  If we want to continue to have a wonderful religious school, great adult programming, additional social activities and a beautiful facility, we will all need to share in the costs.  And I truly believe that having all of these things and a great Rabbi are worth every penny.  I am asking that you help us by increasing both your financial support and your personal time commitments to our family of families.

Thank you again for all your support over these past two years.

Suzy Hilliard
President, Congregation Beth Israel

President's Message - May 2015 PDF Print E-mail

I can’t begin to talk about May without recognizing several people and events that made April a success.  For those of you that joined us for the Broadway Musical show and dinner, we have Carol Rehtmeyer, Ann Engel, Phyllis Roseman and Chris Adler to thank for such a great evening.  And if you enjoyed visiting the museum, why not consider purchasing a membership at the Museum of Science and History?  I think you will all agree it is a fabulous place and deserving of our support.  Please look in this bulletin for information about becoming a member! Thanks also to the CBI Sisterhood for once again hosting the special dinner commemorating the second night of Passover.  Thanks also to Rabbi Emanuel for leading a great Seder. We celebrated our second Bat Mitzvah of the year and look forward to several more in the next few months.  In addition, there was several adult education opportunities offered to our members this month as well .It is never a dull moment around Congregation Beth Israel.

May 31 is the end of CBI’s fiscal year.   This means your board is very busy.   The finance committee is busy preparing for the 2015-2016 budget, the nominating committee is working on the slate of incoming officers,  and the Recognition committee is meeting to select a member  to single out for their hard work on behalf of our congregation.  However, we are not just looking forward:  we are busy just doing a regular month’s worth of activities.   This month, that means a Men’s Club Function, A Hooks/Havdalah event, recognition of the new members  that have joined CBI, a Bar and Bat Mitzvah, confirmation and a Family Shabbat Dinner.    Please find several activities that you enjoy and support them.  We are always in need of help for these activities.  If you have some ideas or could spare a little time to help make an event a success, please reach out to me or another board member.  Hope to see you at CBI this month!

Suzy Hilliard   
President, Congregation Beth Israel

President's Message - April 2015 PDF Print E-mail
I often sing the praises of the women of Congregation Beth Israel.  Yes,  I admit I am a bit biased,  but time after time,  they are there for our Congregation.  I would like to fill you in on the latest gift from this group of hard working women.   At our March Board meeting they presented us with FOUR checks.  The first was a check for $6000, to sponsor the years’ worth of Shabbat Family Dinners.  This covers not only the food costs, but the preparations, handled by Leslie Green, our Shabbat Dinner Coordinator.  These dinners have become a wonderful social event as well as an outreach to nonmembers.    Next, we received a $2000 check for religious school fieldtrips; This will enable some of our students to visit the Holocaust Museum in Houston later this year.  The women of Sisterhood also issued a check for $5000 to replenish the Camp Scholarship Fund.   As a reminder, there is still time to apply for a partial scholarship to a Jewish Camp for member children.  So far, we have rewarded three scholarships to our children, and hope to encourage more of our students to attend summer camp.  Last but not least, a check for $20,000 for our Operating Fund was given to us by the Women of Sisterhood. This money is greatly needed to just assist with day to day operations of our facility.  Sisterhood also reported that they are sponsoring a program for sight impaired children at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History.  Thank you ladies for not only helping Congregation Beth Israel, but for helping our general community as well.  Finally, this month will be Sisterhood’s annual 2nd Night Sedar,   not really a fundraiser, more of a service they perform for our congregation.  As I recite my praises for the Women of Sisterhood, let me also say how excited I am about the first successful Brotherhood function that was held last month.  A nice sized gathering of men of all ages took place at B&J’s Pizza.  Many thanks to Greg Marks and his committee for having the initiative to start this new group.  Hope this will lead to many more functions.  

Suzy Hilliard  
President, Congregation Beth Israel

President's Message - March 2015 PDF Print E-mail

     March will bring two special events to our Congregation that are slightly out of the ordinary and I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you a bit about each one.  On March 17, The Texas State Historical Society will be honoring the first rabbi of Temple Beth El with a Historical Marker placed at his gravesite in the TBE section of Seaside Cemetery.  The lengthy process to honor Rabbi Sydney Wolf was initiated by Helen Wilk, a longtime member of our community.   Nueces County is responsible for erecting the marker and paying for it as well, and your board gladly gave permission for it to be installed at the site.  I am thrilled that my childhood rabbi will be recognized in such a manner and I invite you to read the article located in this month’s bulletin for more information on this great man’s contributions, not only to Judaism in South Texas but for his work in general for the good of the entire community.  Unfortunately, both Rabbi Emanuel and Rabbi Roseman will be out of town on that date, but Carl Kuehn, who knew Rabbi Wolf well, will be honoring him with a benediction during the ceremony.  

     Another interesting event is a fundraiser for CBI.   Chaired by Ann Engel and Carol Rehtmeyer, and also brought to you by the generosity of Carl and Chris Kuehn, the musical evening is a new type of endeavor for Congregation Beth Israel.  The party will feature performances of Broadway music, predominantly brought to us courtesy of Jewish musicians.   In addition to the wonderful singing and dancing, food will be provided at two different levels.   A VIP event will be available at a premium price and will feature dinner, drinks and a preview of musical attractions to come.  The later event will be the main show and will be accompanied by dessert.  In addition to the evening being a fundraiser for our outreach programming, we  are using the event to reach out to unaffiliated Jews in the community.  We are attempting to contact other Jews in our community, and to share this evening with them as well.  This is not to say that this event is limited to the Jewish Community.  Everyone is welcome, and we hope to have a great turnout for the special evening.  

Suzy Hilliard                                                                                                                 

President, Congregation Beth Israel

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