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From the President
President's Message - March 2016 PDF Print E-mail

Robert and I were in San Antonio this weekend for a wonderful family event…the naming of a new baby girl and addition to our family.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Congregation Agudas Achim as it’s always a pleasure to visit other congregations.  The Hazzan, Jeremy Lipton, led the services and gave a thought provoking sermon Saturday morning. He spoke about “Partnerships”.  He asked us to think about the partnerships we have in our lives…business partnerships, partnerships with friends, different family members, a spouse, but he targeted our Partnerships with God.  So often we ask, or expect, God to solve a problem, or cure an illness, or give us something, but we fail to think about our lives as a “partnership” with God.  It’s up to US to do our part, too.  We must work toward solving our life situations, always doing our own part, along with asking for help.

Great events going on at CBI.  We enjoyed our Adult Education program last weekend.  Our speaker, Joel Hoffman, was excellent and gave us a lot to think about and ponder.  Thanks for your help and support for this three day event.  Sisterhood trip to Port Aransas on Sunday was great fun.  Beginning of March is right here..how can that be???  Looking forward to Eli Susser’s Bar Mitzvah this weekend.  Love the Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, the family dinners, and Shabbats we celebrate on a regular basis.  Come join us. We will be celebrating Purim, and have a great CBI Progressive Dinner on Sunday, March 27 to welcome ALL the new members.  Mark your calendar…you won’t want to miss any of our upcoming events.

Chris Adler, President
Congregation Beth Israel.

President's Message - February 2016 PDF Print E-mail

Step by Step, meeting by meeting, we are already making plans for our coming 2016 year and it looks very exciting and impressive. We have activities, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, programs, speakers, travel plans, and many other events we think you will enjoy.

Our Adult Education Committee, chaired by David Jacobs, with help from Rabbi Emanuel, is planning a great Adult Education program, Shabbat, on the weekend of February 19-21.  Joel Hoffman will be returning to CBI for a weekend of Jewish learning and conversation.  He will address the congregation on Friday evening, Saturday morning and evening, and again on Sunday morning.  He will speak on topics including “The Bible Doesn’t Say That”, and “The Language the Israelites Used from Exodus to the destruction of the 2nd Temple”.  Much more information will be coming your way, along with the plans for the weekend, so watch your mail for updates, and mark your calendar now for this exciting opportunity for some fun and interesting Jewish education.  The Adult Ed committee is also considering a film festival for a little later in the year.  

We have been negotiating with URJ on our dues structure.  This doesn’t have a lot of appeal for many of us, but our dues have continued to rise every year, and we are submitting facts and figures, asking for a reduction in the cost to belong to the support group of Union for Reform Judaism.

Suzy Hilliard gives us updates on our membership at each board meeting.  We have 9 new family unit memberships in the past few months.  I’m very happy with this number and thank Suzy and Ann Engel and their membership committee for their ongoing work.  We have several more families that are visiting our congregation and considering a membership.  We have a lot to offer and will continue to encourage new singles and families to become part of our Temple Family.  Please consider yourself a member of this committee…Do you know a family in town that may be interested in a membership at Congregation Beth Israel?  We would love for you to share their names and we will contact them as soon as possible. 

Linda Snider is chairing a new Social Action Committee.  She is doing a fine job and has recently attended several citywide meetings on registering and interviewing the homeless in Corpus Christi.  Several of our members have taken training sessions and have been out on the streets visiting with our homeless.  Another member of her committee is George Kopf, who is continuing to work with Catholic Charities on the resettlement of refugees into our area.  

Sisterhood is planning several activities.  I’m sure President Jerri Osberg will be giving us a report on a Sisterhood Trip to Port Aransas the last of February. 

We are also discussing a CBI Progressive Dinner Party in the near future.  You’ll be hearing more about this for sure.  Great food and entertainment at 3 or 4 different homes, and all in walking distance of each other….how cool is that? (No, you don’t HAVE to walk if you don’t want to, but you easily could).  
We have begun a “Friday update” to each of you with e-mail addresses.  It includes activities, times, birthdays, and activities for the week.  I hope you are enjoying reading about our events of the week.

All to say, this is just a “snapshot” of things we are working on for Congregation Beth Israel.  We are planning events for the entire year.  If you have a great suggestion or something you’d like to see or do, just send a note to me or to the Rabbi.  We need EVERY ONE of you to participate in Shabbat Services.  Our attendance is up and we encourage you to come and share the beginning of the Shabbat with good friends, a thoughtful message from the Rabbi, beautiful music, and fellowship TOGETHER.  I’m certain you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.  We’ll look forward to seeing you at Services this Friday night.  Also, would love for you to come to services and Torah Study on Saturday morning…We need more participation at these services and I know you’ll enjoy them also.

Chris Adler, President
Congregation Beth Israel.

President's Message - January 2016 PDF Print E-mail
A brand new year, 2016….a time to look forward in anticipation of  the upcoming year.  We have quite a few projects and interesting events already on our agenda that I’m certain we will all enjoy.  

I can’t help but take a look back to our CBI year, 2015.  It’s been a good year for us.  Although not naming names, I can’t imagine a better board to work with on an ongoing basis.  The Board Members are excellent.  I began my term as president talking about “shared leadership” and it has worked better than I ever expected.  I only have to mention something that needs to be done, something or someone needing some help, some project that needs a leader, and a board member steps right up to the plate and takes on the project.  On Shabbat evenings, there is no problem getting a board member to share the dais with me….OK, can’t get through this without mentioning a couple of folks that are so willing to help in any capacity.  Greg Marks is a prize for me.  He is always ready to assist, give a respected opinion, take on a project, and show up when we need either his brain or his brawn.  He is pleasant, fun, well spoken, and a great asset to our congregation and especially to the board.  Another star on our board is George Kopf.  He is equally as interested and willing to take on large projects and he follows through with them. We have been discussing helping to sponsor a refugee or family that wants to come to the United States, and George has so ably stepped up to chair this project.  He’s also available for any other projects that need our attention.  Also, to mention one more, Robin Adams, is our Temple Treasurer.  She spends a lot of time keeping the books, overseeing finances, advising me, and serving as our “historian”.  I  could go on, naming each person on the board who has voluntarily given of their time and talents to keep our Temple in tip top shape, but I need to move on to other topics.  Thanks to ALL OF THE CBI BOARD for your ongoing help, your attendance at board meeting, and your attendance at services.  Together, we are a very good team.  I’m happy with our progress and look forward to working with you over the next year.

The Shabbat services continue to be enlightening and interesting.  Thanks to Rabbi Emanuel for being prepared and delivering a nice message to us each week.  We appreciate your attendance at all our events (although too many funerals), and your ideas for “fun” and inviting topics and adventures to all ages.  Especially entertaining was our December 25 Shabbat Service, with some 60 people in attendance. After a “shortened” Shabbat service, we enjoyed delicious Chinese Food and a good movie..(Frisco Kid).  What fun and what a great attendance.  This coming New Year’s Day Shabbat service will be toasted with a wine and cheese Oneg to help usher in the New Year.

Once again, I ask you to join us in attending Shabbat Services on Friday night.  WE NEED YOU…..Give your support to our Temple and our Rabbi and come to services…it’s a wonderful way to wind down the week, and reflect on “all things Jewish”.  Hope to see you Friday evening.

                            Chris Adler
                            President, Congregation Beth Israel

President's Message - December 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Goodness, it’s December.  How can that be?  How did all those months of the year just fly by?  Most likely time has passed quickly as we have been so busy.  Looking both backward and forward, so many activities center on the Temple and the activities we have had. Last month, we were all atwitter about Food Fest…worked and worked, and worked, and then in a blink (to many of us) it was over…I can’t speak enough about the Members of CBI and Sisterhood and those who work and work every year….the meetings and prep work, the shopping, the planning, purchasing, cooking, setting up, taking down….takes every one of us.  A huge THANK YOU for a job well done.

Our joint Thanksgiving Service with Church of the Good Shepherd was a great experience for us.  Rabbi Emanuel did a great job giving the sermon and our contribution of the pies for the social after the service was exceptional.  Thanks to all of you who delivered pies to the church.  It was a pleasure to give THANKS with our community and participate in the service for 81 years.

Looking forward, December is already quite full.  We have some excellent activities planned and hope you will include every one of them on your “to do” calendar. 

First, and actually foremost…We have SHABBAT SERVICES EVERY FRIDAY NIGHT. We need you……We want to look out into the audience and see PEOPLE…Rabbi Emanuel plans a lovely service, has a timely address for us, and we have a short end of week revival of self !!  Please do your best to join us for Shabbat Services when you can.  I guarantee you’ll enjoy the experience…and we’ll love having you with us.

Hannah Dvorkins’ Bat Mitzvah will be the first thing on our calendar. Hannah will participate in services Friday evening , December 4,  and will lead the service on Saturday morning, December 5.  Please come and join us in this very important event for Hannah and her family.

Hanukkah begins Sunday evening.  We have a big Hanukkah party on Sunday evening, December 6, jointly with the Jewish Community Council.  Come to CBI at 6 p.m. for latkes, candle lighting, and an evening of fun for all of us.
Adult Education Committee will sponsor a program on Monday, December 7, at 7 p.m. at the Temple.   Rabbi Marvin Tokayer, from Great Neck, New York,  will join us and speak of the history and culture of the Jews of India.  As you know, we at CBI are donating a torah that Rabbi Tokayer will be delivering to the Jewish community in Mumbai, India.  I’m very excited about this program.  Please join us….it’s going to be a great program and we need to have a nice “showing” for our out of town guest.

Sisterhood Hanukkah Party will be Thursday, December 10, at the home of Robin Adams.  
Men’ Club “scotch tasting” will also be Thursday, December 10, at the home of Howard Mintz.
And on Friday, December 11, Family Shabbat with dinner at CBI….

Please, please join us for as many of the activities as you can.  Folks are going to a lot of time planning activities for us.  It’s fun, it’s supporting your Jewish Community, and it just feels good.

Chris Adler
President, Congregation Beth Israel

President's Message - November 2015 PDF Print E-mail
One word…one thought….FOOD FEST.  It’s right around the corner and we’re all near consumed with preparations for this yearly event.  We’re rolling, boiling, cooking, pulling, mixing, tasting, cutting, cleaning, wrapping, peeling, and…you name it, sisterhood is doing it.  Once again, a huge thank you to Jim Gold for chairing this event.  He, along with Julia Noble in the kitchen, so capably stepped up to the plate and has done a great job leading us in all our preparation and planning.  We still need your help to clean out your shelves, drawers, boxes, and hiding places for vintage jewelry, and other vintage items.  We need earrings, necklaces, purses, scarves, and other items for our food fest vintage sale.  Call Pat Susser for pickup.  We also could use help the weekend of the food fest.  We need help serving, preparing, cleaning up, and a multitude of other jobs.  It takes our whole family to make this event a huge success.

Other events are on our calendar for the coming month.  We have an adult education program Sunday, November 1.  Dr. Ira Schweitzer, recently retired from 24 years as the director of education at Temple Sinai in Toronto, Canada, will join us. He will present a look at the work of Dr. Erica Brown and the realities of who we are as a Jewish people.  What is our Jewish identity?  And what are the options that we have to form our own “peoplehood.”  Please mark your calendar to come to this presentation next Sunday morning, 10:30 a.m.

Services will be at 7:30 next Shabbat.  Please try and come.  We are improving our attendance (36 last Shabbat), but we need you….you’ll enjoy it, I guarantee..

Chris Adler
President, Congregation Beth Israel

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