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Laura Hausman


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Home From the President
From the President
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    
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

 
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

 
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

 
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

 
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