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Home From the President
From the President
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

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

I would like to use my space in the February bulletin to remind our members about all the wonderful options that are available to you as a member of Congregation Beth Israel.  It also serves as an opportunity to invite your friends to visit our many free and open to the public options.  Once a month, we provide dinner and the opportunity to visit with fellow Jews at our Family Shabbat dinner.  Members and non members alike are welcome to attend the monthly dinner following a Shabbat service that is constructed to be welcoming to all ages.  Our educational offerings are always open to members and non members alike.  During this past month, we offered an interesting 92nd Street Y viewing of a conversation between Tom Friedman and Dov Seidman  .  We also brought in a speaker, Dr.  Joel Hoffman who talked about stories that may have been left out of the bible.  Saturday morning Torah study is also open to all and provides an opportunity to learn about the Torah and other educational issues.   Of course, Shabbat evening and Shabbat morning services are always open to all. With all of these “free” options, why support Congregation Beth Israel monetarily?  It is simple, not everything can be free or pay as you go.  Life cycle events, by necessity, are only available to CBI members.  Weddings, Baby Namings and Funerals are only conducted for our membership.  Religious School and Hebrew School and Bar or Bat Mitzvahs in turn are only available to our members.  We have a wonderful facility and fantastic rabbi, both of which require a great deal of funding.  We rely on the generosity of a small group to provide for the needs of the entire Jewish Community of Corpus Christi.  Our outreach committee is working on a variety of programs to possibly attract new members.  If you should have names and contact information for unaffiliated Jews, please share these with myself, Rabbi Emanuel or the CBI office.  We would like to include as many people as possible in our efforts.  We are not after new members for pure monetary gains.  We need more people to participate in programming activities, serve on committees and share in making Corpus Christi a wonderful place for Jews to live.  Let me take this opportunity to thank the outreach committee and share their names.  Our very active group includes Greg Marks, Ann Engel, Amy Krams, Ryan and Jackie Mendeloff, Meredith Ryan, Carol Rehtmeyer, Chris Adler, Rabbi Emanuel and myself.    Please join us and support the activities offered by your synagogue.  

Suzy Hilliard      President, Congregation Beth Israel

President's Message - January 2015 PDF Print E-mail
January….the time of new beginnings.  We are now past the Fall and Winter Holidays and Food Fest, and have acclimated our new Rabbi to his new congregation.  Now we turn our thoughts to other congregational concerns.  We have organized a new committee to tackle outreach and in reach.  We are working with a model first designed by Andy Taubman as a means of approaching the issues.  Thanks to our committee who has stepped up enthusiastically to this challenge.   We are also tackling some Bylaws clarifications spearheaded by Brian Honigbaum.  In addition, I am looking hopefully forward, as we come out of one of the more difficult periods in which we have had more than our share of funerals.  I hate that there has been so much sadness for our member families, but feel comforted by the support and love shown to each family touched by death.  Rabbi Emanuel is planning a variety of educational programs for the remainder of the year and hope you will give several of them a try.  A mitzvah day is also being considered and discussed.  No matter where your interests lie, we hope you can find something special here at Congregation Beth Israel.  Happy 2015!!

Suzy Hilliard
President, Congregation Beth Israel

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