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Mike Trimyer

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From the President
President's Message - May 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Dear Members of CBI,

We have now completed three of the four planned Towne Hall meetings in which congregants expressed their concerns and needs for how CBI should support the Jewish community as well as their support for many of the current traditions and activities that we provide. In the next few weeks we will be completing the analysis process and mailing a copy of the results to every member of CBI.
I want to take this opportunity to emphasize one theme that played throughout the 3 sessions—despite differences, CBI has a feel of family, helpfulness, and religion that is not often present in other Jewish communities. Your Board runs the business of the CBI in a very effective manner; the decisions are based on good business practices and what is in the best interest of CBI. The Board and rabbi have supported all the agreements of the merger in order to serve the diverse needs of congregants. Adult education courses are well attended and special events such as the Rabbi’s lecture series and 92nd Street Y offer opportunities for learning often not available in other congregations. Our Sunday school offers children an opportunity to learn and socialize in a Jewish environment—both critical elements in growing up Jewish in a mid-size town such as Corpus Christi.
The Town Hall meetings indicated that some of these items may need to be tweaked in the future but one additional item must continue unchanged—the sense of family. Newer congregants and long-time members recognize that CBI is here to serve—people pitch-in when help is needed whether it be the Mitzvah Committee providing food, individuals baking for special events, people checking on others who are ill or those who generously contribute so that we can hold special events such as the 92nd Street Y. However, the most important ingredient is an intangible that takes place when members interact whether it be while skinning chickens for food fest, chatting at Friday night Oneg or interacting at a Town Hall meeting—it is a sense of family, caring, and pride centered on our Jewish values of Study, Torah and Tikkun Olam.
There is little doubt that with the ideas expressed in the Town Hall meetings, the hiring of a new Rabbi and the changing financial and demographic make-up of our congregation some changes will take place in the future. Like all change some members will be pleased, some displeased and others will not be affected. As potential changes are discussed and actions taken it is critical that each of us act in a way that is respectful of others and supports the best interest of our entire congregation. Most of all we all need to protect  our sense of family that is the true heart of CBI.
                    Jim Gold

President's Message - April 2013 PDF Print E-mail

Dear Members of CBI,

We welcomed Spring with a wonderful and meaningful Temple Passover Seder in which Congregants participated by reading portions of the Haggadah and joyously recited a “Passover Rap.” I want to thank both Rabbi Roseman for providing us  a festive, thoughtful and creative Passover service and Phyllis Roseman and the Sisterhood for the delicious Passover supper. Coming attractions for the Spring also include Rabbi Roseman’s Sunday morning lecture series, Yom Hashoa, Israel Independence day and Shavuot.
Of course, we have Friday night services, Saturday morning traditional services, and Saturday morning Torah Study. All of these events are opportunities for each of us to separate from our hectic secular world and immerse ourselves in our Jewish heritage and traditions.  I encourage you to join us to learn, participate in our Jewish traditions or to just meditate and think—whatever works for you.

This spring members of your Board of Trustees with the leadership of Julia Noble and Richard Hausman also have been very busy in preparing for the important Town Hall meetings that will be conducted over the next few weeks. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of your ideas and opinions regarding the future of the Congregation. Through this process we will identify the activities and services you feel will meet our congregation needs over the next 5 years or so. Once that information is studied, the results will be used in three ways:

1. Through the Newsletter we will let you know what the Congregation members told us.

2. The Board of Trustees will be using the information both to support and improve current programs and create new programs and activities the Congregation feels we need in order to serve the diverse needs of our community.

3. This information will be used by the Rabbinic Search Committee to help complete our application and create a set of questions to be answered by prospective candidates. This will allow us to find the best Rabbi available  to lead us in providing our congregants the religious, educational, cultural, social, social action, and interfaith activities and services we have identified as a community.
We have a wonderful family of families, but like all organizations we need to see how we can get even better and ensure we are meeting the needs of our entire Jewish Community.
I look forward to seeing all of you at one of the Town Hall meetings. 
        Jim Gold


President's Message - March 2013 PDF Print E-mail

Dear Members of CBI,

This month Congregation Beth Israel begins a journey into the future that will provide the vision and direction for the congregation over the next 10 years through conducting a Congregation Strategic Planning process. Critical to the success of this trip is the participation of as many members of the Congregation as possible---after all, this is your Congregation and your collective ideas, opinions and feelings are what must drive the vision and future direction of Congregation Beth Israel.
Every trip needs a very competent navigator and the same is true of our strategic planning process. In order to ensure the success of our journey I have asked Julia Noble and Richard Hausman to co-navigate the Congregation into the future. I want to publicly thank them for taking on this task, which is so important to us as a congregation.
At this point Richard and Julia are working on the plans and timetable for the entire process that we hope to substantially complete by the end of May. However, we have recognized that we need fuel for our journey into the future. In this case the fuel required is our congregants opinions, views, concerns and ideas. To be more direct we need your individual answer to the question, what do want our congregation to be like over the next 10 years and how can we make that happen? Or more personally, how can CBI better serve your religious, educational and social needs as a Jew?

Congregation Beth Israel has many positive aspects that we want to make sure we preserve, but we also need to identify where we can get better. Through analyzing our demographics, collecting and synthesizing your opinions and developing specific ways of meeting the current and future needs of the congregation we will make Congregation Beth Israel an even closer and more vibrant family of families.
To start this process I urge you to attend one of the Town Hall meetings scheduled below:

Sunday, March 31, 2013 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Thursday, April 11, 2013 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Sunday, April 14, 2013   3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Remember your involvement is critical to the success of this endeavor that will have a significant impact on our Congregations future. Your voice will be heard.
Looking forward to seeing all of you at one of the CBI Town Hall Meetings! 
        Jim Gold


President's Message - February 2013 PDF Print E-mail

Dear Members of CBI,

This month you Board of Trustees was very busy and took several actions that affect the entire Congregation.

First, I want to bring you up to date on plans to search for a rabbi to serve Congregation Beth Israel (CBI) following Rabbi Roseman’s recently announced retirement.  At the January meeting of the CBI Board of Trustees the Board authorized the President to 1) appoint a Rabbinic Search Committee of no more than 8 people representative of the congregation, 2) prepare and submit an application to the appropriate URJ office to advertise for the position of Associate Successor Rabbi to begin on or about June 1, 2013, and 3) to prepare and send a letter to the congregation informing them of the process and timeline for filling the position.  The letter was sent to the congregation soon after and the Rabbinic Search Committee was formed and met. The first hour of the meeting discussed the procedures we would use while the second hour was a conference call with Rabbi Allen Henkin the Director of Placement for the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Rabbi Henkin expressed 2 major concerns: first, the congregation had not gone through a thorough “study” to determine what personal and rabbinic characteristics would best serve our congregation.  Congregations that go through such a process are most successful in selecting their Rabbis. Second, most congregations seeking a rabbi beginning the summer of 2013 have already hired or are near the hiring stage. This means that although we may still select an outstanding Rabbi,  the pool to select from is greatly diminished.  After further discussion the Rabbinic Search Committee felt it was in the best interest of the congregation to take the rest of the year in conducting our Strategic Planning Initiative and to resume the rabbinic search by June 2013 with the new rabbi expected on the pulpit by  June 2014. This approach appears to be in the best interest of the congregation and maximizes our chances of finding a rabbi that will best meet our identified needs.

Second, as some of you may have noticed the fountain at Seaside Cemetery memorializing Doris Grossman Simon has been removed. The Board recognized the need for an appropriate replacement memorial. In order to facilitate this task the Board of Trustees adopted the following resolution:

It is the Board of Trustees’ commitment to create a memorial for Doris Grossman Simon that will properly commemorate her memory and be an enhancement to the Jewish section of Seaside Cemetery which she dedicated so much time, effort and love in maintaining. The Cemetery Committee working with family members will have the responsibility of expediting this task.

The Board of Trustees also approved a set of guidelines for donations of property or money to purchase specific objects. Although the Guide provides specific tasks and responsibilities the general guidelines are as follows:

1. All Objects or property donated to CBI become the sole property of CBI.

2. It is the responsibility of CBI to maintain all donated objects.

3. All changes or destruction of donated items are the sole responsibility of CBI.

However, if the donated items are to be destroyed or modified a good faith effort should be made to notify and solicit family reactions. Such reactions should be included in any action taken.

We will publish the actual guideline in a forthcoming newsletter and it will be posted online.

Last but not least you will receive information in February regarding the CBI Strategic Planning Process. I look forward to your participation in the process since we will setting the course for CBI over the next 10 years or so, Your opinion counts!

        Jim Gold


President's Message - January 2013 PDF Print E-mail

Dear Members of CBI,

As the year 2012 comes to a close I think back on what a busy and successful year we have had thus far—the High Holiday services were well attended, ran smoothly and were meaningful to all who attended. Laurie and Kim did a beautiful job in representing our Jewish heritage through song at the Diversity Concert sponsored jointly by CBI, the Mosque, and several churches. Food Fest was an overwhelming financial success that brought our CBI community together and continued to promote the idea that sharing our traditions with the greater community promotes understanding and goodwill with the entire Corpus Christi Community. The 78th Thanksgiving Service with Good Shepherd Episcopal Church continues our tradition of working and living together based on our common understandings and beliefs. In addition to these individual events the 92 Y, family dinner services, Rabbi Roseman’s Sunday morning lecture series, Saturday Torah study and Friday night services  have been outstanding and well attended. Thank you to all who have made these events happen both through financial contributions and hard work.  A special thanks to those who have attended and enjoyed each experience—this is what makes all these events worthwhile.

As we begin the year 2013 we will be looking at the future of CBI from every aspect—religious, social, spiritual, educational, and financial. This will all be done under an umbrella process of Strategic Planning that is being done by congregations throughout the country. We will be working with a representative of the Regional URJ in helping both plan and implement the Strategic Planning process. A critical part of this process will be your input into answering questions like—How can CBI better serve you? and How can CBI better serve the whole Jewish community? This will be an exciting process but will only be success with your participation. So, in January when you receive a description of the process and how you can participate—please take the time to join in and help plan the future of CBI.

In closing, I wish you all a healthy and happy new year

        Jim Gold


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