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Laura Hausman

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From the 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'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'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's Message - December 2013 PDF Print E-mail
I want to begin by saying how proud I am of the Congregation Beth Israel family.  Thank you all for assisting the CBI Sisterhood in yet another very successful Food Fest.  We all did an amazing job of producing a weekend of Jewish Hospitality.  Special thanks of course, to the Food Fest Committee that seemed to handle every shortage, problem or issue with a smile and a solution.  The event ran like the smooth machine that it has truly become.  

I believe November was definitely a very busy month.  I wanted to especially thank Brian Honigbaum, Jim Gold and Gary Blum for handling some of the Rabbi duties this month.  Between the Food Fest, Two 92nd Street Y Programs, and the Thanksgiving Service, we had plenty or events to choose from.  

December will be just a little quieter, but personally, I am looking forward to attending the Biennial Convention for the Union of Reform Judaism, which will be held in San Diego from December 11-15. I will be spending time in various seminars and religious events and am appreciative of the Board for allowing me the opportunity to experience one of the advantages of our membership in the Union. Rabbi Roseman will also be attending the event for a few days, as a speaker on Merging Congregations.  Robin Adams will be attending, representing the Sisterhood. Congregation Beth Israel will be well represented at this international conference.
Best Wishes for a Hanukkah filled with peace and joy.
    Suzy Hilliard    

President's Message - November 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Dear CBI Family,
November is the month of our CBI Sisterhood Food Fest. I am using my space this month to brag on my fellow sisters.  I may be a little biased, but this group does amazing things with a small core group of volunteers.  As a past Sisterhood president and a past Food Fest Chair, I know exactly what they are all going through at this moment. Heavy duty cooking of mass quantities of kugel, matzo ball soup, cabbage rolls and rugelach have already taken place. Raffle prizes have been gathered and tickets mailed out to congregants, enabling all members to participate in the event.  Many meetings and numerous hours of planning have happened up to this point.   We have people chairing silent auction that are busy gathering prizes, others working on equipment, set up, signage and public relations.  Others are gathering and planning the popular vintage shop.   Co- chairs are meeting, baking, and organizing the sweet shop.  Honestly, everyone in our congregation is needed to pull off this Jewish Food Fest.  And everyone is needed to help in more than one area.  Encourage friends to attend the event, provide silent auction items, bake sweets for the ever popular sweet shop, and look through your closets for special accessories that would be perfect for the vintage shop.  However, one of the most important things you can do is attend the event on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.  Be ambassadors for our congregation.  This is a wonderful opportunity to shine, to show others that we are a welcoming group, eager to share our home and heritage with our neighbors.  There is still cooking and preparations to do.  Call and volunteer your services, and start encouraging your neighbors to join in the fun on November 16 and 17. Looking forward to seeing all of you there!      
 Suzy Hilliard    
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Friday,  November 2
Shabbat Service @ 6:30 pm
*Service of Memory and Hope

Saturday, November 3
Shabbat Service @ 9:00 am

Friday, November 9
Shabbat Service @ 6:30 pm

Saturday,  November 10
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Friday, November 16
Shabbat Service @ 6:30 pm

Saturday,  November 17
Shabbat Service @ 10:00 am
*Bar Mitzvah of Joshua Simpson

Wednesday, November 21
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Saturday,  November 24

Shabbat Service @ 9:00 am

Friday,  November 30
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Saturday,  December 1
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