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Mike Trimyer

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From the President
President's Message - June & July 2012 PDF Print E-mail

Dear Members of CBI,

In mid-June I will have served as your president for 1 year. I want to take this opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments CBI has achieved over the last 12 months and to thank all of those who have contributed time, money and effort to make the year so successful.

Religiously, we have periodically enjoyed guest rabbis and cantors who have provided different insights and music for us to ponder and enjoy. Attendance on Friday nights has been good—but we encourage everyone to attend more often. Our Saturday morning and once a month Friday night continue to be offered. Although all of our special holiday services have been special, the community Passover Service was nothing short of sensational. I believe our religious offerings continue to serve our entire Congregation’s religious needs, as was my commitment a year ago.

Educationally, we have maintained a strong Sunday school program for our youth along with programs for preparing them for Bar and Bat Mitzvah. The quality and meaningfulness of each child’s service reflects the quality of their preparation. Saturday morning Torah Study has been full of lively discussion, debate and humor as the group analyzed the Pirke Avot. The 92nd street Y series has offered great live interviews and the quality is reflected by the fact that attendance has grown from 10-15 people to over 40 per session. 

From a social\social action point of view CBI participated with other religious denominations in both actively helping people and remembering the tragedy of 9/11. We conducted our annual food drive for the Corpus Christi Food Bank and Rabbi Roseman continues to be our community leader and spokesman for social action and interfaith activities in Corpus Christi. How about the evening with Rabbi Alper and the wonderful Mothers’ Day breakfast. All of these activities have added to our becoming a family of families.

In addition to the above listed accomplishments your Board of Trustees has studied and made some very important decisions regarding items that congregants have brought to our attention.

In the very near future there will be upgrades in our temple security that will provide increased safety for our Congregation and staff. The Board has also approved that Mike Trimyer be on duty when Sunday School is in session.

Thanks to the work of Amy Krams and Gary Blum significant improvements are about to take place for upgrading Seaside Cemetery which include a new sprinkling system, leveling of the ground and stones, and generally sprucing up the entire area.   These improvements will be applied to the entire Jewish section of Seaside.

Thanks to Jack Solovey the beautiful wood stars have replaced the holes left when speakers were removed from the front walls of the sanctuary.

Sidewalks around the Temple have been repaired thanks to the support of Sisterhood.

Bill Adams has volunteered his time to replace the worn out bathroom faucets and other hardware that will prevent leaks and save dollars. In addition the ceilings in several bathrooms have been upgraded.

Finally all the above and more were accomplished while maintaining a solid fiscal balance sheet.

In summary, my gratitude goes out to all of those individuals, the Board of Trustees, Sisterhood and the leadership of Rabbi Roseman for making this 2012 such active and successful year. Without all of us working together we could have never been as successful.

As you might expect there is much more to do—that is a future topic.

Please plan to attend the Annual Congregation Meeting at 4:00 p.m. on June 24, 2012. The meeting will take an hour or less and be followed with a barbeque dinner. So, come and join us for this important and fun CBI family event.

          Jim Gold

President's Message - May 2012 PDF Print E-mail

Dear Members of CBI,

I want to begin by thanking everyone who participated in our Special Congregation meeting that resulted in the passage of important amendments to both our Congregation and Permanent Endowment Fund By-laws.  The Congregation By-law changes will allow every member in good standing the opportunity to vote in person or by proxy on issues decided at either Regular or Special Congregation Meetings, while the Endowment By-law change allows past Presidents of B’Nai Israel Synagogue, Temple Beth El and Congregation Beth Israel to serve on the Trust Committee of the Permanent Endowment Fund. In all, over 60 votes were cast representing approximately a third of our Congregation. Thank you all for your support of these important changes.

Over the past year several members have expressed their concerns regarding the condition of both the Congregation Beth Israel and B’nai Israel sections of Seaside Cemetery. Your Congregation Board also recognizes the need for improvements and has been studying what needs to be done, costs and timelines. At this point I can tell you that what appeared to be relatively simple task is much more complex and costlier than anticipated. However, we are taking 2 substantial immediate steps to initiate improvements. First, a new sprinkler system is being installed that will serve the entire Seaside Jewish section and will provide consistent watering during our South Texas dry season.  Second, we will be announcing a Mitzvah Day Project and asking volunteers to meet at the cemetery to help trim and spruce up the entire area. I will be encouraging parents to get their children involved so they can learn the responsibilities we have to maintain the cemetery out of respect for those who have left us.  In addition to these actions that will provide immediate benefits, we are engaged in developing a longer-range plan for making more substantial cemetery improvements and computerizing all the information associated with each burial site. The goal will be to have a comprehensive plan for upgrading Seaside completed this summer and for work to begin soon after.

In closing let me remind you that on May 3, 2012 at 7:00 pm we will have our last 92nd Street Y program for the spring featuring Madeleine Albright. These programs are informative, entertaining and certainly add a cultural dimension not available anywhere else in Corpus Christi. This program is open to the public so bring your friends, neighbors, and high\middle school students for a unique evening at Congregation Beth Israel.

Wishing you the best in the coming month,
      Jim Gold

President's Message - April 2012 PDF Print E-mail
Dear Members of CBI,

In April we have at least 2 extremely important events that I want to address in my monthly column. First, is the April 1, 2012 Special Congregation Meeting that will be held at 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary. The only purpose of this Special Congregation meeting is to approve amendments to both the Temple Beth Israel By-Laws and Permanent Endowment Fund By-Laws in order to (1) allow for electronic voting and proxy voting by CBI members at regular and Special Congregation meetings and (2) to allow past presidents of Temple B’nai Israel Synagogue to serve on the Permanent Endowment Committee. By enacting proxy voting and electronic voting every member of CBI including those homebound, travelling, or otherwise unable to make the meeting, can have a vote in Congregation business.  By extending the opportunity for Temple B’nai Israel past presidents to serve on the Permanent Endowment Committee we increase the number of potential members and complete the final step in the merger of the 2 organizations.

In order to pass all three proposals we need approximately 62 affirmative votes! Each family and each individual member of CBI has 1 vote. So I encourage you, if at all possible, to come and vote on April 1, 2012 so we can bring about these critical changes that will make our Congregation stronger.

After the brief meeting please join us for an evening with Rabbi\Stand up Comic Bob Alper who will provide us with an evening of Jewish humor seldom heard in Corpus Christi.

The second event in April I want to address is Passover. As we pour out the ten drops of wine to remind us of the 10 plagues set upon Egypt we might want to remind ourselves that there are many cruelties in the world today that could be considered modern day plagues.

The Haggadah lists several and you may add your own:
        *The making of war
        *The teaching of hate and violence
        *Despoliation of the earth
        *Perversion of justice and government
        *Fomenting of vice and crime
        *Neglect of human needs
        *Oppression of nations and peoples
        *Subjugation of science, learning and human discourse
        *The erosions of freedoms.

Perhaps this year as you pour the 10 drops of wine you might wish to include some of these modern day plagues first in your heart and then even out loud. For it is our fervent wish that these plagues would be cast out and all people could live peaceful, meaningful and quality lives.

                Wishing you the best,
                Jim Gold
President's Message - March 2012 PDF Print E-mail

Dear Members of CBI,

April 1, 2012 is a very important night for CBI. On that evening we will be holding a special Congregation Meeting to make 2 significant changes to our CBI By-laws. The first is to expand the potential membership on the Endowment Committee to former Presidents of Temple Israel. The Endowment Committee oversees our endowment trust fund of approximately $1.6 million dollars. This fund represents both a present financial safety net for CBI and a source of funds for supporting CBI in the future. Most importantly, it symbolizes the final step in the merger process since all past presidents of both congregations will be eligible to serve on this most important committee.

The second By-law change is to allow the Congregation to vote electronically on Congregation business. This change is important since it has been virtually impossible to gather enough people for the Annual Congregation Meeting in June to meet the quorum requirements for congregation votes. The new rules would allow eligible members to vote via computer, mail or in person. 

In the next few weeks you will be receiving more information about this important event. Please feel free to call the CBI office or myself if you have any questions.

The Special Congregation meeting should only take 10-15 minutes and will be followed by a very special treat for all of us. Rabbi Bob Alper, who hails from Vermont will be delighting us with a wonderful evening of Jewish humor. His performance is sure to be an entertaining for all of us. I urge you to come, laugh and enjoy--you won’t be disappointed.

I want to thank the Sisterhood under the leadership of Robin Adams for the beautiful service they created and provided us on September 24th. Rikki  Schmitchel  created an original and spiritual service that was conducted so movingly by Sisterhood members. A special thanks to Laurie Bryce and Diana Stillman for their beautiful music that added so much to a special spiritual evening. I am already  looking forward to next years service.

Have a good month and I will hopefully see all of you on April 1, 2012 for the Congregation meeting and a wonderful night of entertainment.
     Jim Gold

President's Message - February 2012 PDF Print E-mail
Dear Members of CBI,

January has been a very exciting month for the Jewish community in Corpus Christi. Friday night services have been well attended and the Saturday study group continues to dissect Pirke Avot with thoughtful discussions, mixed with a little nosh and humor.  On January  11, 2012 many, many congregants attended a terrific production of Fiddler on the Roof.  Although many of us had seen it in the past it was a terrific reminder of our history and heritage. In fact, a group of religious school students were guests of the congregation and discussed the implications of the play during Sunday classes. What a terrific way to learn. On Saturday January 14th we “packed” the sanctuary for a wonderful evening of Soul Aviv.  The group from California provided a variety of songs that were both inspirational and just plain fun. At the end of the month

we had a Friday night pulpit guest Ron Bernstein who presented great insights into Israel today. This was a full month of culture, Torah and education which brought our congregation together on many different levels. Thank you for all who participated.

February offers even more. On February 2 Elliot Chodoff will speak at the Combined Jewish Appeal dinner. He spoke last year and by all accounts was a terrific speaker who provided great insight into the conditions in Israel today. On February 18th the movie Sarah’s Key will be shown.  I want to encourage everyone to attend the annual sisterhood Friday night service on February 24th. The Sisterhood does so much for this congregation and this is a way for us to express our appreciation for all they do.
          Jim Gold

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