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From the President
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


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

Dear Members of CBI,

My grateful thanks go out to the CBI Sisterhood and all our congregants who organized, prepared for, and conducted a spectacular Food Fest 2012.  Chairs Catherine Susser and Laura Hausman is to be commended for their outstanding leadership in helping bring the temple team together for this outstanding event that not only raised significant funds for Sisterhood and CBI but also enhanced the CBI image throughout the Corpus Christi community.  I would like to borrow from the Olympic closing ceremony tradition and as President of CBI declare the 2012 CBI Food Fest the best ever!

The attendance at the 84th annual Thanksgiving joint service with Good Shepherd Episcopal Church was outstanding, and all gained spiritually from the meaningful service. Thank you all who were able to attend and continue this great tradition.

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone ,Hanukkah is just around the corner. We will all eat lots of latkes, light candles and exchange gifts. But let us especially remember this year that Hanukkah represents a small band of Jewish rebels lead by Judah Maccabee who saved the Jewish religion and people from destruction at the hands of the “mighty” Hellenistic Syrians. The Jewish rebels restored and purified the Temple in Jerusalem during which time they found enough oil to light the menorah for one day but it miraculously lasted eight days. Thus on the 25th of Kislev we begin celebrating 8 days of Hanukkah.

Although today we may not physically have to  fight for our religious freedom in America, we still have to stand up and act when necessary for ourselves and for others throughout the world whose religious and other freedoms are in jeopardy. This year especially we need to keep the people of Israel in our prayers to ensure they, like Judah Maccabee and the rebels, are victorious against all those who wish to destroy them.

I wish you all a happy Hanukkah and look forward seeing you at the Temple soon.

      Jim Gold


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

Dear Members of CBI,

These days CBI is bustling with people and wonderful aromas emanating from the kitchen, in preparation for Food Fest. This major event sponsored by our Sisterhood, generates significant dollars however, the goodwill generated between the Jewish and Corpus Christi community at large is invaluable. Through the food served we share our heritage but our welcoming spirit shows a genuine desire to be part of a community in which we recognize the similarities among all people and the need to respect our differences.  So bring all of your friends and family and enjoy!

This will be the 78th year that Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd and CBI have conducted a shared Thanksgiving service. I personally enjoy participating and helping sustain this long time interfaith tradition.  I am amazed at the courage it must have taken by both clergies to propose and conduct a joint Thanksgiving services in a time when interfaith activities were limited and even frowned upon. This year the service will be hosted in the CBI sanctuary on Wednesday, November 21, at 7:30.  I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to experience the true spirit of Thanksgiving and in the process making sure CBI is well represented at this event.

Both the Corpus Christi Food Bank and the High Holiday Fund drive will be extended to Thanksgiving. At the present time we have received $1,262.00 and are in need of donations to reach our goal of $2,000 for the Food Drive while contributions for the High Holiday Appeal are always welcomed.  For those of you who have contributed, I thank you for your Mitzvot.  Please keep in mind every contribution large and small is just as important---please give as you can.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at Food Fest.

      Jim Gold


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

Dear Members of CBI,

I want to thank all of the readers for making the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur  services so personal and moving.  A gold star goes out to our Sisterhood, especially Susan Martin, for preparing the wonderful Rosh Hashanah Oneg and the Yom Kippur breaking of the fast.  Both the traditional and reform services were well attended and meaningful to all.

The Shofar called us together on Rosh Hannah to reflect and repent and sounded again at the end of Yom Kippur indicating this thoughtful period had ended. During this time we read and listened to very moving liturgy, the Rabbi addressed and we pondered critical questions all Jews ask sometime in their lives, and finally we reflected on the past year and prayed for repentance for acts we knowing and unknowing committed. So what now?

The real meaning of the High Holidays is reflected in the actions we take the rest of the year.  Let me pose several questions.

As a result of Yom Kippur:

How many of us were honest enough to admit we had committed acts of word or deed against others but more importantly how many of us have made an effort to contact that person and make amends?

How many of us thought you should do more to contribute to Tikkun Olam but more importantly how many of us have taken action to actually do something?

How many of us realized a need to be more involved in our Jewish religious life but more importantly how many of us have contemplated how we might do this and what actions have we taken.

How many of us felt a need to be more committed to Congregation Beth Israel through being involved in projects and committees but more importantly how many of us have taken action and called the Congregation Beth Israel Office to volunteer for projects or committees, requested to discuss  how you can contribute  given your interests, skills,  and time constraints.

I encourage you take the actions necessary for making your personal and religious lives better for yourselves and your families but I also encourage you to pick up the phone and call the CBI office and tell Debbie you want to volunteer for a specific committee or project or that you want to talk to someone about the possibilities open to you.

The reason I ask these question so soon after Yom Kippur is simple-- that the longer we wait the less likely we are to act. I look forward to working with all of you over the next year so that we can make Congregation Beth Israel an even greater Family of Families.

I wish you all a healthy, happy and successful new year.

 L'Shanah Tovah
      Jim Gold


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