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Mike Trimyer

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Home From the President
From the President
President's Message - January 2012 PDF Print E-mail
Dear Members of CBI,

The new secular year provides us as Jews a second chance (remember the high holidays?) to look back and give thanks for all the things we have to be grateful for as well as to consider how we might make our lives and the lives of others better.  On a personal level we are all thankful for the blessings of family, friends and all the very positive relations we have with others.

Looking back we have had a great year so far at Congregation Beth Israel. We started with the high holidays in which we successfully conducted services in both the main sanctuary and the social hall that has allowed Congregation Beth Israel to continue to serve the diverse religious needs of our congregation and community and meet the intentions of the successful merger with Beth Israel Synagogue that took place over 6 years ago.  

Our adult education programs including the Saturday Torah Study and 92nd Street Y continue to be provocative and engaging for congregation members truly interested in hearing about and discussing issues related to Torah, modern Israel and the arts and letters in general. Everyone who attended the recent 92nd Street Y featuring Supreme Court Judge Stephen Breyer left more knowledgeable about how the Supreme Court works and so very proud of the important role his Jewish background must have in shaping his knowledge, skills and deep thinking about the most important issues of the day.

Our once a month Shabbat family service and dinner has been extremely well attended and an evening enjoyed by congregants young and old. The Rabbi’s talk with the young people is always interesting and keeps the kids’ attention. However, if you listen carefully, the lessons apply to all of us.

Our sisterhood worked very hard in putting together the annual Food Fest that was not only very successful monetarily but brought diverse members of the congregation together to work as a team-- Young and old, new members and lifelong members all joined together to make this event an outstanding showcase for the community.

As we enter the new secular year, Congregation Beth Israel will be offering several  events we hope will engage much of the congregation. First, is a free concert by Soul Aviv on January 14, 2012. This is a quartet from California that specializes in Spiritual Jewish music that is a unique blend of Folk, Motown, Memphis Soul and world music. This promises to be a fun and entertaining evening for the entire congregation.

The second event will be held on April 1, 2012 and will feature Rabbi Bob Alper, who will provide us an evening of Jewish humor that can also be enjoyed by the entire congregation. His show will be preceded by a brief (15 minute) Special Congregational Meeting to vote on two important amendments to the Congregation By-laws. More details will follow. However, I urge you to mark your calendars now for this important night.

Finally, since the tradition of the new year is to make resolutions let me suggest a list for you to consider:

I resolve to sponsor an Oneg Shabbat in honor or memory of someone dear to me.
I resolve to join one of the Temple committees.
I resolve to attend Friday night or Saturday morning services once a month or more.
I resolve to attend the Soul Aviv Concert.
I resolve to attend a 92nd Street Y event.
I resolve to attend the hilarious evening with Rabbi Robert Alper and participate in the Special Congregation Meeting.

By adopting one or more of these resolutions I believe you will be enhancing your own lives and contributing to building Congregation Beth Israel as a family of families.

I wish you all a healthy and happy New Year.
         Jim Gold

President's Message - December 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Dear Members of CBI,

I want to express my genuine thanks and congratulations to Catherine Susser, Laura Hausman and the CBI Sisterhood for planning and conducting a most successful Food Fest. Their leadership and the Sisterhood’s commitment and work made the weekend an enjoyable experience for the entire Corpus Christi community. The food, desserts, raffle, auction, and vintage shop were all sensational winners.  The success of Food Fest has a secret ingredient—the dozens of volunteers who work for weeks preparing and then making Food Fest a reality during that special weekend in November. The purpose, camaraderie and teamwork bring people together in a special way that bonds our CBI community closer each year. I cannot name all the volunteers without missing some; however, I want each of you to know that the CBI Board of Trustees appreciates your giving of money and time to make this major event so successful.

Speaking of time—I would be remiss in not taking this opportunity to suggest you commit some time to participating in CBI activities. I encourage you to commit to attending services once or twice a month, participate in the Saturday study group, volunteer in the library or attend the 92nd Street Y live presentations via satellite. While these activities can add to our personal growth and spirituality they also provide a wonderful opportunity for congregants to socialize and become a closer families of families.
                   Jim Gold

President's Message - November 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Dear Members of CBI,

In the past month, Congregation Beth Israel congregants have been deeply involved in four significant Jewish holidays including Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkoth, and Simchat Torah. During this period of time we all had the opportunity to reflect, repent, and to commit to actions for improving our lives, the lives of loved ones and others who have unmet needs. I want to thank Rabbi Roseman, Rabbi Creditor, Gary Blum, and the many congregants who planned and took part in the services for making each experience meaningful and personal. In addition, I want to extend my appreciation to the Sisterhood for the “Breaking of the Fast” which everyone enjoyed. By all accounts the past month has been meaningful and provided us an opportunity for personal renewal.

Recently, our Adult Education Committee met for the first time this year to explore programs and activities for the year. The group decided to continue our spring Sunday morning series that has proved so successful in the past. Many potential and exciting topics and formats were discussed. The group will make their final decisions in the next few weeks. The group is also exploring the idea of showing an independent Israeli film followed by a discussion.  This would likely take place on a Saturday night and be an opportunity for Congregants to learn and socialize in an informal environment. We will also be continuing the very impressive 92nd Street Y live satellite series. All in all, it looks like a very stimulating year for our Adult Education programs.

November is looking to be a very busy month with Food Fest, the Thanksgiving service at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church on Thanksgiving Eve, Friday night and Saturday morning services, Sunday School, Hebrew School and Torah Study. I encourage you to attend the Thanksgiving Service at Good Sheperd and be a part of this long standing, interfaith tradition which will feature Rabbi Roseman providing the sermon.

Finally, I want to thank all those unsung individuals who have voluntarily pitched in to help in Rose’s absence.  The kitchen and social hall has been a very busy place and your assistance has been monumental in ensuring activities are carried off without a hitch. Thank you so very much.
                   Jim Gold

President's Message - October 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Dear Members of CBI,

In September, Congregation Beth Israel participated in a community event remembering and honoring the victims of 9-11. The fact that Christians, Muslims and Jews intentionally worked together to perform specific acts of kindness, generosity, and prayer was unique to Corpus Christi and an important part of our Jewish tradition that we not only remember but take action.  On Wednesday night September 5, 2011 the social hall was abuzz with people of all faiths packing bags of essentials for the Good Samaritan Mission. In the kitchen our teens were busy baking brownies and cookies for the homeless living at the Shelter and most importantly just enjoying the time together. I want to publicly thank Rabbi Roseman for his outstanding leadership in working with the other clergy in organizing and coordinating the entire community wide project, Julia Noble for taking charge of the kitchen where all the consumable goodies were produced, Robert Adler for sending out a wonderful personal letter that resulted in over $4,000 being raised for the homeless of Corpus Christi, and to all of our congregants who participated in one of the many projects, made a financial donation or both. We can proudly say Congregation Beth Israel family made a significant contribution to Tikkun Olam –repairing the world.

We want to start the New Year off by continuing our commitment to Tikkun Olam through our annual High Holiday Appeal. Your Board of Directors has decided that 100% of the money raised this year will be divided among three important and needy causes. First, money will be set aside to assist local congregants who have temporary financial needs. The second recipient will be the Leo Baeck School in Haifa which is an inclusive, pluralistic organization whose community center, schools and social outreach serves all Israelis – black and white, Arab and Jew, religious and secular, new immigrant and native born. The third recipient of the funds will be Yad LaKashish—Lifeline for the Old that provides needy elderly Israelis of Jerusalem with a sense of purpose and self-worth through creative work opportunities and essential support services. Those of us who have been to Israel on recent congregation trips have seen the impressive and needed services both the Leo Baeck School and Yad LaKashish provide to both the young and the old respectively in Israel today.  We hope you will consider giving to the appeal this year so that those less fortunate in these stressful times can be better off.

Barbara and I wish each of you a healthy, happy and successful new year.

                   Jim Gold

President's Message - September 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Dear Members of CBI,

The High Holidays are a time of thoughtful self-reflection when each of us has the opportunity to look inward and evaluate the past year and look forward to the year ahead. As we do, we rejoice in the blessings in our lives, understand where we fell short, and determine how, through our actions, we can all improve our lives and the lives of others in the coming year.

As you reflect and consider how you will use your valuable time in the new year I ask that each member of Congregation Beth Israel (CBI) consider how you might become more engaged in Temple activities. Examples could be increased attendance at services, sponsoring an Oneg Shabbat, joining the study group, helping with Foodfest, assisting in the office, helping maintain the library, or participating on a CBI Committee. We would welcome your involvement in any way possible.

What has become evident to me in the first few months of my presidency is that we are a relatively small congregation that is very dependent on a core of volunteers to make CBI the vibrant organization it is today. I also recognize that the Board of Trustees is both excited and genuinely committed to ensure we meet the increasing spiritual, educational and social needs of our congregants.  Your help is needed to be successful. As member engagement increases in CBI, we will be able to do so much more to meet the needs of all of our CBI members.

With this in mind, I ask that during your High Holiday reflections, you consider what action you will take this year to help build the CBI community through both increased participation in programs and activities and volunteering your valuable time, talent, and energy to help CBI meet the needs of all our congregants.

In closing, I wish all of you a healthy, prosperous and successful new year.

                   Jim Gold

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