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From the President
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

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

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