President's Message - January 2012 Print
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.
         Shalom,
         Jim Gold