President's Message - May 2012 Print

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