President's Message - February 2016 Print

Step by Step, meeting by meeting, we are already making plans for our coming 2016 year and it looks very exciting and impressive. We have activities, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, programs, speakers, travel plans, and many other events we think you will enjoy.

Our Adult Education Committee, chaired by David Jacobs, with help from Rabbi Emanuel, is planning a great Adult Education program, Shabbat, on the weekend of February 19-21.  Joel Hoffman will be returning to CBI for a weekend of Jewish learning and conversation.  He will address the congregation on Friday evening, Saturday morning and evening, and again on Sunday morning.  He will speak on topics including “The Bible Doesn’t Say That”, and “The Language the Israelites Used from Exodus to the destruction of the 2nd Temple”.  Much more information will be coming your way, along with the plans for the weekend, so watch your mail for updates, and mark your calendar now for this exciting opportunity for some fun and interesting Jewish education.  The Adult Ed committee is also considering a film festival for a little later in the year.  

We have been negotiating with URJ on our dues structure.  This doesn’t have a lot of appeal for many of us, but our dues have continued to rise every year, and we are submitting facts and figures, asking for a reduction in the cost to belong to the support group of Union for Reform Judaism.

Suzy Hilliard gives us updates on our membership at each board meeting.  We have 9 new family unit memberships in the past few months.  I’m very happy with this number and thank Suzy and Ann Engel and their membership committee for their ongoing work.  We have several more families that are visiting our congregation and considering a membership.  We have a lot to offer and will continue to encourage new singles and families to become part of our Temple Family.  Please consider yourself a member of this committee…Do you know a family in town that may be interested in a membership at Congregation Beth Israel?  We would love for you to share their names and we will contact them as soon as possible. 

Linda Snider is chairing a new Social Action Committee.  She is doing a fine job and has recently attended several citywide meetings on registering and interviewing the homeless in Corpus Christi.  Several of our members have taken training sessions and have been out on the streets visiting with our homeless.  Another member of her committee is George Kopf, who is continuing to work with Catholic Charities on the resettlement of refugees into our area.  

Sisterhood is planning several activities.  I’m sure President Jerri Osberg will be giving us a report on a Sisterhood Trip to Port Aransas the last of February. 

We are also discussing a CBI Progressive Dinner Party in the near future.  You’ll be hearing more about this for sure.  Great food and entertainment at 3 or 4 different homes, and all in walking distance of each other….how cool is that? (No, you don’t HAVE to walk if you don’t want to, but you easily could).  
We have begun a “Friday update” to each of you with e-mail addresses.  It includes activities, times, birthdays, and activities for the week.  I hope you are enjoying reading about our events of the week.

All to say, this is just a “snapshot” of things we are working on for Congregation Beth Israel.  We are planning events for the entire year.  If you have a great suggestion or something you’d like to see or do, just send a note to me or to the Rabbi.  We need EVERY ONE of you to participate in Shabbat Services.  Our attendance is up and we encourage you to come and share the beginning of the Shabbat with good friends, a thoughtful message from the Rabbi, beautiful music, and fellowship TOGETHER.  I’m certain you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.  We’ll look forward to seeing you at Services this Friday night.  Also, would love for you to come to services and Torah Study on Saturday morning…We need more participation at these services and I know you’ll enjoy them also.

Chris Adler, President
Congregation Beth Israel.