President's Message - September 2017 Print

Dear Congregants,

I am writing this newsletter with a mixture of relief, concern, gratitude, and optimism. I am relieved that we were able to contact most of our congregants who were either homebound or living in the areas devastated by hurricane Harvey to confirm their safety, identify their immediate needs, and help some with temporary housing, food and support. I am relieved that our congregants have survived Harvey and we are now in the recovery process. I am concerned that some have had their homes and communities devastated and the healing process will be much longer for them. I am grateful for both the e-mails and calls from Temples from all over the country expressing their concern and wanting to help bring normalcy to our lives and to the Congregants who pitched in to help each other. I am optimistic that the coming year will allow all of us to start to heal from this distressing experience, continue to help others, and have an ever increasing appreciation for what is important in our lives. 

Prior to hurricane Harvey Rabbi Emanuel and I met with Dr. James Caplan’s brother and received a $500,000 donation to CBI from his estate. The large amount gets our attention right away but I think it is very important for me to share some thoughts expressed by Dr. Caplan’s brother regarding why his brother made such a generous contribution. Dr. Caplan was a member of the congregation for many years and supported us through significant dues and contributions to various fundraising efforts such as Food Fest Raffle Tickets and any special times funds were requested.  However, his brother indicated Dr. Caplan was not someone who closely followed Jewish rituals or regularly attended services but rather had a great appreciation for growing up Jewish. He was concerned about protecting the heritage of the Jewish people and he had a great love for Israel having traveled there several times. But most of all he gave in order to help the Jewish community in Corpus Christi to not only survive but to flourish. For him, this was an investment in the Jewish people given from the heart with no strings attached so that our Family of Families may prosper now and in the future.  

Given the devastation of Harvey and the upcoming High Holidays perhaps we should all think about Dr. Caplan’s commitment to helping people and our CBI community in this same manner – simply giving time, energy, and money out of love and caring to help people in need, support CBI, and sustain our Jewish heritage in whatever ways possible.

Wishing everyone a heathy, happy, and prosperous new year.
           Jim Gold, CBI President