What's Going On - October 2011 Print

Corpus Christi Community Religious School

Our religious school is off to a wonderful start!  We began our first session on Sunday, September 11, 2011, with a meeting in the sanctuary for students, parents, and teachers.  Following introductions and discussion, teachers took their students to classrooms and parents went to the auditorium for registration and refreshments.

The theme for this school year is Bal Tashchit, which is the value of not being destructive or wasteful.  It comes from the idea that everything on this earth belongs to G-d and we are just caretakers.  As a school we collect tzedakah, which is one way of repairing the world.  Encourage your children to bring tzedakah every Sunday, perhaps part of their earnings that week.

Teachers for this year’s Sunday sessions are Laura Spector – PreK/Kinder, Chelsea Eisenberg – First/Second, Brittany Hilliard – Third/Fourth, Laurie McKinley (Amanda McKinley – Assistant) – Fifth/Sixth, and Dave Ryan & Rabbi Roseman - Eighth/Ninth.  Laura Simpson is our substitute.  Hebrew School teachers are Laurie McKinley, Chelsea Eisenberg, and Rabbi Roseman.

Teaching Assistants are Amanda McKinley, Aaron McKinley, and Laura Spector.

Consecration will be held prior to services on Friday, October 21st.  Consecration will begin at 5:30 PM and Family Shabbat Services will begin at 6:00, followed by dinner at 7:00.  We hope you will share this special occasion with our young people.

The Jewish Children’s Regional Service has provided us with a resource for parents and young children.  Check out these ready-made family enrichment programs at http://pj.gijptech.org/?page_id=222.  

We welcome our returning students as well as the new additions to our school family.  Happy New Year to everyone!                                                                            

                Shalom!

                Susan


FAMILY CORNER

Our first Family Shabbat Dinner of the season was a big hit last month!  It was wonderful to see such a large turnout, not only by so many of our congregants, but by our new families as well.  I know we made the newcomers feel welcome with our great CBI hospitality!!!

I would like to take this opportunity to give a very special thanks to Susan Martin who helped me in the kitchen.  You are a joy to work with and I couldn't have done it without you!!!

Please let me wish each and every one of you L'Shana Tova … a new year filled with peace, joy, happiness, good health and love!! I hope you join us for our next Family Shabbat Dinner on Friday, October 21st with services at 6:00pm and dinner to follow.

I'll never turn down extra help in the kitchen, so let me know if you'd like to help cook.  If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share, please email me and let me know that too!!

Until we break bread together again,

Happy & Healthy New Year 5772,


Leslie Green

Programming Director

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SISTERHOOD REPORT

With the High Holidays behind us, Sisterhood is now focused on Food Fest.  This year’s Food Fest will be held on November 12th and November 13th.  The organizers of this event are working very hard to make this another huge success.  We are looking forward to another busy but fun weekend.  Please come out and support this annual event.

On behalf of Sisterhood, I would like to wish you and your family a very Happy New Year.

                                    Robin Adams


YOM KIPPUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE

We are very privileged to announce that the music for the interlude of Yom Kippur Afternoon will be provided by eminent Corpus Christi harpist, Patricia Furley.  Long the harp soloist for the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra and noted teacher of many harp students, Mrs. Furley will provide about forty minutes of inspirational and moving music.

Congregants are invited to the Main Sanctuary at about 2:00 PM to listen – or meditate, snooze, read or otherwise engage in quiet and personal activities.  The only thing that is forbidden is talking – there are already too many words on Yom Kippur, so we do not need to add more!


KEVER AVOT SERVICES SCHEDULED

 The annual memorial services at our two cemeteries (Kever Avot) will be held in the early afternoon of Sunday, October 2, 2011.  The service at Seaside Memorial Park will take place at 12:30 P.M.  It will be followed at 1:30 P.M. by a similar service at Hebrew Rest Cemetery between Laredo and Agnes Streets.  Each service will last approximately 20-30 minutes, and there will be the opportunity thereafter to visit family gravesites and say Kaddish on an individual basis.

Congregation Beth Israel High Holiday Food Drive is off and Running!

Each year our congregation collects both food and money to be donated to the Corpus Christi Food Bank as another way we help repair the world—Tekun Olam.

Did you know--  For every $1 donated the Corpus Christi Food Bank can purchase $16.00 worth of food. 

What a great return --- a $10 donation buys $160 worth of food, $20 buys $320 worth of food and $100 buys $1600 worth of food.

Given this opportunity to help replenish the food bank in these difficult economic times I encourage you to donate food as a visible way of showing our desire to help those in need.  Monetary donations of any amount will be especially welcomed so the Food Bank can multiply the value of our contribution.  In other words please donate food, money or both to help those less fortunate in Corpus Christi.

We will have bags and donation envelopes available at the Temple during the High Holidays for you to pick up or you can use your own. Please make checks out to Congregation Beth Israel or directly to the Corpus Christi Food Bank—either way 100% of your donation goes to the Food Bank.

Thank you for your anticipated participation in this most worthwhile activity.

If you have any questions please contact the Congregation Office at 361-857-8181..


REPORT ON MITZVAH PROJECT

You may remember that CBI, along with seven other religious congregations, sponsored a memorial project for 9/11.  That project had three central components: individual worship services at each congregation to highlight the lessons we had learned in the decade since the 9/11 tragedy; a communal service to culminate the observance; and a series of mitzvah projects to honor those who died and those who still live with pain and grief.

Interfaith teams cleaned up four miles of the Padre Seashore beach, packed over fifty boxes of gifts to be sent to soldiers and marines in Afghanistan, worked diligently at the Food Bank and collected toiletries for the residents of the Good Samaritan Rescue Mission.

It was this last project for which CBI took primary responsibility.  On Wednesday, September 7, a group of over sixty people (including non-members of the congregation) gathered to sort and then bag the accumulated personal care items.  Long tables were set in the Auditorium, and they groaned under the weight of the overflow of donated items.  We had hoped that we could transmit 150 personal bags of toiletries to Good Sam, but we exceeded that number by an additional 25.  Plus, we had a lot of unbagged toothpaste, soap, razors and other items that they will disperse at their initiative.

In the kitchen, a team of teenagers and parents cooked a ton of chocolate chip cookies and sheets of brownies from dough that had been earlier prepared.  Let’s quote from the letter that Carole Murphrey, Good Sam’s Executive Director, sent to CBI on the Sunday following the project:

    On Wednesday evening at Good Sam, they made an announcement over the speaker system that hot cookies and brownies were on the way.  They were standing by the street when Tony drove the van up with the cookies!     Then they swarmed MY car when I drove up with a trunk full of brownies.  When the first guy said that the pans were still too hot to pick up, there was a stampede!  They had already finished off the cookies, so I have concluded that their legs are hollow.

    Those hot, home-baked sweets are not just the best goodies they have consumed     in ages.  The symbolism speaks so loudly. YOU regarded a homeless person so highly that you didn’t just give them cookies and brownies.  You took the time and effort to mix the dough, bake the delicious goodies, and get them to the homeless while they were hot.  These were not leftovers….these were “special cookies and brownies” JUST for THEM ~ homeless people who matter to almost no one.  And it wasn’t “one cookie” each.  It was all the goodies they wanted. Homeless areoften treated in our society like stray dogs.  They are almost never treated as honored, “worth the effort” special  people of value.

In addition to all the above, we were able, through the generosity of many donors, to give Good Sam a check in the amount of $4,330.00.  During the summer, their contributions fall off and their expenses mount with high bills for air conditioning.  This financial support made it possible for them to pay off their late summer bills in full.  We’ll never forget the tears in Carole’s eyes when she saw the amount on the check and realized that CBI had saved the shelter from serious financial default.

It was enormously gratifying to be able to help Good Sam in this manner.  But it was equally rewarding to be able to begin the Jewish year with a mitzvah of this magnitude and impact, and it was certainly important that our young people were actively involved in the performance of a mitzvah – what a great teaching moment!

Many, many, many thanks to all who contributed and to all who worked to make this project such a success.

…….WHAT’S NEXT

There are two opportunities for the performance of additional mitzvot of  tzedakah during the High Holydays.

We have our traditional food drive.  The Haftorah for Yom Kippur says that God takes no pleasure in our self-affliction, but that we distribute our bread to the hungry.  That is the fast that God has chosen.  CBI collects canned goods and other non-perishable food stuffs during the Holydays to give to the Corpus Christi Food Bank.  We urge you to pick up one of the bags that are available in our lobby, fill it with appropriate food and bring it to the collection point in the Temple during the Holydays.  If you cannot bring a bag, you can send a check to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund that will be transmitted to the Food Bank – you could actually do that in addition to bringing food!

You have also received a letter from Jim Gold, our congregational president, about the annual High Holy Day Appeal.  This year, the fund will not be used for operational or maintenance purposes at the congregation, but will be devoted exclusively to tzedakah.  Part of the money will be retained in Corpus Christi for emergency, one-time relief help to congregants who are experiencing financial crises.  The rest of the money will be divided between the Leo Baeck School, an interfaith, intercultural K-12 school in Haifa that is run by the Reform Jewish movement, and Yad LaKashish, Israel’s model sheltered workshop program of dignified support for elderly immigrants in Jerusalem.  Your contribution will be most appreciated.