What's Going On - June & July 2012 Print

FAMILY CORNER

Shalom Y'All,

Our first Mother's Day Brunch was a great success and it warmed my heart to share that special day with all the moms and their families who attended.  I was so proud of my boys, Eli and Nolan, for handing out roses to all our moms that day.

A big shout out to my fabulous helpers in the kitchen, David Jacobs and Harvey Lashinsky … thank you so very much for helping prepare this brunch and for your wonderful cooking tips too!!!  I couldn't have done it without you!!  Another shout out to all our wonderful teenagers who washed ALL the dishes before we all left for the day and all the guests who helped clean up, making my job so much easier.  Lastly, ongoing thanks and appreciation to Linda for helping me in and out of the kitchen.  You are a joy to work with!

Remember to keep an eye on our CBI Newsletter for the date our Family Shabbat Dinners will resume.    If you are interested in helping me in the kitchen, please call or email me.  I could always use the extra help!

Until we break bread together again, I want to wish all of you a fun-filled, relaxing, and safe summer.

Leslie Green


CONGREGATION BETH ISRAEL ANNUAL MEETING

The annual meeting of CBI will be held on Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 4:00 P.M. in the main sanctuary of CBI.  At that time, the Board and Committees will report on the year’s activities to the membership, elections of new officers and Board members will be held, a budget for the coming fiscal year will be presented for adoption. 

~BARBEQUE DINNER TO FOLLOW~~

We hope every member will strive to attend this meeting and support the continued health and achievements of the congregation.


HOLD THE DATE

Last September, nine congregations in Corpus Christi pooled their resources to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the tragic events of 9/11.  You may remember that we joined to conduct a number of civic projects (beach clean up, helping at the food bank, sending boxes to deployed troops and collecting toiletries for the Good Samaritan Shelter), each used its Sabbath worship to highlight the destruction and the lessons to be learned and then we had a combined service at the First United Methodist Church that was attended by roughly 900 people.

Following that successful interfaith venture, we concluded that it would be a shame if the good feelings and mutual commitment to understanding and to the welfare of our community were dissipated.  So, this fall, we shall offer something different to the combined religious citizens of our city.

On Sunday, October 7, we shall hold an interfaith concert at the Performing Arts Center on the campus of Texas A&M University.  Music, a remarkably common language for all peoples, will come from a variety of religious, national and ethnic traditions.  We anticipate welcoming a group of Islamic Sufi mystics who are whirling dervishes, a cantor, various other musical groups from Corpus Christi and, perhaps, a group sing-along at the end of the evening.  Our theme will be music that highlights PEACE AND FREEDOM.

We hope you will mark your calendars now for this free and exciting opportunity.  It’s our way of expressing the value that we can respect each other’s differences at the same time that we can find unity in our society.  You’ll hear more details in the fall, but let’s plan to make the evening a celebration of the best that characterizes our community.


Congregation Beth Israel Hosts Reunion of Confirmation Classes of 1962 on June 1st

Momentous events marked the year 1962.  The Cuban Missile crisis took the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of war.  The U.N. General Assembly condemned South Africa’s policy of apartheid.  In Israel, Adolf Eichmann was hung.  John Glenn became the first American to orbit space.  The first Wal-Mart opened in Bentonville, Arkansas.  Johnny Carson was named host of The Tonight Show.  Gasoline cost 28¢ a gallon.  And in Corpus Christi, Texas, B’nai Israel Synagogue and Temple Beth-El celebrated the Sunday School confirmation of 32 young people, the first of the baby-boomers.

It’s been 50 years since the occasion, and members of those confirmation classes will be returning to Corpus Christi on June 1 to celebrate the anniversary of their confirmation and to reconnect with one another and with their congregation. 

In the intervening years, the 1962 confirmands have gone on to higher education, begun professions, built businesses and started families.  They are as far-flung as California and Connecticut, but most reside in other Texas cities: Houston, Victoria, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, even Seguin!

Regrettably, several have passed away, and two cannot be located.   

In 2012 many of the classes of 1962 have retired or are nearing retirement, although a few still get up and go to work everyday.   Most have volunteered and continue to volunteer in their communities and with Jewish organizations. 

The following are expected to be in Corpus Christi for the reunion: Stephanie Wasserman Beasley, Candy Alexander Cheney, Barbara Spivak Feldman, Jay Ginsberg, Hank Goldstein, Ruth Grossman, Gerald Holtzman, Barbara Jessel Lack, Bryna Bein Levi, Carl Levy, Gary Lichtenstein, Charles Racusin, Phyllis Horn Rozen, Susan Susser, and Mark Wallock.

They hope to see you at Shabbat services on June 1st.


ON BEING ALONE

When Temple Beth El and B’nai Israel Synagogue merged in November of 2005 (now, roughly 6 ½ years ago), we made a series of commitments as part of the merger document.  Some of those commitments had to do with kashrut, and we ended up creating a dairy kitchen as part of the Grossman Auditorium.  We also agreed to hold lay-led Friday evening services in a new chapel once a month, more traditional services of Shabbat morning and a complete panoply of traditional High Holyday services.  To accomplish these goals, we remodeled the Temple’s library into a lovely chapel that was named after the Racusins and arranged that about a third of the Auditorium could be separated for use as a sanctuary during the High Holydays.  We have also made provision to hire a second rabbi during the HHD period.

We have consistently and faithfully followed through with these commitments from the time of the merger until now.  When I am away, members of the congregation have led Friday evening services, and Gary Blum has been of immense assistance on Shabbat morning.

Most of the time, we do not get enough worshippers to make a minyan on Saturday morning, and we occasionally have to ask a few people who have come early to the study group to join us so that we have at least ten people to say Kaddish.  In recent weeks, however, attendance has been nothing short of dismal and depressing.  On May 5th, I sat by myself for 45 minutes until one other person arrived; on May 12th, Gary and I had the same experience, until we were joined by two other people – one not Jewish.

I, frankly, enjoy coming to the synagogue on Saturday morning and praying with an intimate group of friends.  But, by myself or with one other person, it’s really hard to develop any spirit of worship, and I really don’t believe that my praying by myself as your surrogate works very well. We want to provide the services that members of CBI want, and we hope that you want us to continue these shabbat morning services.  But we can’t do it without your presence. In the Fall, the Worship Committee of the congregation will be examining the question of whether to continue these services or not.  What happens during the next couple of months will go a long way toward helping the Committee make its recommendation to the Board.  If you want us to continue, then I urge you to vote with your feet and attend the Shabbat services as frequently as you can.


Shalom, 
     Kenneth D. Roseman, Rabbi