PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE April 2020
We are still in the midst of sheltering-in-place and avoiding large crowds. We have created a viable situation at CBI by not meeting at the synagogue for worship services. We are using the zoom platform like thousands of other businesses/religious services in our country. We use this platform for Fri and Sat. Services, as well as board meetings and educational classes. It is working well, so far. Our administrator – Sue Barush – wants people to know that email is the best method to communicate with her – email@example.com
Speaking of communication, our website has been in service for many years. It’s time for a change! We have hired a website designer to update and revamp our offerings. This will allow more community exposure and updated information. The designer is Susan Schwartz and she will begin designing our new site – with the same address – immediately. Our thanks go out to Ignat and Katya Mayzeles for their work over the years on our previous site.
Our education committee reports that the Sunday school and the adult education program are both going well. Other synagogue business is the 2020/2021 budget, which the finance committee is preparing for presentation on May 18th.
Our programs and Events Committee is doing a great deal of “reshuffling” to accommodate new on-line offerings, as well as reconfiguring classes to the new state-wide requirements of CA. Current classes include a Rosh Chodesh program on this Sunday (4/26) in conjunction with Hadassah and Chabad. We had a Yom Hashoah meeting this past week in memory of the Holocaust with Yiskah. She will also continue teaching the Kabbalah classes in May. We have temporarily cancelled the auction, the open house, and Ron Nathan’s astronomy class. Please complete the survey to add your input to the document that was sent to all members about future classes/programs.
Membership has restarted our Sunshine Committee and Micki Baker is the new chair. Her job is to send birthday and other cards to folks. (I’ve already received a couple – great job!!). Since we’re not regularly meeting at CBI, our membership committee is using this time to plan more aggressive membership outreach and complete job descriptions for all CBI employees.
The Buildings and Grounds committee reported they are temporarily fixing the kitchen roof and contacting some local contractors to permanently repair the structure underneath the tiles, section-by-section. The Grounds committee is weeding the Rose Garden. (It is hard work, but one can immediately see the results.) The Ritual, Security, Seder, and Library had nothing to report.
We are members of Common Ground which is working to write the ordinance for the county in providing necessary services for this crisis. Our visiting educator, Yiskah Rosenfeld, thanked the membership of CBI for the warmth given her. She wants to help create a vibrant, diverse community; and she has begun that process by offering one Friday night service a month for this month and next. Her offering is a contemplative service different from those we generally have here. Those in conjunction with the Rabbi’s services, the ones offered by Linda Chene, and the musical services by Martin & Cheryl Gewing offer a nice variety for Friday nights.
Dorrin Rosenfeld <firstname.lastname@example.org>
PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE - December 2021
This Board Meeting was short and sweet with much good news. I appointed our new head of the Building and Grounds Committee, Jim Petrellese! We’ve been looking for a chair for the Building and Grounds Committee for about two years. We had people to work, we just needed someone to organize and coordinate them. Thanks for stepping up, Jim.
The Religious Education Committee (Cheryl Gewing, Chair) informed us that the students are meeting virtually for now as Aitan Mizrahi is in Southern California. The committee’s major undertaking has been the attempt to reach out to former and new families with kids. Relevant factors are the cost, and possible need for a change. This matter will be examined by the Finance Committee. Rachel Lessem has agreed to help with teaching as well. That aid, in conjunction with lesson-planning agendas from former Principal Melissa Edwards, will allow expansion of our school.
The Finance Committee (Dan Feinberg and Myra Binstock) reported “fabulous news”; our net income is in the black. Like last month, the Programs and Events Committee (Mary Schwartz, Chair) has a number of continuing programs, all of which are going well (classes by Rabbi White, Rachel Lessem, Ron Nathan and Bernie Goldberg, Cheryl Gewing, Sarah Futterman-Devies, and the book club hosted by Mary Schwartz). Attending any of these classes is a benefit of membership! It was brought up and discussed that some people who are not members of CBI are regularly participating in these classes with no payment forthcoming. Suggestions included taking attendance and reminding non-members to donate $5 a class. There will also be a reminder with the announcements of the classes with a website link to donate.
Speaking of Membership (Gail Lamkins, Chair) it was reported 57 families, an increase from last month, are registered; five have not paid, and we are working with them. We are also pursuing three new folks, two of whom are already attending classes. It was suggested that upon joining, members will be hand-delivered a welcome basket/box, including a calendar, Shabbat candles, and a book about local Jewish residents written by CBI members. Speaking of recognition, the Sunshine Committee (Micki Baker McGinnis, Chair) is up-to-date on birthdays, anniversaries, get-well and thinking-of-you cards.
Buildings and Grounds (Martin Gewing) has some important, continuing issues that require work. The first is the wall heaters, which we have decided to pay for with the help of a grant. This involves an energy efficiency survey which will provide us with some useful insight. There is also a continuing problem with the pedestrian gate next to the parking lot gate, which is temporarily locked. However, the pedestrian gate located in front of the formal synagogue entrance is fully functioning. Another security-related concern is offsite visibility and monitoring, which is being handled by Martin, who has lent CBI three cameras with online access. They are in our entranceway/parking lot to keep tabs on local movement.
The Ritual Committee (Martin Gewing, Chair) is finding people to lead services each week. We are all reminded to have vaccination cards on file (or show them at the door) and wear masks in the building. The parking lot will only be open until 10:30 AM on Saturdays. unless separate arrangements are made in advance.
Our Safety/Security Committee (Ron Nathan, Chair) is very busy at this time. Ron continued the Building and Grounds Committee business with the news that he has contacted several contractors for repair estimates of our pedestrian gate. He said that due to their winter work-load, we are at the bottom of all of their to-do lists. However, all of our other gates are effectively working. The Omicron Covid-19 variant has caused a major wave of damage in California. Masks are now required in public (the CDC lists places) for those unvaccinated and recommended for all, until January 15, 2022. He talked specifically about the Omicron variant, and its tendency to spread easily and without regard to vaccination status, which leads to a more positive outcome in general. Obviously more study and lab testing are necessary. Also, antisemitism is still an ongoing threat – be diligent in watching your surroundings.
Our Hanukkah Party (Cheryl Gewing, Chair) was a huge success, with 33 attendees. Congratulations are due our volunteers for their inspiration and tremendous efforts leading to a happy success (Micki Baker McGinnis, Ralph Pierce with Angelic Pierce and Amari Watson, Anna Brewer, Honore McIlhattan, Gail Lamkins, Fern Bernstein, Wendy Schuplinsky, Susan George, Nadine Goodban, Rachel Lessem, Heather Campbell, and Shoshana Nurik). Special thanks to Bernie Goldberg and Gail Lamkins, for their donations. We enjoyed the candle lighting, songs, a raffle and special Hanukkah foods. Also, Amari won the dreidel prize!
The next CBI Board meeting is on January 24, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.
CBI President Dorrin Rosenfeld