PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE - January 2022
We had a great start to the new year! We are the proud recipients of $185,946 from CalOES for Security Upgrades. Special thanks to Ron Nathan for his tireless effort to secure that grant for us!! Now we can get down to the work of upgrading doors, windows, cameras, lighting, an intercom system, and exit pathways, etc. Ron welcomes any and all help he can get on these repairs and security committee work in the face of anti-Semitism.
Sue Barush began with a well-deserved thank you for help with the production of our latest membership directory (Cheryl Gewing, Gail Lamkins and Micki Baker). Sue also complimented the Safety and Security Committee (Ron Nathan, chair) for their forward thinking and action.
Religious Education (Cheryl Gewing/Micki Baker) reported that although we are small in numbers, there is a great deal of enthusiasm for the garden (students, butterflies and local pets). The project currently requires cardboard; for which any donations are welcome. One goal is local recognition of CBI.
The finance Committee (Dan Feinberg and Myra Binstock) also delivered good news. They reported a positive net income, with a specific donation to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund.
Like last month, Programs and Events (Mary Schwartz) thanked those leading our continuing programs, all of which are going well (classes by Rabbi White, Rachel Lessem, Bernie Goldberg and Ron Nathan, Cheryl Gewing, Sarah Futterman-Devies; and the Book Club, hosted by Mary Schwartz).
Our Membership Committee chair (Gail Lamkins) and Myra Binstock deserve kudos for completing our Section 501(c)(3) application after more than a year of work. Officially declaring our non-profit status allows us several new opportunities, grants, and services. Gail announced 59 member families (+ 2 more who were approved at this meeting). They will receive our new “welcome bags.” The Sunshine Committee (Micki Baker) is also continuing to recognize important dates for our members.
Building and Grounds (Jim Petrellese) sent a report detailing the goals for this year. 1) Our new security grant and the work generated from that. 2) Our new Energy Efficiency Grant. Martin Gewing has been working on this. He is temporarily stalled as the cost for an energy audit is over $6000. We require a Plan “B” in order to move forward – ideas welcome. 3) Current camera system and key code access. The last 2 items involve asphalt quotes which we are awaiting: 4) PSI asphalt to resurface our parking lot. 5) We still need to repair the walking gate. The Building and Grounds crew thanked Micki’s husband, Mike McGinnis, for mowing our lawn – a very large job!
The Ritual Committee (Cheryl and Martin Gewing) continues to find people to lead services each week. We are all reminded to be fully vaccinated + booster and wear masks in the building. The mask issue was discussed by Rabbi White. He wants to use the special donation to his Discretionary Fund to purchase Israeli Sonovia masks which are fitted individually for each person, greatly enhancing their effectiveness. Not only do they have special built-in mechanisms to kill and deactivate virus particles on the spot; they are very comfortable. Due to their superior workmanship, they are more expensive than others, but we can save by buying in quantity. The board had a vote and approved the purchase of these masks. We are currently working on the necessary logistics.
In addition to the grant, the Safety & Security Committee (Ron Nathan) reviewed the current Covid situation in Solano County. The number of sick people varies by day, but over 72% of individuals, in our county, are fully vaccinated. Sue Barush said, and Ron echoed, in her report that CBI is way ahead of the curve in our response to health and security measures. Ron has asked for help with the Committee in monitoring the synagogue during and following the safety upgrades which will be implemented with our grant.
The Cemetery Committee (Honore McIlhattan) reported that the plot map is now completed; except for 1 potential site. Several current and former members of the committee worked to organize the records, and collate all past and present information.
Cheryl reviewed the Common Ground information, reminding us of the vast number of local organizations involved to create affordable housing, police oversight, and community growth. We have been members since 2013 and she reminded us that we’re stronger together. Doug Cort and Angelic Pierce (with Cheryl) will be the future Representatives from CBI. Speaking of the advantages of working together, the Nominating Committee hasn’t quite filled all the positions needed for next year. Any desire to participate is welcome!!
Next month will be a CBI Congregational Meeting on February 21, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. when we will elect a new Board.
CBI President Dorrin Rosenfeld