July 2014


Presidents' Message

The last month has been an extremely productive month for your elected board. As presidents, we are proud and excited about where we are as a congregation. Here is a summary of current activities.

We are enjoying more frequent Bar and Bat Mitzvahs once again in our sanctuary and Social Hall.

For those who could not attend, at the Congregational Meeting on June 22, new bylaws were accepted. It was reported that the current board voted to lay out a road map to pay off our current mortgage. This offers new opportunities for our future budget. The new budget was also approved.

We are trying out a new system of High Holiday seating this year that will include open seating. There will still be one date for reserved seats, where you will have the opportunity to meet with the Financial Team if necessary, and also to sign up for Honors. There will be a second date to do the same but where all seats are open.

We are beginning contract negotiations with Rabbi Federow through our Executive Committee per our bylaws.

And a date for our next Open House has been set - September 7th. We will be expecting a lot of help. Let us know if you are one can help!

Sandy Ostrosky and Debbie Angel

Our Sisterhood here at CSH has received the Emerald level of the Women's League for Conservative Judaism's "Jewels in the Crown" award. This honor is awarded annually to select Sisterhoods internationally. This year, our Sisterhood was recognized with this prestigious award.

Sisterhoods are considered each year and awarded based on their accomplishments within their community and within their region.

This is such a wonderful reflection on our Sisterhood and our synagogue.

The Award will be presented at the triennial Women's League convention in New Jersey next month. Sheilla Goldberg, Cathy Leonard, and Pia Greenberg will be representing our Sisterhood at convention this year.

Congratulations to Sisterhood, for all of your hard work and dedication.

Confirmation Speech

    By  Mackenzie Karnilaw

Thank you so much for coming to my confirmation. It is truly an honor to be able to stand in front of everyone here, and confirm Judaism. Judaism has so many amazing aspects that I would like to confirm to be part of my life; here is a few of them. This sanctuary and congregation provides such an amazing community that you truly feel like home walking in through the wooden doors of the sanctuary. Everyone here is such a kind hearted person, that it is impossible not to fit in and feel as if you belong here. Another thing that I would like to confirm is the attribute of this faith that permits you to question everything and promotes you to constantly be curious, this is definitely something that fits my personality and something that I love about this faith. I love all the music and grand feasts that Judaism has during every holiday that truly link a family. Lastly I love the Shabbats that always let you get your life back on track.

The people that have shaped me into the person I am deserve huge thanks. I would like to take the time now to thank some of them. I would like to thank all my Hebrew school teachers, Mrs. Sharon, Mrs. Phyllis Miller, and Mrs. Phyllis Greenspan, Mrs. Ida, Mrs. Patti, for helping me, and teaching me so much about Judaism.  A huge thanks goes out to Mrs. Nurit for all of the lessons that she did, and extra time she put in to help me, I could never have gotten where I am today without her. Mrs. Katy also deserves huge thanks for all the work that she done for me throughout eh years, you truly are a spectacular person. Thank you Rabbi for teaching me so much this year, this has truly been one of the most fun years of Hebrew school. You allowed us to be extremely open in that class and it was extremely insightful so thank you. I would also like to thank Andrea , for sticking with me in class all the way to the end, I couldn't so any of this today without you. My sister Taylor, you have always been there for me whenever something goes wrong, you have always been my role model and the person that I would look to. You truly have had such a huge impact in my life and I am so glad that you have. Lastly my parents you have always been there for me guiding me through every step of my life even when you get frustrated with me. You guys deserve the hugest thanks.

Throughout this past year I have been part of the confirmation class. It has enabled me to understand a lot more of Judaism, and help me decide that I want it to have a bigger impact on my life. I plan to start helping out at Hebrew school next year as most as I can. I am also planning on attending more Friday night services then I have done in the past year, because they truly are the best way to end the school week. When I am old enough I plan to attend birthright to truly see what it is like in Israel, and enjoy Judaism all the greater. Lastly I plan to stay Jewish for the rest of my life and continue to make it an important aspect of my life.

 

    By  Andrea Torres

When I first began Sunday school I didn't think much of it, I thought I was just going to learn a little and play a lot. But as the years passed I slowly realized it was much more than that. From learning the five books of Moses to realizing why it's important to understand the passages in the torah, I have gained great memories and life lessons that are surely to help me later down the road. When I was about 11 years old there was a time when I didn't want to keep coming to Sunday school, I thought there was no reason to keep coming I already knew all the stories. So I told my mom how I felt and she told me to at least stay until I had my bat mitzvah, I agreed to do that. Soon came the time when I had to convert and begin to study for my bat mitzvah and that's when it hit me, Judaism for me was more than just a religion it was a way of life that I have grown up with and want to continue to grow up with; And most importantly that there is so much more to learn. I am so glad I did not quit and am able to be here today at our confirmation. When asked today what I am confirming and why, I have to say that I'm confirming that Judaism is a part of my life and always will be. I have done many things in the past to show that Judaism is a part of my life because it has helped me understand and view life in a different way and has given me the opportunity to ask questions. In the future I plan to continue my studies of Judaism and hopefully be able to pass on what I have learned too many others.

An unforgettable chapter of my life has ended and new one has begun, and I want to thank everybody that has helped me accomplished this. Starting off with my Sunday school teachers that made every year of learning fun and interesting; Mrs. Patty, Mrs. Polt, Mrs. Phyllis, Mrs. Ida, Mrs. Kitmacher, Mrs. Nitszanna, Mrs. Nurrit, Mrs. Sharron ,Mrs. Katy and last but not least the Rabbi. Each and every one of you has taught me what I know today and I appreciate and thank yall for it. Next I would like to thank Mackenzie for sticking through every year with me, without her I would have been lonely and not made such a good friend. Last I would like to thank my wonderful family for always loving and supporting me in there unique way. My mom and dad for giving me everything have today and for making this day possible. My Siblings Fatima, Samantha, Alondra, Aaron, and Sophia for putting up with me and being there when I needed them the most. And my grandparents for being here today and always being able to provide the best for me.  Finally a big thanks for everybody that is here tonigh to share this special day with me.

Adult Education

CSH Adult Education looks forward to a terrific year of interesting and engaging programs, classes, presentations, speakers, films, and more to expand your Jewish horizons in informative and entertaining ways. 

Here are some current and future events to which you can look forward with great enthusiasm:

  • The Torah Outreach Resource Center of Houston (TORCH) class that began in late May, "Pirkei Avot--Timeless Wisdom in a Turbulent World—Ethics of Our Fathers," a 6-class series taught by Rabbi Johnny Ouzzan, has 3 classes remaining all on Wednesday evenings, 7:30pm-9:00pm, July 2, July 9, andJuly 16. Attendance has been very good, and folks attending have been enthused about the subject matter and Rabbi Ouzzan. There is a fee, and you can pay online at www.torchweb.org
  • The class that began in late February, "Personalized Prayer: Line by Line Liturgy from the Shabbat Siddur," taught by Rabbi Federow, will resume oce school restarts. It will be offered to everyone on Sundays from 11:15am to 12:15pm in the Sanctuary. Attendees have reported it being very enjoyable and insightful, and the Rabbi has taken pleasure in teaching a subject of which he is so fond. Check it out!
  • A Saturday night screening of a truly wonderful, heartwarming, and amusing film entitled,"Hava Nagila: The Movie" will be scheduled on a still to be determined date. It will immediately be followed by a fun group horah. Please stay tuned.
  • Still in development is "Community Shmooze with the Rabbi," in which a regular meeting place, e.g., a coffee house, will be a spot where anyone from the community can come to meet Rabbi Federow, and partake in casual chat, Q&A, etc. The aim is to try to draw out unaffiliated Jews who otherwise do not wish to (yet) join a congregation but are seeking Judaism in their lives. However, anyone else in the community would be encouraged to come to this relaxed weekly forum. 
  • CSH will discuss collaboration with other Houston shuls and/or the JCC to book Detective Steve Riback, Kosher Cop, for a lively and captivating presentation. Steve lives in Las Vegas delivers captivating talks at synagogues on a regular basis. 
  • Other CSH Adult Ed programs being explored:
  1. Jewish Humor (Speaker: Rabbi Federow…or TBD?)
  2. Top 10 Most Common Misconceptions of Judaism (Speaker: Rabbi Federow)
  3. Early Yiddish films a la Molly Picon
  4. Seven Acres - Jewish Senior Care Services presentation
  5. Additional TORCH classes with inviting topics
  6. More collaboration opportunities with Temple Beth Tikvah

Like what you see? CSH Adult Education hopes there is something appealing to all adult congregants (and sometimes reaching into the community) along the way. However, we are always open and welcome to your ideas, desires, interests, and of course, participation in planning. Please contact me anytime.

Adult Education

CSH Adult Education looks forward to a terrific year of interesting and engaging programs, classes, presentations, speakers, films, and more to expand your Jewish horizons in informative and entertaining ways. 

Here are some current and future events to which you can look forward with great enthusiasm:

  • The Torah Outreach Resource Center of Houston (TORCH) class that began in late May, "Pirkei Avot--Timeless Wisdom in a Turbulent World—Ethics of Our Fathers," a 6-class series taught by Rabbi Johnny Ouzzan, has 3 classes remaining all on Wednesday evenings, 7:30pm-9:00pm, July 2, July 9, andJuly 16. Attendance has been very good, and folks attending have been enthused about the subject matter and Rabbi Ouzzan. There is a fee, and you can pay online at www.torchweb.org
  • The class that began in late February, "Personalized Prayer: Line by Line Liturgy from the Shabbat Siddur," taught by Rabbi Federow, will resume once school restarts. It will be offered to everyone on Sundays from 11:15am to 12:15pm in the Sanctuary. Attendees have reported it being very enjoyable and insightful, and the Rabbi has taken pleasure in teaching a subject of which he is so fond. Check it out!
  • A Saturday night screening of a truly wonderful, heartwarming, and amusing film entitled,"Hava Nagila: The Movie" will be scheduled on a still to be determined date. It will immediately be followed by a fun group horah. Please stay tuned.
  • Still in development is "Community Shmooze with the Rabbi," in which a regular meeting place, e.g., a coffee house, will be a spot where anyone from the community can come to meet Rabbi Federow, and partake in casual chat, Q&A, etc. The aim is to try to draw out unaffiliated Jews who otherwise do not wish to (yet) join a congregation but are seeking Judaism in their lives. However, anyone else in the community would be encouraged to come to this relaxed weekly forum. 
  • CSH will discuss collaboration with other Houston shuls and/or the JCC to book Detective Steve Riback, Kosher Cop, for a lively and captivating presentation. Steve lives in Las Vegas delivers captivating talks at synagogues on a regular basis. 
  • Other CSH Adult Ed programs being explored:
  1. Jewish Humor (Speaker: Rabbi Federow…or TBD?)
  2. Top 10 Most Common Misconceptions of Judaism (Speaker: Rabbi Federow)
  3. Early Yiddish films a la Molly Picon
  4. Seven Acres - Jewish Senior Care Services presentation
  5. Additional TORCH classes with inviting topics
  6. More collaboration opportunities with Temple Beth Tikvah

Like what you see? CSH Adult Education hopes there is something appealing to all adult congregants (and sometimes reaching into the community) along the way. However, we are always open and welcome to your ideas, desires, interests, and of course, participation in planning. Please contact me anytime.

Sisterhood

Hello Everyone,

We hope you are all enjoying a wonderful summer ! Sisterhood is now preparing for this next year and hope you can join us for our scheduled events. These are our planned events for the beginning our year.

July 11th and 12th – Please call Sharon Rosenthal to participate in the Sisterhood Services this summer. She will be helping to lead services and will be happy to have Sisterhood members join her. Please call her in the next few weeks to let her know if you can help.

July 13th and 20th -- These are the two weekends of our annual Sisterhood Garage Sale. Please bring in your items to the office during the week between 10:00 – 2:00. We will also be having our Book Sale as well. Please call Lynette and volunteer to help her price and sort items. We would also love to see our Sisterhood ladies come to help out. Remember: Your 'trash' could be someone else's treasure !!

August 10th -- Join us for our Sisterhood Tea, officially opening our new year.

August 16th -- Tu B' Av Dinner – Save the Date and join us for a delicious dinner with friends. For more information or if you did not receive the Evite…please contact April Buchanan or Leslie Schwanke.

September -- We will be making challahs and learning a bit more on the tradition/background for our making them each Shabbat. Join us before the High Holy Days; let's make this a family event and bake with your daughter or granddaughter.

October 23rd -- Come to our Paid-Up Membership dinner. Contact Cathy Leonard, Cathy.Leonard@verizon.net, for information or if you'd like to help with planning.

Cathy Leonard, Sheilla Goldberg and Pia Greenberg will be representing CSH Sisterhood at our convention in New Jersey this July. We also had an excellent attendance at our recent Houston Conference. We want to you join us meet the needs of our CSH community and we would like your ideas with programs and building an even stronger Sisterhood. We want you to join us and get involved !!!

Leslie Schwanke
Sisterhood Co-President

Bylaws Revisions Approved

At our congregation meeting on June 22, 2014, the Bylaws changes proposed by the Bylaws Review Committee were approved.

Many of the Bylaws changes were editorial - clarifying meaning, resolving ambiguities, and correcting grammar and usage. The editorial changes did not change content or intent. The most important changes updated the Bylaws to reflect how we actually do business. The list of standing committees was updated to match our current board. The membership types were renamed to clarify quorum and voting rules. The religious benefits for each membership type were explicitly added. Other smaller updates were also made. Finally, a few substantive changes were approved. One gave the Board the permission to grant religious benefits to non-members for special circumstances on a case-by-case basis, for example, religious school attendance to children of non-members in the process of converting. The Youth Commission Trustee was changed from an officer to a Trustee. A Technology Committee and associated Trustee were added to the Board. Finally, the responsibilities of the Publications Trustee, Recording Secretary, and Financial Vice President were expanded in specific ways.

The Bylaws changes take effect immediately. A new version of the Bylaws is available from the synagogue office upon request.

Thanks to the Board and all those who provided input to the committee. Thanks to the congregation for accepting and approving the work of the committee.

Isaac Rosen, Chair
Leonard Levine
Sharon Rosenthal