From the CBS President

July 2020 President’s Update

Dear CBS Community,

I hope you have all had a nice July 4th weekend and were able to enjoy some sunshine. I am writing to update you on recent activities at CBS. Even though we have not been able to spend as much time together as we are accustomed to doing, our community is still as strong and supportive as ever. CBS closed its physical buildings down in March, but we are still an active and meaningful community. Things are still happening.

Rabbi Cohen arrived in Columbia last week, and he is now here to lead services, educational programs, and do all the vital work that a Rabbi does. I have gotten to know Rabbi Cohen over these last few weeks, and I can attest to his kindness and patience. Even though he has only just arrived in COMO, it feels like he has been here longer since he had already gotten involved in our online activities and planning for the High Holy Days. Welcome Rabbi Cohen!Our board continues to hold monthly meetings via Zoom, which any member is welcome to attend. At the June 4th board meeting, we voted on officers for the year 2020/2021. I was voted in as President, Tim Parshall as Vice President, Michael Gardner was re-elected as Treasurer, and Paul Eisenstein was re-elected to the position of Secretary. Our immediate Past-President, Shari Weinman, continues to serve on the board along with Marc Alexander, Ben Trachtenberg, Seth Rosner, and Julie Rosenfeld. I am so grateful for the strong leadership that Shari showed during what was a challenging two-year term at CBS – one that included a new rabbi search, wire-eating squirrels, and a global pandemic. Thank you Shari for serving CBS as president, and thank you for staying on and continuing to serve as a board member.

Last Thursday was the July board meeting. We spent time at that meeting discussing our ongoing response to the pandemic. While we are all anxious to return to worshipping as a physical community as well as a spiritual one, we also have to be careful of each other and do what is necessary to protect life. In this respect, safely offering services is going to be an ongoing issue for a while, so keep watching the eShalom for information about how services will be offered. No matter the format, we are committed to making the on-line experience as attractive as possible, and we are actively working on the technology piece to help us meet that challenge.

And speaking of challenges, it’s that time of the year again when we ask for annual commitments. CBS thrives because each of us gives our time, energy and financial support. Please watch your mailboxes for the pledge renewal letters and return them as you are able. Thank you for continuing to support and share in the CBS community.

Thank you and shalom,

Janna Lancaster

President, Congregation Beth Shalom