Today is November 26, 2020 -

Congregation Beth Israel

A spiritual oasis for the Jewish community

6 Dundee Park
Andover, MA 01810

(978) 474-0540

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The Leadership’s Corner


Shalom CBIniks,

Recently, one of my younger colleagues at work, who back in June moved to this area from California,
posed an interesting question to me. (He was also completely serious when he asked, as he had never been to
New England in the fall.) He wanted to know if all the trees changed color or just some of them. (The fall
foliage season was just starting.) He also asked how long it took for the leaves to turn green again. He was
totally surprised when I said they wouldn’t be green again until the spring and the branches would be bare for
the winter.

With this in mind, I recently went purposely for a drive on a number of our back roads. My purpose
was just to admire the superb fall colors that we seem to be experiencing this year. At least from my perception, the various hues of red, orange, yellow, gold, purple and even green just seemed to be so exquisitely
vibrant. This was especially so on the trees that still had their full regal foliage showing. I was grateful to
have this opportunity to see things from a very different perspective. I was actually paying attention to this
glorious splendor realizing how easy it would have been to have missed it, just for the lack of a different

Back in 1918-19, when the world experienced the Spanish Flu pandemic, we didn’t have internet and
TV. We also didn’t have instant messaging of all sorts, let alone Zoom and Streaming services. Our country
and the world ultimately survived, albeit with great loss of life. In the midst of today’s Covid 19 pandemic,
many have the same concerns, yet we are also fortunate to have many additional available resources. All we
have to do is just look back to our recent High Holyday services as well as our regular Shabbat and minyan
services to see how we have been able to adapt. This has also carried through in all the programs and events
that have flourished at CBI. From all the anecdotal feedback we received from many of you, our recent hybrid
model High Holyday services were not only done safely but in an inspiring fashion. Many thanks go to our
professional staff-Rabbi Mandell, Cantor Harris, and Amy Sherr, our slew of volunteers on the Back to Shul
Task Force, Technology Committee, Program Committee, our Torah readers, Haftorah chanters, Shofar blowers, Services leaders/assistants, and all the many others who graciously took on all the jobs that needed to be
done. Special thanks to Jon and Ellen Brody for hosting the annual CBI Sukkah get together, while maintaining social distancing and ensuring participants wore their masks! (see photos on page 9)

Our Program Committee keeps finding ways to “keep us together but apart” with diverse programming like our Community Hike (hope everyone who joined our trekkers had fun and got to see some great
foliage), our Netflix party on 11/14 and our upcoming Chanukah party on 12/12. Our next Shabbat Chai with
Bashert is scheduled for 11/20 and our next Social Action activity is scheduled for 11/29 at Lazarus House.
Stay tuned for all the details that will be forthcoming very soon.

With everything that is taking place, we would like to expand our publicity to the general community,
when possible. In order for that to happen though, Amy is requesting some assistance with getting information to local media outlets in a timely fashion. We are also hoping to expand our outreach marketing
efforts. If you can offer any assistance, please contact Amy directly.

Speaking of Amy, she has been nominated and accepted as CBI’s High Holyday Hero and will be
recognized as such at the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts’ Gala (via Zoom) on 12/3. Please join us in
extending our sincere congratulations to Amy! If you would like to join many of us that night, registration
information can be found on the SCM website.

As you have probably realized, or seen in the multiple links that are published with our weekly newsletter, there are many programs, events, webinars, lectures, etc. that are happening in the greater Jewish
community. Avail yourself of the many opportunities that abound, especially in the Zoom World! (If you
would like to suggest a program or event that you would like to see at CBI, please bring it to the attention of
our Program Committee.) If we each allow our eyes to be “opened”, we too may learn to see or experience
the wonderful “color” in front of us so we can truly be “a part” and not really “apart”!

L’Hitraot until next month!
Jeff Tye