Today is August 4, 2020 -

Congregation Beth Israel

A spiritual oasis for the Jewish community

6 Dundee Park
Andover, MA 01810

(978) 474-0540

  • Find us on Facebook

The Leadership’s Corner


From Jeff Tye

Some days upon awakening, it feels like we are stuck in some kind of Corona virus warped game show – “what’s behind door # 1, door #2 or door #3?”. The medical, research, political, economic and statistical communities continue to try to find the answers to these questions. While the debates continue, some mysterious stagehand goes back and changes what’s behind the doors. For others, it feels like they are stuck in a scene from the movie “Groundhog Day”, where each day seems the same and nothing really changes. Here at CBI, like in many religious communities, we continue to try to adapt to the new parameters, implementing the current “best practices”, which may only be temporary, as information frequently changes.

Back in June, we closed out our fiscal year with a well- attended and productive Annual Meeting. We received a good overview of the current best practices regarding Corona virus from our guest speaker, Dr. Bruce Weinstock. We heard from our own Caren Jacobson, who is chairing our “Back to Shul” Task Force as to how we are putting these “best practices” into actual operation at CBI. We heard an overview of our finances from Jon Brody, who pointed out that our budget looks pretty solid, but we still have much work to do to reduce our projected deficit in the coming years, especially with strong fundraising efforts. We elected and welcomed new Board members, Burt Ochs, Philip Onigman, and Sarah Blumenstock Girrell. I had the privilege this year of taking a look back at all our accomplishments in programming, social action, CBI Cares, and Holiday programs and services. We ended this meeting by recognizing our Volunteer of the Year, Roberta Hantgan for all her dedication and efforts over the years in helping to make CBI a much stronger community. Thanks to Rabbi Mandell for making a beautiful presentation to her. Thanks to Roberta Hantgan and Elaine Winic for serving as our emcees for the meeting and to Mike and Merle Roesler for adding to the meeting with their introductory musical interlude.

In late June and July, under Rabbi Mandell’s leadership, we re-instated biweekly Thursday night minyans with an interactive teaching on a current topic that follows. If you haven’t joined us for any of these, please consider doing so, as the feedback we have received has been very positive. In July, we held our 2nd annual Red Cross blood drive, that proved to be very successful, collecting 31 pints of blood or blood products. We have also physically re-opened our Shabbat morning services (with safety restrictions in place) in anticipation of trying to envision our High Holyday services this year. Much work has been taking place over the past few weeks behind the scenes and will continue over the coming months, thanks to our “Back to Shul” Task Force.

As always, we encourage your positive or constructive feedback to make CBI into the best it can be. We are not only here for you but with you. Think about joining a CBI committee, Task Force or special project this year. Together, we will find the right door to open as we all win and go from Strength to Strength, B’Shalom!