2020-2021 Membership Engagement
Message from the Presidents and Clergy
You are at the heart of the Congregation Beth Chaim Community. Yes, you and each of our members. It is easy to think of Beth Chaim as a place, but one of the gifts of the pandemic is that we have realized that we are not just a building where our members gather, we are the network of our members coming together, in person, or virtually, to create the space for celebration and mourning, learning, ritual and mutual support. We are so much more than the building we inhabit. As the pandemic has created uncertainty in the world around us, we have continued to reach for one another.
We are so grateful and humbled by each of you who continue to choose to be Beth Chaim in so many ways. Together, we:
Celebrate Shabbat and the Holy Days with ritual and song
Study Torah with words and deeds
Celebrate family simchas including baby-namings, b’nei mitzvah, conversions, and weddings
Seek comfort when in mourning and offer comfort for those who mourn
Participate, plan, or lead educational opportunities with friends of all ages
Become renewed or otherwise moved through prayer or silent meditation
Be Jewish, become Jewish, or be with our beloved community
Learn and practice the many beautiful and meaningful Jewish mitzvot (good deeds), including Tikkun Olam (repairing the world)
Educate, celebrate, and nurture our youngest members to ensure a Jewish future
Find a place of refuge and quiet in an increasingly hectic and troubled world
Open our hearts and minds to embrace each other and our larger community in all our diversity
Grow the next strong link in our chain as a people now and into the future
Whether you have taken part of all of these or just some, your membership is itself a sacred act. It is a personal contribution to the continuation of the Beth Chaim community and a commitment to each other to ensure that we will be here for each other when it is our time to celebrate or mourn; seek inspiration or solace. As we move towards a new normal, it is important to keep in mind the constants we have. Congregation Beth Chaim is a constant for us all and we remain actively working educating and supporting our community.
This coming year holds much excitement. We are just beginning to emerge from this pandemic and take our initial steps at reconvening in person. It is with much anticipation that we look forward to the time that we can all be together again in person. Please watch for information from the Reopening Task Force about our Roadmap to gathering again safely.
Most importantly, we will be celebrating with Rabbi Adena Blum as she becomes our Senior Rabbi. Congregation Beth Chaim is so fortunate to have a energetic and wise rabbi to cap off our fifty-year history and lead us into the next fifty. Throughout the year, we will have conversations and celebrations as we partner with Rabbi Blum to create a vision of all that Beth Chaim can be.
It is time to for you to recommit to being a part of Beth Chaim.
We are sensitive to the hardship that many of our temple families are facing, especially now. For those who may need either spiritual support or financial assistance, please reach out to us. We are here for you and want to ensure that you remain a part of our community. For those who are in the fortunate position to be able to participate as Sustaining Members, now is the time your community needs you most.
Thank you, each of you, for choosing to be a part of what makes Congregation Beth Chaim a kehillah kedoshah—a holy community.
Ken Pogrob, Outgoing President
Rhonda Wydra, Incoming President
Rabbi Adena Blum
Cantor Stuart Binder
Message from the Executive Director
As you may know, I came to CBC as the new Executive Director in February of this year. After four months, I would have hoped to have gotten to know each of you better. Unfortunately, three out of four months I have had to work from home and conduct meetings on Zoom or by phone. My style is more a handshake or a hug and a chat over tea. For now, I am looking forward to a warm smile behind a mask and speaking from a socially responsible distance, in the near future.
It has become a cliché to say that we live in unprecedented times, and yet, there is no other way to describe it. The challenges of running the business of Beth Chaim during the pandemic have led us to re-examine all our policies and procedures. That process is ongoing, with the guiding principles to ensure the fiscal well-being of the congregation, provide maximum service and convenience to members, and maximize staff efficiency. Since some of these changes affect how we handle membership engagement and dues, I want to outline some of those changes.
One Stop Process:
Our Membership Engagement and Religious School Enrollment process will be completed entirely online, for those who are able to do so. We have created a simple online form with your membership information pre-filled, so you just need to fill in the blanks and submit.
Provide up-to-date information just by changing the form and checking the box to let us know so we can make the changes in our system. This ensures that you will continue to get our twice-weekly email updates, our bimonthly bulletins, our person-to-person calls. and always stay up to date on what is going on at your temple.
Complete the Religious School section to easily enroll your children without the extra enrollment form. If we made any mistakes on the name(s) or grade(s), we apologize. Please make the corrections right on the form and select how many children you have in each class range.
Set it and forget it convenience with automatic payments. You choose how to divide your tuition, dues and auxiliary memberships for maximum convenience. From one lump sum, to affordable monthly installments over 9 months, it is your choice!
Our new process means that our office staff will have more time to dedicate to providing individualized attention to each member and provide more opportunities for members to connect.
We know that this pandemic has hit many of our congregants hard financially, as well as emotionally. Please know that we value you as a member of our community regardless of ability to pay. Your presence enriches us in so many intangible ways. To streamline our Financial Assistance process, we have moved that form online was well.
Thank you for welcoming me as a part of your community. I am humbled by your trust in me and hope that you will reach out if there is any way that I can make your experience more meaningful.
Kol Tuv - All the best,
Mira Berzofsky, Executive Director
Religious School Message
The 2019-2020 school year ended – a bit differently than anyone could have anticipated. I am proud of our teachers, students and families as we all make the leap to Zoom learning with a minimum of disruption. We have begun to plan for the next year. Religious School classes will start on Sunday, September 13, 2020. More information will be coming out over the summer regarding timing and format. We anticipate that we will begin virtually, with class sessions on Sunday mornings; our older students will meet again on Wednesday afternoon for prayer and Torah study and will sign up for small group Hebrew sessions. Our 7th-12th grade students will meet on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8pm. The Religious School Re-Opening Task Force is hard at work and more information will be arriving in your in-boxes in the coming weeks.
Please review the information emailed to you which has been filled in for your children, add any that might have been missed, select the appropriate tuition for each child enrolling, and submit the form.
I wish everyone a warm and relaxing summer. Please take advantage of our virtual offerings for families, children and adults. I look forward to seeing all of you over Zoom.
Anne Berman-Waldorf, RJE
Director of Lifelong Education
An email has been sent to all current members with a pre-filled form just for them.
The link above for the Membership Engagement form can be used by anybody.