I am delighted to once again serve as president of Congregation Beth Israel, and appreciate the trust you have placed in me to work on your behalf. We have a great board this year, although the first month started off rocky with the resignation of our treasurer Curtis Halstead (he and his family have moved to New Orleans). Board member Becky Guidry has stepped into the treasurer position on an interim basis and Richard Balser is filling Becky’s spot on the board. These appointments will be voted on at the upcoming general membership meeting. Additionally, board member Sonia Quade is leaving our area and moving with her family to Northern Alabama. We now have a board position open. If you are interested in serving, please let me know.

I want to thank Curtis for all his work as treasurer and Sonia for her work on the board. Both have served for several years, and their absence will be felt. Oneg Shabbat means a joy in Shabbat, and that certainly describes our Shabbat services on Friday night, Aug 4. Services were at our new time — 7:30 pm — and we used our new prayer books, the Lev Shalem books that many of you bought and dedicated in honor of or in memory of someone special. The books are great – plenty of transliteration so no matter your level of Hebrew reading you will be able to follow along. The new readings are also inspiring. I think you’ll like the books — and there is still time to order more have them dedicated on your behalf.

Following the services, we enjoyed a wine and cheese oneg. Everyone had a good time drinking the great kosher wine and eating cheese, fruit and cookies. In fact, there was talk about making this special oneg a quarterly event. Watch for more information on that. And, remember, if you want to sponsor an oneg to help mark a special occasion, we can help with that.

We do have a general membership meeting coming up. On Aug. 27, we will meet at 5:30 p.m. There will be a light supper. Among other congregation business, we will be voting on our board appointments. We will also hear about High Holiday services, which are coming up.

Following the meeting, at 6:30 p.m., we are hosting a special speaker as part of our Jewish Federation campaign. By now, you have probably received the letter from Amy Goldin, our vice president and chair of our Federation campaign, about the event.

Amos Guiora, professor of law and co-director of the Center for Global Justice at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, will be our guest speaker. While the membership meeting is open only to our members, this event is open the public, so you are encouraged to bring friends and share the information.

I look forward to the coming year, and I hope you do, too. Please reach out to me whenever you want. Our members are so important, and each of you are valued.

See you soon!

Lori Beth