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" Where Everyone is Family"

President's Message

Having been President of CBS for a full year, I wanted to reflect on what 2022 has meant for myself and for CBS.


First off, I want to express my gratitude and appreciation to Rabbi Nancy Wechsler, all the board members and committee chairs, the office staff (Jenny Jeffrey, Carl Spinella, and Rhea Adler), the social media team (Rick Snyder and Elliot Adler), every one of the teachers, and each of the many event volunteers that have helped to run the synagogue this past year. A special call-out to Joel Shapiro and Danielle Hess for leading another successful Food Faire, and to Matt Kurtz who continues to prepare delicious meals for every food-related CBS event. Without each of you nothing could have been accomplished.


I want to point out the financial success of CBS this year – our first full year following the Terumah model.  Mike Polis and the finance committee have steered our financial ship well. Congregants have given deeply from the heart, and we have been able to provide non-tuition-based education for our youth and adults and to hire Sarah Rollins and Ben Gould as co-directors of our Neshama program. The Terumah model has also allowed us to welcome new members who would otherwise been unable to be part of CBS. Thank you, Sharon Bernstein, for leading our membership committee.  In the next year you will be hearing about a “Raise the Roof” fund-raiser as our building will be requiring major roof repairs and I hope that many will be able to support this effort to protect our building and its content. Our financial security was further enhanced by a generous donation from one of the founding members, Jean Rubin, who left a significant gift to CBS in her will. I hope that other CBS members will consider including us in their estate planning to help future generations of CBS congregants.


We have been able to return from complete COVID isolation to more and more in-person events, including regular in-person services, Torah study, Purim Spiel (Thank you Sheree Meyer for directing that program and for all you do as the Chair of the religious practices committee), and a variety of fund-raising activities such as reopening the gift shop (Thank you Roberta and Dave Malkin),  a celebration of Carry Cohn’s 100th birthday and a wonderful concert series which will continue into 2023 and beyond. (Thank you, Michael Neuman, Lori Nalangan, and Holly Ilfeld for bringing this beautiful music to our sanctuary!)  As a bonus, on Saturday, May 13th (Mother’s Day weekend) RSVP and Jennifer Reason will be hosting an acapella concert at CBS. I hope you can join us at that event and to thank Jennifer Reason for all the years she supported CBS as our choir director.


We have continued to support social justice projects and to invite dynamic and educational speakers to CBS.  Topics have included climate change, homelessness, racial justice, reproductive rights, immigrant support, and so many more. Thank you, Susan Solarz, Lucy Esralew, and the entire social action committee, for leading these activities.  Susan is looking for a new co-chair and some additional members to join this committee – I hope that one or more of you will step up to do this important and meaningful work.


Security has been an on-going concern for Jews everywhere.  Bob Bennett and the entire Security Committee, along with Lynne Snyder as VP of Operations, have continued to implement both physical improvements to our facility, and to offer educational programs for our staff and congregation to optimize our safety while attending CBS-sponsored activities. Look for on-going announcements for additional trainings in 2023.


For me personally, it has been a very rewarding year as CBS President.  With the support of the board, most of whom have offered to continue in their role if re-elected in the spring for the 2023-2024 fiscal year and having retired from my non-CBS job this past December, I look forward to continuing to serve the rest of my current term as President of CBS and I have agreed to be on the ballot for next year. We are still looking for additional Board members, committee chairs, and volunteers to support CBS and I hope that you will consider joining us to support our congregation. CBS is a vital and strong presence in our community for social justice, hope and loving kindness. We continue to welcome everyone to the House of Peace, Congregation Beth Shalom, where everyone is family.


Shalom, Roy Schutzengel



Fri, March 31 2023 9 Nisan 5783