The Financial Four -- October 11, 2016

Today, the latest edition of The Financial Four, an update from our Interim Director of Finance, Missy Sue Mastel.

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Donation_CBSYellowsorcerorsapprentice Dear Friends,

It would be hard for me to believe that we are where we are today but for the fact that I spent the last six weeks bearing witness to the Herculean efforts of your Board, your President, and your synagogue staff. They've created magic. Like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, they have breathed new life into the unexpected, masterfully coordinated a concerted effort to achieve the improbable, and, of course, prepared themselves for the requisite clean-up to come (a heads up that your statements may NOT be perfect for another month or so!). You should be proud of what we have accomplished together.

It would be selfish not to share the good news, so (in order of personally-perceived awesomeness):

1. 23 new members. – Folks, what else is there to say? In a time when every synagogue is losing members, our community has responded to our year-long campaign with a resounding," Yes! We love the programming and the feeling of belonging at Beth Sholom — it meets a spiritual need for us." There are so many people to thank for this — the CBS Family Preschool directors, our Achshav Yisrael Committee, all the Thinking Matters volunteer teachers, Christopher Reiger, and of course, our beloved Rabbi — who greets every idea with "I have a friend/contact who..." Kol Hakavod to all.

2. $748,000 in membership dues (and counting). – You may have received your call from the Board in the last four weeks. Or you may have renewed your membership in March, without so much as a whispered reminder. No matter how or when you renewed, THANK YOU for allowing us to make 102% of our financial membership goals! As Sally Field and more recently, my husband have said, "They like [it]...they really like [it]!" It is an honor to be a part of this synagogue with you. (Special thanks to Steven Dinkelspiel and Beth Jones – nothing works unless there is some plan to the practice.)

3. 10% over projected building contributions. – When we built this incredible place, we knew it was going to take some serious dough to keep it running. And our membership has stepped up to make sure it does. For those of you who question or wonder about the efficacy of the building in today’s virtual world, all you need to do is come this month to see an Americana Jam Band Kabbalat Shabbat or listen to attendees of our Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged services kvell about (be proud of) how we were able to co-create programming with and host the Mission Minyan and The Kitchen. In order to congregate, a congregation needs space.

4. Speaking of...how about a grant to open a Kosher/Halal Food Truck? – Okay, I get it, it's not quite what you were expecting, but CBS is one of four finalists for an Earned Income grant from the Jewish Federation to use our already fabulous kitchen and chef to make Jewish food and culture more portable. Not since the exodus from Spain 500 years ago has there been this much excitement about Jews on the move! Thanks to Kim Hegg, Jane Sykes, Eric Silverman, and the coolest Federation ever for going on this vision quest with us. We’ll keep you posted.

CBS Does Jewish Heritage Night

Nathaniel&SamTeitelbaumEllaLaelSturm_SFGiantsJewishHeritageNight_August2016Every year, sometime in late July or August, Bay Area Jews from all walks of life descend on AT&T Park for what just might become our fourth Pilgrimage Festival. The annual ingathering of the Jews known as San Francisco Giants Jewish Heritage Night is always a great deal of fun, and last night was no exception.

Over 70 CBS congregants and friends participated in the 2016 Jewish Heritage Night (Tuesday, August 30), and many came well before the first pitch to check out the pregame celebration at the north end of Terry Francois Boulevard, just across McCovey Cove (best known for kayakers retrieving "splash hits," home runs hit over the right field wall into the water). Some stalwart Jewish organizations working in the Bay Area, including PJ Library, the Jewish Community Federation, Reboot, and Keshet, set up information tables at the party, and, as always, our Chabadnik brothers patrolled the crowd looking for Jews – all men, per their take on halacha (Jewish law) – to lay tefillin. The popular Rally Rabbi blew the shofar to announce Rosh Hashanah's approach (it may be a month away, but it's always good for the soul to hear the blast of "Tekiah"!), and a handful of bands performed for all assembled.

Sadly, our Giants fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a close game (4-3). Still, any evening at the ballpark is a treat, and knowing that a good segment of the crowd is composed of fellow yidden and their family and friends is a great reason to smile, as so many of us did.

Thanks to all who participated this year and to the Giants for putting the event on. Next year, at AT&T Park again...and may we win!

A selection of photographs snapped during the event are included below. Visit our Facebook page for more photos.
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Yom Ha'atzmaut Celebration

Facebook_RabbiGlazerLiorBenHurSolTevel_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016Yesterday afternoon, the Achshav Yisrael committee of CBS, in partnership with the Jewish Community Federation, presented its sixth program, a celebration marking Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day).

After kicking Israel's 68th birthday party off in Koret Hall with some of Rabbi Glazer's always-thoughtful remarks and a first-rate rendition of Hatikvah by Congregation Anshey Sfard's hazzan, Avyatar Alfassi, the crowd danced, noshed, and schmoozed as the popular singer-songwriter Lior Ben-Hur and his band Sol Tevel performed. The music was both soulful and fun; it was a hit with all assembled.

Outside, in Eva Gunther Plaza, congregants of all ages added personal aspirations and prayers to an amazing replica of the Western Wall made by the CBS Family Preschool Pre-K class. The students were inspired by photos of the Western Wall as well as memories and stories shared by children in the class who have visited the actual wall in Jerusalem. (The notes added to the replica wall yesterday will soon be carried to the actual Western Wall and placed there!) Nearby, families enjoyed cookie decorating, making Israeli flags, and face and hand painting activities.

Other attendees headed into the SF Schoolhouse space to watch Dancing In Jaffa, a documentary about Pierre Dulaine, four-time ballroom dancing world champion, fulfilling a life-long dream when he takes his dance program, to his city of birth, Jaffa. From the film's press release: "For generations, Jaffa has been a city divided by two communities that continue to grow increasingly apart. Over a ten-week period, Pierre teaches Jewish and Palestinian Israeli children to dance and compete together. The film explores the complex stories of three children, all of whom who are forced to confront issues of identity, segregation, and racial prejudice as they dance with their enemy."

CBS heartily thanks the Achshav Yisrael committee for its work on this program, and the Jewish Community Federation for it's generous support! Check out some photos from the program below, and visit the CBS Facebook page for more.

ABOUT ACHSHAV YISRAEL: Achshav Yisrael’s mission is to provide quality programming about Israel to Congregation Beth Sholom and the broader community. Achshav Yisrael programs are open to all age groups and will occur on a regular basis. We intend to create a safe space at CBS for community exploration of Israel.
Achshav Yisrael Steering Committee Members: Eileen Auerbach, Becky Buckwald, Sandra Cohen, Betsy Eckstein, Eva-Lynne Leibman, Ephraim Margolin, Lucia Sommers


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Introducing The Financial Four

This week, we introduce The Financial Four, an update from our volunteer Acting Director of Finance, Missy Sue Mastel. Look for these financial updates going forward, which will appear near the lead of our weekly HaLuach e-newsletter.

*****

Donation_CBSYellowDear Fellow Congregants,

Not many people get excited about doing their finances, but I do!

Many of you only know me as the wife of the Board President, Scott Horwitz, or the mother of those two weird and wonderful b’nai mitzvot, Josh and Sara Horwitz, who again read Torah this weekend in honor of their father’s 50th birthday. However, I'm also your volunteer Acting Director of Finance, a CPA and a CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant), and I have run a successful forensic auditing firm for the last 20 years — the same 20 years we have been members of Beth Sholom. I have served on your Finance Committee and been a Board Treasurer, so when I say that your synagogue is my synagogue, I mean it with all my heart.

I thought it was time to share with you some of the financial highlights of the last few months, particularly those developments that have occurred since the Town Hall, so that you can have a feel for what we have accomplished together as a organization. Let’s call it The Financial Four — four things you should know about Congregation Beth Sholom finances and "where it all goes."

1. A+ on our 2015 review. Our 2015 financials were reviewed in March by the accounting firm of Crosby and Kaneda — we passed with flying colors. We have the beginnings of a new audit committee - two external, Jewish Community Federation professionals with extensive financial experience, who also reviewed and approved the report.

2. A Happy Lender. One week after our most recent bank meeting with First Republic, a set of March 31, 2016, financial statements were produced, including a profit and loss statement, a balance sheet, and a statement of cash flows. The bank thanked us for our super-quick and up-to-date turn around!

3. Cancel and pay off the credit cards! In January, we stopped use on all credit cards and began work to account for and reconcile credit cards and their misuse. Thanks to some great volunteers including Ruth Jaffe, Suzanne Lissak, Gail Ravitz, Sandy Goldstein, Harriet Sollod, and Willy Waks, we have been able to get the credit cards under control, and as of May 6, 2016, they are all paid off. We hope to create new expense policies and controls in the coming summer months.

4. April Fool’s - not for this synagogue! While all synagogues run at a deficit, in order to balance the losses from the first half of the current fiscal year, CBS needed to find a way to create positive months for the second half. April was the first month in the last 15 where we actually brought in more money than we spent. We could not have done this without generous donations from congregants and the Board's new fundraising objectives, which will transform and rejuvenate our synagogue.

We still have a lot of work to do to get all of our controls in line. Working together, we will do exactly that, and we will make our synagogue community more robust in the process. I look forward to keeping you informed and answering any questions you may have.

CBS Yom Ha'atzmaut Celebration

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GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!
We invite you to our community celebration of
Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)!
AchshavYisrael
Sunday, May 15, 3 - 5:30 p.m.
Congregation Beth Sholom
301 14th Avenue

On May 14, 1948, the Jewish leadership, headed by future Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, announced the establishment of the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. Join us to celebrate the 68th anniversary of this momentous event!

There will be fun, food, and activities for the whole family:

MUSIC – Israeli musician Lior Ben-Hur and his band, Sol Tevel, will perform in Koret Hall — come ready to dance!

FILM – Screening of Dancing in Jaffa in the SF Schoolhouse (on CBS campus)

FAMILY FUN – A variety of activities for families and kids on Eva Gunther Plaza

FOOD – Israeli goodies & drinks

REFLECTION – Schmoozing and reflecting on Israel's accomplishments and challenges in the last 68 years

Adult general admission is $10 and children attend for FREE!
All attendees must RSVP via Universe.
(When RSVPing for children, please add their age in the surname field -- for example, "Marx, 6.")

This program is brought to you by Congregation Beth Sholom’s Achshav Yisrael, with the generous support of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties.

Logos ABOUT ACHSHAV YISRAEL: Achshav Yisrael’s mission is to provide quality programming about Israel to Congregation Beth Sholom and the broader community. Achshav Yisrael programs are open to all age groups and will occur on a regular basis. We intend to create a safe space at CBS for community exploration of Israel.

Achshav Yisrael Steering Committee Members: Eileen Auerbach, Becky Buckwald, Sandra Cohen, Betsy Eckstein, Eva-Lynne Leibman, Ephraim Margolin, Lucia Sommers


Image credit: Lior Ben-Hur with Sol Tevel, by Marc Hors for Beats Photo.com

Two Exciting Israel Opportunities For Teens

A visit to Israel is a key stepping stone in a Jewish American teenager’s journey of Jewish discovery. As part of Congregation Beth Sholom's ongoing effort to help all Bay Area Jewish teens connect and identify with Jewish peoplehood and practice, we're highlighting two exciting Israel travel opportunities here.

giftofisrael_2014_600x200pxGIFT OF ISRAEL
CBS is one of a number of Bay Area congregations supporting the Jewish Community Federation's Gift of Israel program. Gift of Israel serves Bay Area Jewish families who would like their children to have an affordable opportunity to connect to Israel as teens. Children in 3rd - 7th grades are eligible for enrollment. Sound intriguing? Click through to learn more about this remarkable opportunity!
Insider.Icon.OnwardIsrael
Onward Israel
Bay Area students and young professionals between the ages of 19 - 27 are eligible to apply for Onward Israel, an exciting, Tel Aviv-based internship program. Participants work 4 days/week at a Tel Aviv office and are immersed in contemporary Israeli society one day a week with a cohort of other young adults from the Bay Area. For details, please visit the Onward Israel website.