A Parnas Fellowship Evening @ SFJAZZ

Facebook_Schmooze11_LeonardCohenParnasProgram_SFJAZZ_March2017As a special thank you to members of the CBS Parnas Fellowship for their generosity and dedication to our community, this past Thursday evening Rabbi Glazer and the CBS Board of Directors hosted a special concert tribute to the songbook of the late, great Leonard Cohen (z”l) at SFJAZZ. The concert also functioned as a pre-release party for Rabbi Glazer’s new book, Tangle Of Matter & Ghost: Leonard Cohen's Post-Secular Songbook of Mysticism(s) Jewish & Beyond (Academic Studies Press, 2017).

Before the concert began, Scott Horwitz, our CBS Board President, spoke briefly, expressing how grateful he and the CBS Board are for the support provided by the Parnas Fellowship, and how proud he is when he talks to people from outside the CBS community about what’s happening on our campus today. Immediately following Scott’s remarks, a congregant stood and offered an impromptu kol hakavod to Scott, Rabbi Glazer, and the CBS Board for their leadership and hard work over the last year-and-a-half. Both Scott’s comments and those of the congregant received big rounds of applause.

Following Scott’s comments, Book of J, a side project of musicians Jeremiah Lockwood and Jewlia Eisenberg, performed four sets of Cohen songs for a capacity crowd in SFJAZZ’s Joe Henderson Lab. Each set was introduced by Rabbi Glazer, who provided illuminating, humorous, and often moving anecdotes or context gleaned from Tangle Of Matter & Ghost. Book of J was fabulous; their Cohen covers were distinctive and compelling – it was impossible not to tap your foot or sing along. The concert provided an introduction to Rabbi Glazer’s effort, in his new book, to "find Cohen," who was presented throughout the evening as something of a mystic in exile. This experience of exile is fundamental to Jewish identity – in the preface to Tangle Of Matter & Ghost, rabbi and scholar Shaul Magid writes, "Cohen writes his home where he is. And therein lies his Jewishness!" Magid also uses the term, umheimlich (uncanny), which Freud used to describe things that are familiar, yet foreign at the same time. Maybe a sensitivity to this kind of cognitive dissonance is the special province of the Jewish artist? After all, the best art and mysticism allow us to see the mundane anew – familiar, yet foreign, or even extraordinary.

Rabbi Glazer plans to have a book release party for the entire CBS community at Toy Boat Dessert Café on Clement Street in early June. Details are forthcoming. To our Parnas Fellowship members, todah rabbah (thank you very much)!

Check out some photos from the evening below and see even more on our CBS Facebook page.

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The Financial Four -- July 26, 2016

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

*****

Donation_CBSYellow While the summer cold front raced in, I have been glued to my desk at CBS. For those of you who also follow the sun, it is not a great loss to be indoors these days — especially since I found an old space heater!

Here is what we’ve accomplished in the last short weeks.

1. Our First EVER On-time Close. – I admit I get a little choked up about this, but the draft financial statements for our fiscal year end (FYE) were sent to the reviewers today, less than four weeks from our official year end close on June 30, 2016. For those of you who are not fiscally-minded, this means that we are closing out our books in a timely fashion. Why is this noteworthy? Because it is the first time we have done so, at least in the new building!

2. Happy Vendors – All of our vendors have been paid in full as of FYE. We have no more liability outstanding from any prior year(s), excepting the line of credit on the building.

3. A $22,000 Fiscal Year 2015-16 Bank Balance – As you know from the February Town Hall meeting, we were hoping to break even for the second half of the year. I'm pleased to report that, after all the accruals and fund assignments were reviewed and corrected, the year closed with an extra $22,000 in our operating account. In January, when we first learned of our financial setback, we could only have hoped for such a result, but Scott promised it at the annual meeting, and thanks to an awesome staff and your generosity, we were able to make it happen!

4. A GREAT Start To The New Fiscal Year – Not one, but two families have now joined us as Rosh Pina (Cornerstone) level Parnas Fellowship members (a super generous $36,000/year commitment) – thank you SO much! Moreover, three excited and exuberant member families have talked to us about replenishing their named donation funds.

All that to say, with no intended slight to our unique San Francisco weather, we are no longer looking through a fog!