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.
















The Financial Four -- March 21, 2017

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

Dear Chaverim,

It’s March, and while it may have gone unnoticed to some, I’m proud to say that Scott and I celebrated our one-year anniversary of living together and working together at the shul!

It’s been an exciting year, and while we still argue about who has to get up and feed Luna (Scott, always), we also get to spend time talking about how best to serve you and the synagogue every day, and that means a lot to us both. It would be silly not to take this opportunity to say how much I appreciate all that Scott has done. Or to mention how lovely it is to hear this from you whenever we see you. But I would be REALLY silly not to acknowledge all the fantastic help Scott has had along the way, and I'll do so in the form of some financial updates!

1. Our Fabulous Consultants. – Some of you may recognize the names Steven Dinkelspiel and Susan Jacobson from so much of their great work in the Bay Area Jewish community. CBS has had the good luck of having them engaged in helping us grow a more fervent development culture here at CBS. Steven and Susan have been essential in helping us to focus on what you, the members of the synagogue, think is most important, and we have been able to raise more than $300,000 so far in donations this year, outside of membership!

2. Our even more fabulous Board. – Talk about people dedicated to a cause! These are the wonderful people who take the time out of their already busy lives to dedicate themselves to the synagogue. Some of our board members took on the mitzvah years ago without any clue of how things would progress, while others stepped up in the middle of a crisis and have pitched in to fill needs and gaps. I’m happy to say that I personally know of at least three more community members (I can’t announce their names just yet) who are applying to join our amazing board, and we could not be luckier to have them – they will continue what we have grown here so far!

3. Our amazing staff. – For those of you who came to Purimpalooza, our Purim carnival and spiel, it is almost as if I can see your faces soften as you remember that terrific afternoon. Our staff put in countless hours to make all those games, delicious food, prizes, and fun happen, and the community experience led to a lot of generosity that still continues. We made about $8,000 net on the event itself, but big businesses wish they could garner as much goodwill as the great event has. And the staff is so excited, they're dreaming up more programming fun...like the Fress Kosher for Passover dessert event that will take place at Brandeis.

4. Numbers. All kinds of numbers. – CBS is engaged in some new accounting best practices, including surplus budgeting, cash and accrual metrics, meaningful fund accounting, and sub-line budget to actual reporting. We are running projections that, mostly through some significant cost cuts, will allow us to show a surplus for the year, which is critical for our loan covenants. Outside of the accountant realm, I also like numbers such as: the (sold-out) upcoming Parnas members event at SFJAZZ; the number of members who have supported and sponsored our Shabbat kiddush lunch program; the number of new members (~30); and the number of new events and types of events we are hosting here. I could not be more enthusiastic about the way you are making the synagogue a place for your celebrations and gatherings – and I couldn’t be happier for you.

Missy Sue