Welcome to Brith Shalom's Committees & Groups page. In consort with CBS staff, our various committees and groups facilitate cooperative efforts in a variety of areas ranging from sponsoring programs and events, assisting with leadership and budgetary decisions, spear-heading member outreach efforts, and offering a common voice on issues pertinent to the synagogue as a whole. The committees and groups provide an opportunity for members to network, share information, and provide a support mechanism for a variety of areas throughout the organization.
Financial Affairs Committee:
The Financial Affairs Committee, chaired by the Financial VP and Treasurer, oversees the financial health of the synagogue. Constitutionally, the committee is responsible for financial reporting, budgeting, dues policy, and member financial obligations. In addition to these ministerial responsibilities, the committee also functions as a financial think-tank, providing the Board and Executive Committee with recommendations for improving and streamlining the overall operation and financial management of the congregation.
Fund Development Committee:
The Fund Development Committee implements the effort to increase the synagogue’s financial resources and ensure its ongoing fiscal stability; (ii) formulate for consideration by the Board a set of standards for fundraising appropriate to the synagogue; (iii) explore the possibility for increasing income from existing and new sources; (iv) present to the Board specific proposals for increasing synagogue resources; (v) implement proposals when approved by the Board; and (vi) coordinate timing of existing fund raising components of the synagogue and its auxiliaries. Further, this Committee shall be responsible for establishing and maintaining a long range financial plan for the Congregation. The President shall designate a member of the Executive Committee to Chair this Committee.
The Endowment Committee is responsible for managing the synagogue’s Endowment Fund. The functional purpose of the Endowment Fund is to establish an equity account that earns interest which may be expended as needed, while the principal remains untouched. Endowment donations come in many forms including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, life insurance policies, property or cash. For information on how to plan your legacy, contact Milton Mosk, III.
The Buildings and Grounds Committee deals with the issues related to the physical building and grounds maintenance. We are in charge of the outside signage, utilities (like air conditioning, and its related components).
The Safety Committee performs a number of very important functions to keep our synagogue and our members safe throughout the year. Among their many responsibilities are:
- Performing a monthly safety walkthrough of the entire synagogue
- Coordinating High Holy Days and special event security with local law enforcement
- Developing a fire safety plan
- Developing and maintaining a Synagogue Safety Manual
Larry Estes, Executive Director
Larry Estes is the Kitchen Liaison for Brith Shalom. It is his job to assure that the kitchen is meeting the needs of our congregational simchas, bake dates, Shabbat Onegs and synagogue celebrations which all provide a venue that builds community. Creating a social venue after our Shabbat services gives people an opportunity to connect with each other. It is his goal to assist congregants, committees and help coordinate the Congregation’s food and social needs.
The use of our kitchen for your events assists in maintaining our regular week Shabbat Oneg luncheons. You are also welcome to use the services of any caterer who provides Kosher meals.
Please contact Larry Estes in the office drectly regarding scheduling for your B’nei Mitzvot or if you are interested in hosting a Shabbat Oneg for a special occasion.
Peter Gingiss / Aaron Howard The Adult Learning Committee supports congregants in their desire to continue to grow and develop as Jews by encouraging participation in adult learning. In addition to organizing lectures and short-term classes on a variety of topics, we facilitate the formation of ongoing learning groups and keep the Brith Shalom community well informed about other learning opportunities in the community.
Our excellent religious school prepares our children for active participation in synagogue life. In a nurturing and stimulating environment, they learn Hebrew and Jewish History as well as customs and ceremonies. By combining proscribed curriculum with exciting electives, we offer our students an educational experience that is both challenging and exciting. This has resulted in an unprecedented retention rate. Our children love religious school!
Throughout the year, the congregation keeps in contact with our college youth via email, and send care packages for Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, and Passover.
Brith Shalom is a participatory, intimate community with a strong sense of spirituality. We express our spirituality through prayer, study, social action, and volunteerism.
We are excited that you are considering joining our congregation. CBS is a warm and wonderful Conservative synagogue that cares about every member and strives to be each member's Jewish home-away-from-home. We know that financial considerations are significant factors when selecting a synagogue. Because the process of electing an annual giving committment can be intimidating, we are committed to making it straight-forward and simple. As with all aspects of your CBS experience, we want the financial aspect of joining us to be a positive one.
Congregation Brith Shalom is governed by an Executive Committee and a Board of Trustees. The Executive Committee implements decisions of the Board of Trustees and works with committees and the Board to make synagogue policy changes. The Executive Committee also serves as Personnel Committee of the synagogue. The Executive Committee consists of the seven synagogue officers, plus up to two additional members appointed by the President.
The Nominating Committee is a standing committee of the Board of Trustees and is charged by the constitution to nominate at least one person for each office for the Board of Trustees and for each vacancy occurring on the Board of Trustees for election at the annual meeting of the congregation. The Committee by Constitution consists of two past presidents, one of whom will be chairperson, two trustees of the Board, and one member of the congregation who is not a member of the Board. The committee reviews suggestions for members for the Board of Trustees from the congregation and selects the nominees based on the needs of the congregation and the talent and skill of the members.
The Diversity Outreach Committee links Brith Shalom to the larger community through interfaith and intergroup activities meant to:
- Build relationships, alliances and coalitions with diverse groups and individuals in ways that promote mutual understanding and respect;
- Educate others about anti-Semitism and help our members understand and eliminate the oppression of others;
- Develop projects with others that meet needs in the larger community.
Over the years, we have worked toward these goals with a variety of activities, including:
- Annual African-American/Jewish model seders
- Participation in the Darfur vigil at the Holocaust Museum
- Talks on the history and practice of Islam
- Joint programs with Faith Lutheran Church, our next door neighbor, including visits, opportunities to learn about each others’ religion and customs, a model seder for teens at the church, and a viewing of a film about Deitrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran Pastor who worked against the Nazis
- In 2006, the CBS religious school was designated “No Place for Hate” by the Anti-Defamation League in recognition of school programming designed to reduce bias and stereotyping and encourage inclusion. The following year, the CBS board committed the congregation as a whole to the ADL's “Community of Respect” initiative. Since then CBS has been recognized each year for its efforts to promote respect for diversity and to challenge prejudice and discrimination through programs and synagogue activities.
- In the fall of 2009, CBS became a member of Interfaith Ministry's Congregation-to-Congregation pilot program, an effort to create meaningful interfaith experiences.
We are always interested in developing new relationships with other communities, and we welcome the involvement of every CBS member in diversity outreach, either as a committee member or as a participant in our events.
The Social Action Committee is involved in projects that include:
- Commitment with two churches to feed the homeless at SEARCH
- High Holiday Food drive and Passover Food Drive
- Collect toiletries and make blankets for Children's Protective Services
- Work with PTO to provide toys for Children's Protective Services at Christmas
- Work with Bar/Bat Mitzvah students on social action projects
- Collect books for Harris County Hospital District Half-Pint Library
- Work on gardens around the shul
- Mitzvah Day Projects
The committee welcomes suggestions from congregants about additional projects that they would like to undertake.
Let the Brith Shalom Gift Shop help you with your upcoming simchas for:
- Bar/Bat mitzvah;
- hostess gifts;
- and more!
- Personalized Kippot and Benchers too!
We have a gift registry, and sales from time to time. The gift shop is open on Sundays when religious school is in session.
The Religious Practices Committee (RPC) has oversight (with the Rabbi and Cantor) of all religious activities of Congregation Brith Shalom. The committee is responsible for recommending policies, rules and regulations for religious practices activities in accordance with the principles of the Conservative Movement. In conjunction with the Rabbi and Cantor, the RPC also helps to arrange for regular worship services for adults and children on weekdays, Shabbat, holidays and special occasions, that will meet the religious needs already acknowledged, or as yet unrecognized by the congregation.
Come sing, dance, and celebrate Shabbat at the most song-filled synagogue in Houston. All ages enjoy the service that is alive with song and joy. The sanctuary sways with the sounds of acoustic instruments and of voices raised together as one, offering an opportunity to experience the deep resonance of a Kabbalat Shabbat service that awakens the soul to the beauty of Shabbat and community.
After a joyous, uplifting service, we join in the social hall for a delicious light kiddush supper. We shake hands, schmooze and enjoy the company of one another. And when we leave, it's with a smile and a feeling of being invigorated as we look forward to coming together once again for the next Friday Night Ruach.
The Sisterhood is an active and vibrant part of our synagogue. Our programs throughout the year encourage education, leadership, socialization and relationship building. Working together, we can cultivate Jewish continuity in our homes, synagogue and the community at large.
There are so many ways for you to contribute your skills to the Brith Shalom family. We would love for you to help build, bridge and bond a more active, committed Sisterhood of Women and a stronger Brith Shalom. Come empower yourself and belong to our Sisterhood.
Your Men's Club has an active calendar aimed at developing programs for you! These programs will enrich the quality of Jewish life in your home and our community. Your participation will enhance your knowledge and appreciation of our Jewish heritage and traditions. More importantly, you will make lasting friendships and make a difference in our synagogue.
We encourage all men (and women, too) to attend our monthly Sunday breakfast speaker series which provides an opportunity for interactive participation on important topics presented by outstanding speakers. Our breakfast speaker events will take place following the Sunday morning Minyan starting at 9 a.m., with breakfast and program including a wide variety of topics of current, national, local, personal, and family interest, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. New members are always welcome and eat free!
HAZAK is USY for mature adults! Our goals are to provide:
- Programming for the 55+ age population;
- Opportunities to enjoy social, educational, cultural, and religious activities within our Conservative family;
- Interaction with other HAZAK chapters both regionally and internationally.
- We offer:
- Get together events for movies and dinners
- Cultural and educational programs
- Lunch and learn sessions
- Trips to area points of interest
Elise Sheppard, Margaret Jelinek Lewis
The Chesed Committee is the arm of the congregation that fulfills the great mitzvah of helping those in our community who are in need by performing acts of loving-kindness. The committee offers a myriad of services ranging from driving congregants to services or doctor appointments, cooking and delivering meals in times of need, to simply listening, visiting, and offering a friendly ear. Everyone on this committee has a sense of commitment to CBS' community life and all it's needs. They are all familiar with the idea that we are all responsible for one another. The Chesed Committee is inspired by these two quotations: “the highest form of wisdom is kindness" and "we fall down by ourselves but it takes a friendly hand to lift us up.” They maintain that the key to the group’s success is empathy, attempting to validate feelings, humor, non-judgmental listening, and the volunteers. The Chesed Committee is available to lend a friendly hand with the following:
- Home visits and phone calls
- Hospital and/or facility visits, doctors appointment
- Meals, as needed, following an illness or loss
- A shared Shabbat meal
- A ride to Shabbat services or special functions
- Other needs
If you would like to participate or support Chesed or if you or another congregant you know of is in need or is in a crisis and would benefit from friendly hands, contact Chesed Chair Fran Floersheimer 713.772.3448.
Please note: all services provided through Chesed are confidential.