CBI Labyrinth

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new CBI after-school program, renamed Jewish Journeys, for children in grades K–7 beginning on Monday, September 11. Jewish Journeys is the outgrowth of a year of collaboration among CBI and NEFESH, which is a burgeoning group of Jewish families in Southern Vermont and Western Massachusetts run by Shira Sternberg Kol and Rabbi Jarah Greenfield.

My heart keeps breaking at the news emerging from the Supreme Court.

We knew that the end of Roe was coming. It’s still a shock to the system, and portends a tremendous amount of suffering to come. Countless people will suffer and die because of today’s ruling, and we know that the consequences will be most dire for people of color and for those without the fiscal resources to travel to “safe” states where abortion is available.

Dear Congregation Beth Israel of the northern Berkshires, Temple Beth-El of City Island, and Hebrew Congregation of Somers,

This year our three communities will join together to celebrate Tu BiShvat, the first step on the journey toward spring. Our Zoom seder (4pm, Sunday 1/31) will take us through the four seasons and the Four Worlds, experienced through the theme of hitkashrut, interconnection. Maybe you know that trees are interconnected in a “wood wide web,” not unlike the world wide web that allows us to connect now during pandemic times. We’ll look to the natural world for inspiration and connectedness: with each other, with our traditions, and with our Source. 

Please RSVP to your rabbi by January 28 so we have an idea of who’s coming and can give a list to the Zoom Angels who will be watching the door / letting people in. 

Share an offering

We’re hoping to incorporate, into our Zoom seder slides, short video clips of the trees and/or the woods and/or the mountains and/or the ocean — the landscapes where each of our communities take root. You are invited to make a short video (ten seconds or so) of the natural world where you are, and share it by January 27 by uploading it to this google drive folder: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1IPHmcKhmkcOmuKk_6nHixXd3zMQZlBXK 

Seder supplies

Here’s a short list of items to have on hand if you can:

  • Juice or wine, enough for four ceremonial cups or sips – ideally some red and some white;
  • A tree fruit with an inedible shell or peel (a banana or an orange, or banana chips, or dried coconut, or any kind of edible nut);
  • A tree fruit with a pit (a peach or plum, a dried apricot or prune, an olive);
  • A tree fruit that is edible all the way through (an apple or pear, fresh or dried; apple chips; dried figs)

And if you can’t find those things, or don’t have them, don’t worry: we’ll provide a path into this experience even without the tangible / taste-able items.

How to join

Please RSVP to your rabbi by January 28 so we have an idea of who’s coming and can give a list to the Zoom Angels who will be watching the door / letting people in. A secure Zoom link will be sent to everyone who registers.

We look so forward to being with you on Zoom soon as we celebrate and welcome the coming spring.

With blessings of connectedness —

Rabbi Rachel, Rabbi David, and Rabbi Shoshana

PS: CBI folks, please also join us for our socially distanced Tu BiShvat winter walk up Stone Hill at 10am on Saturday morning, January 30 — read more here!