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As we move past Passover, I’d like to draw your attention to some of our upcoming events and programs. On Saturday, May 18 at 10am, you are all invited to a Jewish Journeys Shabbat morning service, during which we will celebrate Shabbat, our students and teachers, and will get a taste of what our students have learned over the course of the semester.

Four photos from CBI's Purim party on 3/23/2024. Joe Alper and his band playing music (top & bottom L); Rabbis Jarah & Rachel in costume with the Torah (top R); costumed children dancing in a circle (bottom R).

I am still kvelling about the wonderful Purim Party that we held on March 23, in conjunction with NEFESH. Over 80 people of all ages joined us in celebration and community, in spite of the winter storm that unfortunately meant that some folks were snowed in and unable to attend.

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As the days get longer and we are awakened in the morning by the songs of birds newly arrived from points south, we are looking forward to all that spring brings to our community.

Four photos from Jewish Journeys Shabbat on 2/3/2024. Student-made zines (top L); plates, cups, & other homemade ceramics (top R); Rabbis Jarah & Rachel singing & playing guitar (bottom L); cardboard dioramas (bottom R).

I am still kvelling about the wonderful Jewish Journeys Shabbat service last Saturday morning, when our community, including students, their parents, grandparents, and other congregants, gathered in our sanctuary to celebrate Shabbat together in song and prayer. Students’ work from their elective classes was featured, and the D’var Torah was given by one of our students. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed a communal potluck kiddush.

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December was quite a month! During the week of Chanukah, we hosted and participated in a wonderful series of programs to celebrate the holiday.

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Thanks to all who attended the Annual Meeting a few weeks ago and approved the slate of Officers and Directors, as well as the proposed Bylaw changes. And welcome to Wendy Penner, who has officially joined the CBI Board! We had over 30 people in attendance, both in person and on Zoom.

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I write to you with a heavy heart, trying to process news about the war in Israel and the Middle East, and rising antisemitism in the US and even in our area. It is a tough time to be a Jewish leader, parent, or grandparent. And yet, I feel solace in knowing that CBI is here for us.

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I am writing to you in the afterglow of the High Holy Days. I hope that you were able to join us for some or all of our services and that you found them as meaningful and inspirational as I did. It is a joy to be able to worship together in person, and also to be able to gather virtually as a larger community.

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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.