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.
On the festival of Shemini Atzeret (October 7), our world tilted on its axis. Dancing with the Torah that night felt like an act of resistance, connectedness, and hope, even amidst our tears.
Joy! Joy! Joy! As I write these words we’re about to enter into Sukkot – also known as Season Of Our Rejoicing.
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.
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.
We’re on the runway: the Days of Awe are approaching. We’ve entered the Limbering Up time.
As we begin the summer and a new fiscal year at CBI, the Board and CBI staff are focused on planning a spiritually fulfilling, interesting and productive year for adults, families and children in our community. There will be opportunities to study and learn, worship and have fun together. We are excited about new collaborations both within and external to CBI.
July is upon us. All winter long I anticipate summer’s long daylight: the luscious green curves of our hillsides, how the pollinator garden behind the synagogue becomes a riot of color and leaf. And we’re here! We made it! This place where we are blessed to live is beautiful in all seasons, but this is the season I love the most. And… spiritual life never stands still. The wheel is always already turning toward the holidays to come.
“We have fallen into the place where everything is music.” These are words from the Sufi mystic poet Rumi, whose work I love. In the translations I’ve seen, he is one of the most profound spiritual poets there is. For another version of those lines, here’s how western-Mass-based folksinger Kris Delmhorst sings them: “Now we’ve come to the place where everything is music — everything is music, (so) let it play!”
As summer approaches and we look back at the year, it has been a very busy and exciting time at CBI. We are pleased that we’ve been able to bring back many in-person activities, including kiddushes after services, an in-person Community Seder, and much more.