From The President

Dear Congregants and Friends,

Our family programs continue to expand and our newly launched Adult Programming Committee met and began planning for a busy spring and summer. As spring takes hold here in the Berkshires, exciting things are happening at CBI! Thanks for your input via our recent survey, which has guided us in our planning.

Highlights of the coming months include:

Sunday, April 10 at 5pm–6pm: The Story of the Four Questions (RSVP here)
We’ve all recited or heard the Four Questions, but what do we really know about them and the meaning of Passover? Join Rabbi Rachel Barenblat for a special one-time Zoom to discuss the evolution of the Four Questions over the last 2000 years. We will see not only shifts in Jewish practice and cultural norms, but also fascinating insights into how our chosen seder symbols evoke the paradoxical tension between slavery and freedom and how those themes reverberate for us today.

Thursday, April 21 at 5:30–6:30pm: Making Walls Speak: Sol LeWitt’s Jewish Projects (at Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, MA)
Join our CBI contingent at the museum — we plan to gather between 5pm and 5:30pm in the WCMA lobby for this fascinating program, sponsored by WCMA and Jewish Federation of the Berkshires. The program is also available via Zoom (pre-register here). RSVPs are not required to attend in person, but you must show your vaccination card and wear a mask. For questions, contact Sheila Roman, chair of the Adult Programming Committee.

By popular demand, a monthly book club, led by our own Suzanne Graver, John Hawley Roberts Professor of English, Emerita at Williams College, will launch in May. Details will be announced soon. If you are interested in participating or in learning more, please email Sheila Roman.

Sunday, May 15 at 2pm–4 pm: Get the Scoop — Jewish Federation of the Berkshires Community Day at High Lawn Farms (RSVP here)
Join with the entire Berkshire Jewish community to kick off Super Tzedakah Week at High Lawn Farm with fun for ages 0 to 99! Enjoy free ice cream (while supplies last), music, tours behind the scenes, cows, baby animal petting zoo, barnyard yoga, raffles, mitzvah opportunities, and so much more. All are welcome! Registration is required, along with proof of full COVID vaccination. The Federation will be collecting new packaged feminine hygiene and incontinence products as part of the community Dignity Drive.

Sunday, May 22: Torah / Omer Yoga Day at the CBI Labyrinth
Yoga for families with young children (RSVP here)
   11:30am–12:30pm: Yoga for adults (RSVP here)

We will be outdoors if weather permits and indoors in case of inclement weather. Both classes are led by CBI congregant and yoga teacher Jennifer Burt. Connect with nature and get ready for Shavuot. Please bring a yoga mat or blanket.

After celebrating Purim with a rousing rendition of “An Encanto Purim,” Hebrew School resumes following spring break. We are in the process of wrapping up the school year and preparing for next year.

Our Hebrew School is growing! We are pleased to announce that we are bringing back our youngest class, Aleph-Tav (grades K-2), taught by Jane Shiyah, in the fall along with Ne’arim (grades 3-5) and B-Mitzvah (grades 6-7). We want to thank Jewish Federation of the Berkshires for their recent grant of $3,559 to help support our Hebrew School this year. For more information about our Hebrew School, please contact Natalie Matus.

Finally, I want to ask you to consider making a gift to Jewish Federation of the Berkshires to support the essential work they do to improve lives and strengthen Jewish community across the Berkshires, in Israel, and around the world. As someone who sits on the Board of Federation, I see first hand the way their work impacts our children, families, and seniors. In addition to helping provide a Jewish education to CBI children and to children across the Berkshires, their generous scholarships help every child who wants to attend a Jewish summer camp to do so. Visit the Federation website for information on how to give and the impact of your support.


— Natalie Matus, President