From The President

Dear Congregants and Friends,

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.

Please welcome Rabbi Jarah Greenfield to our professional staff as our new Director of Youth and Family Learning. Rabbi Jarah has had a number of roles at CBI over the years, and her role this year is expanding to plan and oversee our after-school children’s education program and family programs. She will continue to lead family worship services. In order to reach out to the many Jewish families in the northern Berkshires and southern Vermont who might not feel comfortable coming to a synagogue, we will offer some programs at people’s homes and at other locations in the community, in addition to CBI. Check the CBI calendar regularly for more information.

We are in the process of building out our new school program — renamed Jewish Journeys. Rabbi Rachel and Rabbi Jarah, with input from teachers, interested parents and the Board, are meeting regularly over the summer to develop our new curriculum, which will include exciting new electives open to all children in our community from kindergarten through grade 7. We are pleased to have received increased funding from Jewish Federation of the Berkshires and from private donors to make this possible.

We also welcome New Hope United Methodist Church, a small, local congregation without a space of their own, who will be worshiping at CBI on Sunday mornings. They have signed a one year Use & Occupancy Agreement with CBI, which delineates specific times they will be able to use our space as well as other conditions. I will be scheduling a Zoom meeting in mid-August for congregants to give the Board feedback on how this is working, prior to the end of the 3 month trial period (which ends September 30). (See my letter for more details.) We look forward to exploring opportunities for joint tikkun olam / social justice programs.

Once again, CBI congregant Ziva Larson will join Rabbi Rachel on the pulpit as our cantorial soloist, bringing their beautiful voice and spirituality to our HIgh Holy Days services. Planning is underway and you will receive details over the summer. We will resume hosting Break-the-Fast following Ne’ilah on Yom Kippur — a CBI tradition that has been missed by many for the past few years.

Please keep checking our weekly announcements (sent via email on Thursdays) and calendar. I hope to see you at upcoming services and events, including the ones below in August.

The Nominations Committee of the Board is putting together the slate of nominees for the Board for the coming year. WE NEED YOU — please consider serving on the Board and bringing your enthusiasm and ideas to our congregation. If you want to learn more about the Board and open positions on the Board and various committees, including the Education Committee, please contact me.

Wishing you an enjoyable and relaxing summer.


— Natalie Matus