From The President

Dear Congregants and Friends,

Our congregation is growing and now exceeds 100 families. I think that it is due to our warm, welcoming community as well as our growing list of events and activities. Young families won’t want to miss the “Family Walk in the Woods” coming in late June. Everyone is welcome at our outdoor summer Shabbat services where we can join prayer and nature.

I’d like to extend a warm welcome to our newest members, Ziva Larson and Barbara Feder Mindel, who recently joined the CBI community!

Ziva Larson lives in Adams and is eager to share their interest and skills in chanting Torah, music and dance, liturgy, and Hebrew. We are pleased that Ziva has agreed to lead some of our Shabbat Services when our regular service leaders are not available. Ziva and Rabbi Rachel also plan to co-lead two Kabbalat Shabbat services this summer, one in June and one in July.

Barbara Mindel was born and raised in North Adams and now lives in Poughkeepsie, NY. Her family has a long history at CBI and she is looking forward to reconnecting with our community. When you see new faces at services and events, in person and on Zoom, please introduce yourself.

We welcome the youngest member of our community — Ori Max Kol, born April 5 to Shira Sternberg Kol and Kfir Kol. Ori and his one year old sister, Zoë Barr Kol, were given their Hebrew names (Ori Kol and Puah Barr Kol, respectively) in a joyous ceremony a week ago, led by Rabbi Jarah Greenfield. We wish Shira, Kfir, and their children (including Maple, age 3) much joy in the years ahead. We also extend a hearty mazel tov to Maisie Lentzner, her parents Nina and Joel Lentzner and her family, on her recent bat mitzvah.

With days rapidly warming, we look forward to more outdoor services and events, weather permitting. Our Adult Programming Committee is hard at work developing a robust schedule of events, including the Family Stories Workshop (on Zoom) on June 9 and the CBI Book Club, led by Suzanne Levy Graver, launching on Zoom on June 15. I hope you’ll join us!

Our programming for young families continues with our “Family Walk in the Woods” on June 26 (time to be determined). I hope you’ll also join us at Jewish Federation’s “Get the Scoop… Community Day at High Lawn Farms” on Sunday, June 12 from 2pm to 4pm — it’ll be fun for all ages.

Rabbi Rachel and I are involved in a wonderful interfaith collaboration with Erin Keiser-Clark, Youth Minister at St. John’s Episcopal Church and Anne O’Connor, Director of Family Engagement at the First Congregational Church of Williamstown. Together we are conducting a 3-session after school program called “Caring for Our Earth and Each Other” for children in kindergarten through grade 3. Sessions rotate between the three religious spaces and each has a community service component. The children will be at CBI on June 15 and will tour our sanctuary, see an open Torah, walk the labyrinth, and make tote bags to welcome children newly immigrating to this area.

Please continue to check our weekly CBI Announcements, as well as the CBI website, for the latest information on services and programs. Wishing all of you a wonderful summer.


— Natalie Matus, President