Shavua tov! Looking forward to Shabbat Va’etchanan.

Shavua tov – a  good week to you!

This week we’re reading the Torah portion known as Va-etchanan in the book of Dvarim (Deuteronomy.)return-to-shabbat

If you’d like to read some commentaries on this week’s Torah portion, some links follow:

And here’s the URJ’s compilation of commentaries on this week’s Torah portion: Va-etchanan | URJ.

This coming Shabbat morning, services will be led by Rabbi Dennis Ross.

Many thanks to our shamashim, the members who host our Shabbat services each week. If you would like to join that group, please contact Pattie Lipman.

We hope to see you soon at CBI!

Two groundbreaking books; two inspirational talks in one evening – Aug 13 at CBI

ZaslowsOn Thurs., August 13th at 7:00 pm, Rabbi David Zaslow and Debra Zaslow will speak about their recently published books at Congregation Beth Israel. The event is co-sponsored by All Saints Episcopal Church and Congregation Beth Israel. The talk is free and open to the public. Both Rabbi David Zaslow and Debra Zaslow are gifted speakers, known for their ability to inspire and entertain, and both are longtime participants in Jewish Renewal, the trans-denominational movement to revitalize Judaism within which Rabbi Rachel was ordained.

Rabbi David Zaslow is the author of Jesus: First Century Rabbi and Debra Gordon Zaslow is the author of Bringing Bubbe Home, A Memoir of Letting Go Through Love and Death.

41RaeXMgvjL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_In Bringing Bubbe Home Debra Zaslow writes candidly about the life-changing experience of bringing her 103 year-old grandmother into her home during her final months of life. The narrative of their time together in Bubbe’s last months is mingled with scenes from the past that reveal how her grandmother’s stories of abuse, tenacity and survival have played out through the generations of women in the family. Debra watches her expectations of a perfect death dissolve in the midst of queen-size diapers, hormonal teenagers and volatile caregivers, while the two women sit soul-to-soul in moments of stark tenderness.

This honest and powerful literary memoir illustrates the choice to bring death into the home  with family, caregivers, hospice, and all the ramifications. Zaslow offers keen insights into the process of being with a dying person on their own terms, while meeting the needs of family at the same time.

51VN6+8EBmL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Jesus: First Century Rabbi takes a bold, fresh look at the historical Jesus and the Jewish roots of Christianity while challenging both Jews and Christians to re-examine their understanding of Jesus’ firm commitment to his Jewish faith.  Instead of emphasizing the differences between the two religions, this groundbreaking text explains how the concepts of vicarious atonement, mediation, incarnation, and Trinity are actually rooted in classical Judaism. Using the cutting edge of scholarly research, Rabbi Zaslow dispels the myths of disparity between Christianity and Judaism without diluting the unique features of each faith.

Rabbi David Zaslow, M.S., is the spiritual leader of Havurah Shir Hadash, a synagogue in Ashland, Oregon. He is the editor of the best selling Hebrew/English prayer book for spiritual Renewal, Ivdu et Hashem B’simcha – Serve the Holy One With Joy. He travels the country leading workshops for churches and synagogues on the Jewish roots of Christianity. He is also a guitar player, poet, author, and lecturer who has been interviewed on national TV and radio. He is also the author of numerous poetry books for children and adults.

Following the author presentations there will be time for Q and A and book-signing.

Bringing Bubbe Home is published by White Cloud Press; Jesus: First Century Rabbi is published by Paraclete Press. Both books are available through Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com or from local independent booksellers — and will be available for sale at the event at CBI as well.

More information on Rabbi David Zaslow can be found at his website: , and you can get a glimpse of him on YouTube here.

More information on Debra Gordon Zaslow can be found at her website, and you can get a glimpse of her on YouTube here.

We hope you’ll save the date and plan to join us! A $10 donation is requested from those who feel able to contribute.

Shavua tov; looking forward to Shabbat Devarim and to Tisha b’Av

Shavua tov – a  good week to you!

This week we’re reading the Torah portion known as D’varim, the first portion the book of D’varim (“Words,” e.g. Deuteronomy.)return-to-shabbat

If you’d like to read some commentaries on this week’s Torah portion, some links follow:

And here’s the URJ’s compilation of commentaries on this week’s Torah portion: Dvarim | URJ.

This coming Shabbat morning, services will be led by Rabbi Pam Wax.

This coming Saturday evening, July 25, Rabbi Pam Wax will lead our community’s Tisha b’Av observance. We’ll begin with a short a study session “Joy and Sorrow in Jewish Practice and Tradition”, followed by a short service and the reading of a selection from the book of Lamentations, led by Rabbi Pam Wax. The service will take place by candlelight. Those who are comfortable doing so are invited to sit on the floor, as a sign of mourning. Please bring a cushion and a flashlight to read by. By the way, those who have seen the animated Pixar movie “Inside Out” in which Joy and Sadness are major characters, will have much to add to our conversation! (It may still be playing in North Adams.)

Tisha B’Av is commemorated as a day of mourning for the destruction of both the first and second Temples, as well as other tragedies befalling the Jewish community. Kindly RSVP to the office by noon on Thursday, July 23 if you plan to attend, so that we can plan for seating and xeroxing needs. All are welcome.

Many thanks to our shamashim, the members who host our Shabbat services each week. If you would like to join that group, please contact Pattie Lipman.

We hope to see you soon at CBI!

Shavua tov; looking forward to Shabbat Matot-Masei!

Shavua tov – a  good week to you!

This week we’re reading the Torah portion known as Matot-Masei in the book of Bamidbar (“In the Wilderness,” a.k.a. Numbers.) return-to-shabbat

If you’d like to read some commentaries on this week’s Torah portion, some links follow:

And here’s the URJ’s compilation of commentaries on this week’s Torah portion:  Matot and Masei, URJ.

This coming Shabbat morning, services will be led by Rabbi Pam Wax.

Many thanks to our shamashim, the members who host our Shabbat services each week. If you would like to join that group, please contact Pattie Lipman.

We hope to see you soon at CBI!

Shavua tov! Looking forward to Shabbat Pinchas.

Shavua tov – a  good week to you!

This week we’re reading the Torah portion known as Pinchas in the book of Bamidbar (“In the Wilderness,” a.k.a. Numbers.) return-to-shabbat

If you’d like to read some commentaries on this week’s Torah portion, some links follow:

And here’s the URJ’s compilation of commentaries on this week’s Torah portion:  Pinchas | URJ.

This coming Shabbat morning, services will be led by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat. All are welcome and encouraged to join us as we celebrate not only Shabbat but also the joy of calling Molly Howard to the Torah as a bat mitzvah.

Many thanks to our shamashim, the members who host our Shabbat services each week. If you would like to join that group, please contact Pattie Lipman.

We hope to see you soon at CBI!

Shavua tov! Looking forward to Shabbat Balak.

Shavua tov – a  good week to you!

This week we’re reading the Torah portion known as Balak in the book of Bamidbar (“In the Wilderness,” a.k.a. Numbers.) return-to-shabbat

If you’d like to read some commentaries on this week’s Torah portion, some links follow:

And here’s the URJ’s compilation of commentaries on this week’s Torah portion: Balak | URJ.

This coming Shabbat morning, services will be led by Rabbi Pam Wax. Please RSVP if you will be joining us, since she will be hosting a celebratory kiddush for Chaim’s birthday, and would like to know how much food to prepare.

Many thanks to our shamashim, the members who host our Shabbat services each week. If you would like to join that group, please contact Pattie Lipman.

We hope to see you soon at CBI!

The July/August Newsletter is Here!

The July/August (JulyAugNewsletterCoverTamuz/Av/Elul) edition of the CBI Newsletter is here!

In this edition you’ll find a letter from the rabbi, service times and Shabbat candle-lighting / havdalah times, a Tikkun Olam update, some Mazal Tovs, an update about books donated to the library, information about this summer’s Sunday movie series, a look back at the Kabbalat Shabbat service and dinner we held here on May 1, some thanks to members, an update from Take and Eat, news about two online classes which are coming up, information about an August 28 Shabbat service to be co-led by Rabbi Rachel and Rabbi David Markus, a schedule of our High Holiday / Days of Awe services and experiences, more from the rabbi about how to schedule a meeting if you want one, anniversaries and birthdays, thanks to our donors, and a request for shamashim.

If you have opted in to receiving the newsletter in print, you’ll receive a paper copy later this week. If you subscribe to our email list you’ll receive a copy via email later today; you can also download a pdf file here:

July-August-Newsletter [pdf]