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An Update from City Councilmember Diane Howard

09/13/2023 12:49:23 PM



With the High Holy Days upon us, my heart is full of life and love when reflecting on the past year. While we encountered difficulties, I am profoundly thankful for the blessings in our lives. Let us approach the New Year with renewed...Read more...

Return from Sabbatical

09/01/2023 05:00:00 PM


Bill Futornick, Ritual Director

I’m back! My sabbatical has been so fulfilling and I am overwhelmingly filled with gratitude. Thank you to the clergy and staff here at CBJ who did so much while I was gone. Most important, thank you to all of you who are part of the CBJ family. It was truly life-changing to have had the time to explore various peoples and places of the world. You made it all possible, and it is with deep appreciation that I return to CBJ.

Many...

High Holidays & High Notes: Building Community & Connection

09/01/2023 05:00:00 PM


Tami Raubvogel, President

To say that my family likes Taylor Swift is an understatement. Although my son and I are probably just regular fans, my husband and daughter are such serious Swifties that their love for her music is way more than enough for the four of us.  

On any given day, there could be a flurry of text messages, a phone conversation or little videos shared via email about this singer.  We have had countless discussions about...Read more...

Elul is Here

09/01/2023 05:00:00 PM


Rabbi Nat Ezray

Life seems to constantly change.

September used to be the time school began – but now many schools begin in August.

It used to be the time when summer ended – but now the weather is so chaotic – who knows what the month will bring.

Yet amidst all of this change, the Jewish calendar remains constant.

The month of Elul always comes in August/September. We sound the shofar each day during the month of Elul...Read more...

Finding Beauty Wherever We Look

06/30/2023 09:29:47 AM


Ann Cauterruci, Preschool Director

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote to, “…Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” Beauty can be found everywhere; a flower growing through a crack in the sidewalk, bugs under a rock, a quiet lake, a rainbow, even a birthday cake, but do we all see beauty in the same way? 

There is a lovely book, written by Naoki Higashida called The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a...Read more...

Shabbat Mornings for Our School Families

06/30/2023 09:28:45 AM


Rabbi Ilana Goldhaber-Gordon

Dan Leemon has been leading Junior Congregation for twenty-eight years. He shaped an entire generation of CBJ children’s appreciation of Shabbat services. His wisdom, wit, and beautiful voice created a weekly Shabbat experience that was meaningful for parents and children alike. He had a huge impact on our community.

Dan is so skilled he makes service leading seem effortless. In reality, no one can walk in front of a room of...Read more...

Turning The Pages

06/30/2023 09:21:12 AM


Tami Raubvogel, President

I am one of those lucky people who knew what they wanted to do at an early age. My 10th grade English teacher inspired me so much that I wanted to be just like her. I started working as a teacher when I was 23 years old, and I have been working in education ever since. Throughout these years I have had many different chapters in my life: I got married, had two children, made new friends, lost a father and father-in-law, earned a degree in...Read more...

Tisha B'Av: Facing Pain and Finding Meaning

06/30/2023 09:08:15 AM


Rabbi Ezray

Judaism teaches us to face pain by giving voice to it, learning from it, and seeking to transform it into meaning.

One of the most interesting examples of this is Tisha B’Av (the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av) which commemorates painful moments of our history, all which occurred on this date. The memories include commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temple, various Crusades and expulsions, and numerous other...Read more...

Korach - Respect Differences, Enjoy Commonalities

06/26/2023 08:38:04 AM


Rabbi Ilana Goldhaber-Gordon

We are celebrating today the wedding anniversary of Gayle and Allen Notowitz. Gayle and I have a shared passion - we both love backpacking.

Here’s something I don’t think I told you, Gayle. When my husband and I became parents, it was many years before I would think about becoming a rabbi and an educator. We knew nothing about children, and we thought  - “We’re not going to let this stop us!” We hauled our kids on these...Read more...

Achrei-Mot Kedoshim

05/08/2023 01:24:41 PM


Rabbi Ilana Goldhaber-Gordon

The verse that Anna spoke about this morning is part of what scholars call the “Holiness Code” - a list of rules or commandments that we must follow in order to be kadosh, holy. 

Rabbi Jonanathan Sacks, of blessed memory, pointed out that the list of rules seems eclectic. There are the lovely ethical rules - like the one Anna spoke about, “Don’t gossip,” or “don’t place a stumbling block before the blind.”...Read more...

Tazria: Bringing the Outsider In

05/04/2023 09:58:33 AM


Rabbi Ezray

At first glance, it is tempting to turn away from this morning’s Torah portion. Its description of tzaraat, a terrible skin disease in all of its gory details, is hard to read. Descriptions of the afflicted person being placed outside the camp, burdened with facing the pain of terrifying disease in insolation, lifts up the painful realities of stigma and the abandonment of a person who must already feel alienated from community and perhaps...Read more...

Supporting Each Other (Even When in Pain)

05/01/2023 10:29:43 AM


Cantor Barbara Powell

There's a powerful story in parashat BeHa’alotkha, of Miriam being stricken with serious illness. Miriam and Aaron were gossiping against Moses and his wife, complaining that she was a foreigner. In Num. 12:1-16, After God leaves Miriam’s skin covered in white scales as a punishment; she is sent outside the camp. Aaron is rebuked by God. Though the hurtful words were directed at his family, Moses nevertheless pleads with God in...Read more...

Thu, September 28 2023 13 Tishrei 5784