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Tikvah: How Do We Deal With Anger?

07/01/2022 08:56:20 AM


Rabbinic Intern Greg Marcus

This has been a difficult month for our country. From mass shootings to the Supreme Court’s   expected ruling on abortion, to the January 6th hearings, many people are feeling strong emotions, including, but not limited to anger.

Maimonides said “Whosoever yields to anger, if he be a wise man his wisdom leaves him, and if he be a prophet his prophecy leaves him." (Human Dispositions 2:3) Notice the phrase “yields to...Read more...

Vayera – Go to Uncertainty Be a Blessing

10/26/2021 04:49:28 PM


Rabbi Nat Ezray


Judaism begins with a journey into the unknown. The first Jews, Abraham and Sarah leave everything that is familiar – their homeland, their families of origin, their native culture, their habits of mind – and journey to a new and unknown land. Think about the implication to us of a religion rooted in journey into the unknown. We too are...Read more...

Reopening update from the President

09/01/2021 09:50:03 AM


by Steve Dines

Dear Congregants,

I wanted to use this Voice piece to let you know what our reopening plans are through the end of 2021.

As many of you know, we held our High Holiday services under an 8000 square foot canopy in the CBJ parking lot.  We had wonderful levels of attendance on both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and the feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive, not just about the steps we took to make worshippers feel...Read more...

Thoughts on Makhloket

04/29/2022 02:06:53 PM


Cantor Barbara Powell

Nadav and Abihu, Aaron’s two sons, brought strange fire into the Mishkan after having completed their appropriate tasks, such as bringing the blood to the altar. Upon bringing the strange fire, they were consumed by it and struck down by God.

The sacrificial offerings in the Mishkan followed a very specific sequence, in preparation for God’s presence descending to be...Read more...

Tikvah Shabbat Drash

04/29/2022 02:03:59 PM


Rabbinic Intern Greg Marcus

Today on our Tikva Shabbat, we have gotten a small glimpse of what our tradition has to say about conflict resolution, respectful dialogue, and tolerance for multiple viewpoints.

The 30-million-shekel question is, how do we make it happen?

Is it easy in here to say, “We should listen with curiosity, or accept multiple points of view.” But what happens in the real world, when we are sitting across from someone who believes...Read more...

Passover Yizkor: Making the Broken Matza Whole

04/25/2022 11:08:19 AM


Rabbi Ezray

       As we come to the end of Passover and thoughts turn to that all important choice of what to eat tonight, pizza, bagel, pasta, you name it, I want you to hold onto the symbol of matza and take it with you.

       Matza’s symbolic meaning has the power to inform our identity in moving ways. Especially as we prepare for the Yizkor service connected with each of our pilgrimage festivals; we...Read more...

Metzorah: Finding Healing

04/11/2022 10:13:23 AM


Rabbi Ezray

As I sat down to write my sermon this week, my soul was troubled, and I was searching for comfort. And for all that Judaism brings comfort in extraordinary ways, the burdens of our world felt too heavy. Being from Sacramento and witnessing senseless mass killings of streets so familiar to me was painful. The litany of prayers and thoughts for families of victims and those wounded, which we have offered far too many times in recent months,...Read more...


03/25/2022 04:43:49 PM


Rabbi Ilana Goldhaber-Gordon

I'm curious how many people in this room currently live more than 200 miles from where you grew up. If that describes you, and you feel comfortable doing so - stand up, so we can all get a sense of the numbers. (In Power Hour, nearly everyone stood. 2-3 people remained sitting.) Remain standing for a moment if you grew up out of state. (Less than half the room sat.) Remain standing for a moment if you grew up in a different country...Read more...

Shalom Bayit - Reclaiming Power in the Face of Abuse

03/14/2022 11:46:18 AM


Rabbi Ilana Goldhaber-Gordon

This Shabbat is the sermon campaign for Shalom Bayit.  Shalom Bayit literally means “peace at home”, and it’s the name of the Bay Area’s center for domestic violence prevention within the Jewish community. Each year, Shalom Bayit asks rabbis throughout the Bay Area to address domestic violence, if possible all on a single Shabbat.  It’s not always possible to do it on the date requested –  the truth, is we...Read more...

Esther's Humility Lesson

03/11/2022 11:07:21 AM


Greg Marcus

Have you ever been thrust into a situation where you were called to step outside of your comfort zone?  If so, did you have to choose between stepping up to bring some good into the world, or doing nothing and let something bad happen?

This is exactly the situation Queen Esther faced. Please join our Rabbinic Intern Greg Marcus for a discussion of the Mussar soul trait of Humility as it relates to Queen Esther's example, at 5:30...Read more...

A Message from Cantor Barbara

03/01/2022 11:47:19 AM


Cantor Barbara Powell

Our endeavor to make CBJ a more inclusive community has been, and continues to be, an ongoing process. From communal study, days of learning, and conferences, to undergoing long term training, we’ve engaged in discussions and re-envisioned what it means to be a community of love, learning, engagement, and inclusion. You can see signs of this endeavor throughout our community and facility in many ways, attempting to bring a greater sense of...Read more...

Introducing the Tikva Committee

02/28/2022 11:07:01 AM


Greg Marcus, George Dale, and Sheila Zelinger

As a community, CBJ does a great job of affirming diverse religious practices and encouraging people to stay true to their own Jewish traditions.  But are we able to apply our tolerance for religious diversity to tolerance for diverse views on social imperatives or politics? Do our members feel safe expressing opinions about the issues of the day? Do we all need to believe in the same things in order to be a strong congregation? Do we...Read more...

Vayakhel: Betzalel’s Wisdom For This Moment

02/28/2022 10:56:43 AM


Rabbi Ezray

My dear friend Rabbi Barry Katz is with his family this weekend for the Bar Mitzvah of his nephew. He had access to and put on the tefillin of his great grandfather who came from the shtetl of Geysin, Ukraine, south of Kyev. Putting on the tefillin connected him with the family story. His family never talked about why they left, but clearly there was antisemitism and things were not good. He wrote that he thought about the Ukrainian people...Read more...

Being Engaged

02/28/2022 09:19:57 AM


Tami Raubvogel, President

My 81 year old mother just moved out of the house she has lived in since 1977. My three siblings and I helped her come to the conclusion that the needs of maintaining a large house is just too much for her to do by herself.  

This new (and hopefully improved) living arrangement offers a multitude of classes and activities available for all residents. There is a gym, a hair salon, a walking track and even a daily happy hour in the...Read more...

Passover: The Real New Year?

02/28/2022 09:10:07 AM


Rabbi Ezray

Happy New Year!

No, it is not Rosh Hashana. It is also not January 1.

The real Jewish New Year is Passover. In Exodus 12:2, we read that Passover occurs at, “the head of the months, the first month of the year.” (How Rosh Hashana came to be seen as the Jewish New Year is another column). How is it that Passover celebrates the Jewish New Year?

One clue is that Exodus 13:4 specifies that Passover occurs, “in the...Read more...

Wed, July 6 2022 7 Tammuz 5782