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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...

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...

Covid and the Golden Calf

02/22/2022 09:31:10 AM


Rabbi Ilana Goldhaber-Gordon

Experienced school teachers know that it's crucial to set clear rules in the first few weeks of the school year. The best teachers will usually seem very strict at the beginning of the year, and only when they’ve established classroom norms will relax and soften.   That’s because if the kids do not feel that the room is well regulated at the outset, they will act out. In order feel safe, the kids need to know that the...Read more...

Upcoming Antisemitism Series

02/10/2022 09:02:10 AM


Fellow CBJ Parents,

I am writing to welcome (and urge) you all to kindly participate in an upcoming three-part educational series sponsored by CBJ on the rise of antisemitism in this country, internationally, and in our K-12 schools and college campuses. The threat is multifaceted and exists across the political spectrum, so no matter where you find yourselves leaning these days, being Jewish seems to bring its own unique...Read more...

Terumah: One Small Step

02/08/2022 01:54:46 PM


Rabbi Ezray

Have you heard about StoryCorps? It is an amazing organization.

In 2003, StoryCorp set up a booth in Grand Central Station with the goal of having people who know and love each other record their stories. These stories are collected, shared, and preserved. The belief was that stories create a more just and compassionate world by building connections between people. The impact has rippled. There is a weekly story shared on NPR, several...Read more...

Purim: A Spiritual Response to Colleyville

01/25/2022 09:32:58 AM


Rabbi Ezray

Around 2500 years ago, the Jews in Shushan faced a terrible moment. King Ahasueros, manipulated by his evil advisor Haman, issued an edict giving permission to kill the Jews. What would happen? What could they possibly do in the face this danger? The text captures the anxiety of the moment: ha’ir Shushan nevucha – the city of Shushan was dumfounded.

Last Saturday felt eerily like that moment in Shushan. Facing a...Read more...

A Letter from CBJ Clergy and Leadership

01/18/2022 12:21:21 PM


CBJ Clergy and Leadership

Dear CBJ Family,
Soon after concluding our beautiful Shabbat services yesterday, we learned of the horrific synagogue attack and hostage situation in at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. We breathed a collective sigh of relief to learn that the hostages, including Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker were freed due to the heroic actions of law enforcement. Rabbi Cytron-Walker wrote a beautiful statement following his...Read more...

Their Impact Continues

01/03/2022 09:17:42 AM


Rabbi Ezray

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.  (Martin Luther King, Jr. Wall Street Journal, November 13, 1962)

The religious conscience cannot help but be moved by the heartless cruelties and gross injustice which have been perpetrated against our fellow citizens. To stand up and be counted at such a...Read more...

Seeing Someone

01/03/2022 09:07:17 AM


Tami Raubvogel, President

What does it mean to “see” someone? 

There is the literal meaning. You can see someone, for example, who is standing in front of you or sitting near you at Shabbat service. I can see how many people choose to attend the service on Zoom or in person and you can see everyone too. Sometimes we acknowledge that we see each other by smiling, waving, or saying hello. These simple acts are very important...Read more...

United Against Hate: Lifting up Anti-Semitism Which Demands a Response

11/23/2021 09:26:33 AM


Rabbi Ezray

This week (November 14 – 20, 2021) numerous cities and organizations across the Bay Area have come together for a series of events to support United Against Hate Week. United Against Hate was created several years ago by civic leaders who realize that hate stops when enough people lift their voices and act. As we collectively come together and say, “Enough – this must stop!” a dynamic of response and unity gains momentum....Read more...

Vayishlach – Facing Ourselves and Others

11/22/2021 03:41:10 PM


Rabbi Ezray

Do you know what the holiday of Diwali is? It is a festival of light celebrated by Hindus, Jain, Sikhs, and some Buddhists. It lasts 5 days; symbolizing the victory of light over darkness. It sounds a little bit like Chanukkah and Christmas. I had just learned about it, so my ears picked up when I heard Dr. Vivek Murthy share with our community two weeks ago that he and his family just observed the holiday. In a multi-faith talk about dealing...Read more...

Chayei Sarah: The Power of Chesed

11/10/2021 09:26:38 AM


Rabbi Ezray

My stepdaughter Emily, who has given me permission to share this story, is now in a great relationship with a wonderful man, Mike, who has the Abba and Mom seal of approval. But before she met Mike, she was often attracted to a certain type: someone who was a little edgy, interesting, connected to the arts; all good qualities. But as Mimi and I would hear about them, we would gently ask, “Is he kind? Will he there...Read more...

Help Afghan Refugees via Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley

10/29/2021 10:16:49 AM


The historical persecution of Jews in many countries gives us a special connection, and a special obligation, to refugee populations.   

Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley (JFS SV) is one of two refugee resettlement agencies in Santa Clara County that are welcoming Afghan refugees evacuated by the United States. Here are 5 ways you can help with our campaign to support the work of JFS...Read more...

Mon, August 15 2022 18 Av 5782