We are a warm and friendly Jewish community in Chico, California

Congregation Beth Israel is an open and welcoming Jewish community dedicated to the principle of Klal Yisrael, the unity of the Jewish people. True to that spirit, our historically rooted congregation embraces a diverse membership of Jews from all backgrounds as well as interfaith couples and those exploring Judaism. The ideal to which we strive is Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan’s concept of the “synagogue center,” in which a congregation serves as both a house of worship and a community center for Jewish life. We seek to engage the “head, heart, and hand”: the head through learning, the heart through meaningful spiritual and cultural experiences, and the hand through service. CBI is a place to find community, raise kids to love Judaism, and call your spiritual home. With inspirational and innovative leadership from Rabbi Sara Abrams, we are shaping a dynamic and vital future for Judaism in the Northstate.

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Upcoming Events at CBI

Mark your calendars for these upcoming events at CBI:

You can find the weekly sermons on our Rabbi's Sermons page.

Friday, January 20, 6:00pm: Mishpachah Potluck

Vegetarian potluck dinner.

Friday, January 20, 6:45pm: Mishpachah Family Kabbalat Shabbat Service

A lively, upbeat, participatory Shabbat co-led by our Shul School students. A special guest from Camp Tawonga will be here to answer questions about camp registration. The service will be followed by a potluck dessert oneg.

Saturday, January 21, 9:00am: Torah Study

When They Go Low-- We Go High: The Radical Women of Exodus.

Saturday, January 21, 10:00am: Contemplative Service

Come experience the abundance of Shabbat through quiet meditation, heart felt chants, and experiential prayer. All are welcome! We will be joining the Women's March on Chico, following our kiddush luncheon.

Saturday, January 28, 10:00am: Torah Service

Led by with Steve Margolin.

Friday, February 3, 7:30pm: Sisterhood Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Saturday, February 4, 10:00am: Bird Watching with Friends from Temple Beth Israel in Redding

Everyone is invited to be a part of an outing to the Llano Seco Unit to check out the birds and wetlands of our beautiful North State. The refuge is on Seven Mile Lane, a bit south of the intersection of Ord Ferry Road.

Potluck lunch to follow at CBI. Please bring a dairy/veggie dish to share.

Click here for more info about this event, including links to maps and brochures.

Friday, February 10, 7:30pm: Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Friday, February 11, 10:00am: Torah Service

Wednesday, February 15, 11:00am: Brunch Bunch

The Brunch Bunch meets at Nash's on the Esplanade for good food, good conversation, and great company. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Friday, February 24: Rabbi Sara's Installation

Join us for Rabbi Sara's Formal Installation.

Saturday, February 25: Torah Service with Rabbi Laura Geller

Rabbi Geller will be giving a special teaching on the Power of Shabbat. Rabbi Geller will also be giving an afternoon teaching on Purim following a kiddush lunch.

Save the dates! More details to follow.

Rabbi Sara on the Air

On Wednesday, August 3, 2016, Rabbi Sara Abrams and David Halimi were interviewed on Action News Now, local Chico channels 12 and 24. If you missed it, you can watch the interview here.

On Friday, December 16, 2016, Rabbi Sara was on KZFR 90.1FM, discussing finding peace in our troubled times. In case you missed it, you can listen to it here.

CBI welcomes Rabbi Sara Abrams !

Rabbi Sara Abrams

Rabbi Sara Abrams begins August 1 as the new CBI Rabbi !

We are very pleased to welcome Rabbi Sara Abrams as our congregation’s rabbi. The position will be three-quarter time, starting on August 1, 2016.

Rabbi Sara joins CBI from Westchester, New York, as Rabbi and spiritual leader. Rabbi Sara brings her passion for teaching children and families. She will provide pastoral care, and spiritual growth for CBI and will cultivate opportunities for social action in the greater Chico community.

Rabbi Sara holds a Master’s in Hebrew Letters and ordination from Hebrew Union College, a Master of Arts in Religious Studies, and a Master of Science in Elementary Education. She has worked as a hospital chaplain, and is a teacher of all ages.

Rabbi Sara practices and instructs others in yoga, kabbalistic meditation, and has written her own prayers, poetry, and music–all with the purpose of uplifting the spirit and elevating the soul. She is deeply committed to a philosophy that transcends human­made boundaries and spreads the message of achdut (unity) and chesed (loving­kindness).

We welcomed Rabbi Sara at her first Shabbat Service on Friday, August 5! Thanks to all who participated and made this a memorable event.

From Our Cantor

"What’s All This About Korbanot?"

CBI Student Cantor Steve Margolin’s brief essay about the korbanot, the sacrifices offered in the Tabernacle and in the Temple in Jerusalem, explores the essence of the korbanot then and ties that to the prayers and synagogue services that are our way to make an offering and experience the Divine in our lives.

To read the full essay click here.

A Message from Rabbi Sara

Dear Friends,

If this week we find ourselves in the desert, in a narrow place of mind, body, and spirit, let us look to the Book of Exodus to find hope. We open this new section of Torah to find our Israelite ancestors in bondage at the hands of the Egyptians. Bereft and defeated, they have no choice but to call out to the Most High. Through their faith and the subtle defiance of the midwives and Israelite women, they succeed in subverting Pharoah's call to destroy the Israelite first-born sons. This rebellion against enslavement builds from the quiet resistance of the women and takes seed in the heart and soul of the future prophet Moses.

On Shabbat we are invited to join The Women's March in Chico right after our Kiddush lunch around 12:00 pm. Around 1:00 pm I will be sharing a Jewish blessing with the marchers. The organizers affirm that "This march is a statement of love and unity for people of all color, ability, religion, sexual identity and political affiliation." Please feel free to come study about the radical women of Exodus and meditate with us in the morning, and then put those teachings of unity into action by supporting this peaceful gathering in our city.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

With blessing,

Rabbi Sara

CBI Newsletter

CBI Newsletter

The CBI Newsletter is being redesigned and will debut soon. Until that occurs, continue to read the "Weekly Update" emails for the latest information. Previous versions of the newsletter and a link to the recently retired newsletter site are available on the Newsletter archive page. In addition, news is available on the old CBI News column CBI News page.

To submit articles and suggestions for future newsletters, please send email to .

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