Embracing Judaism in Chico
Celebrating at CBI
Hanukkah at CBI
Celebrating Purim
Passover at CBI

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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High Holy Days 5777 at CBI

High Holy Days 5777 Please join us for the Days of Awe / High Holy Days 5777 at Congregation Beth Israel, 1336 Hemlock Street, (530) 342-6146. Our services are warm, welcoming, inspiring, and participatory. This year our services will be led by Rabbi Sara Abrams. Sing along to lively music by our great CBI band, and enjoy the contributions of many soloists, leaders, readers, and “team tekiah,” our shofar blowers. We also have children’s services led by Ruth Gordon. Click here to read past High Holy Day sermons.

Tickets are required for the High Holy Days services. For more information, including a schedule, please click this link or contact CBI at (530) 342-6146.


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.

Wednesday, August 3, 12:00pm: TV interview

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.

Saturday, October 1, 10:30am: Machzor Study Session

Steve Margolin leads a “walk through the Machzor” study session.

Sunday, October 2, 7:30pm: Rosh Hashanah Eve

Dessert Oneg following services provided by the CBI Board of Directors.

Monday, October 3, 10:00am: Rosh Hashanah Day 1

Children’s service, 11:00am, concurrent.

Monday, October 3, 5:00pm: Tashlich

Vegetarian Potluck picnic at One Mile in Lower Bidwell Park.

Tuesday, October 4, 10:00am: Rosh Hashanah Day 2

Kiddush Lunch following services provided by Sisterhood.

Saturday, October 8, 10:00am: Shabbat Shuvah Text and Torah Study

Potluck lunch to follow.

Tuesday, October 11, 6:45pm: Yom Kippur Kol Nidrei

Candlelighting ceremony 6:45 p.m., services at 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 12, 10:00am: Yom Kippur Day

Children’s service, 11:00am, concurrent
Yizkor, approx. 12:30pm
Discussion Forums, 4:00pm
Minchah, 5:15pm
Ne’ilah, 6:45pm
Final Shofar, 7:30 pm
Break-the-Fast Meal, 7:35pm

Wednesday, October 19, 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.



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.



CBI & Annie B's Community Drive

Annie B Community Drive

CBI is once again participating in the Annie B’s Community Drive. The Drive allows us to take advantage of an exceptional grant program from AnnieB’s sponsor, the North Valley Community Foundation. The Foundation will add an additional percentage to donations made to CBI between Aug. 1 and Sept. 30, 2016. Both members of CBI and non-member friends of CBI are encouraged to participate.

Although our operating funds (membership dues and religious school fees) are not subject to this match, all other donations to CBI, such as the General Fund, Building Fund, Yizkor and Yahrzeit donations, Gert Lenner Fund (youth camp), Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund (for community welfare needs), Religious School Fund, and High Holy Day donations are subject to the additional dollars.

Your donation check should be made out to “Annie B’s/CBI” and sent to or dropped off at CBI (see address below).  We will then submit the checks to Annie B’s foundation. All of the funds contributed to CBI through Annie B’s Community Drive are then returned to CBI along with the funds added by the Foundation.

This is the last year of Annie B's matching fund drive, so let's make this our best one yet!

Monthly Reflections by Rabbi Sara

Dear Friends,

Chodesh tov! We are only 4 weeks out from Rosh Hashanah, school has started, and the University is running full tilt. What better time than to contemplate the words of Psalm 27 to slow us down as we dive into our new beginnings and our upcoming new year:

One thing I ask of the One,
only that I do seek:
to live in the house of the One
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Eternal
and to frequent His temple. (27:4)

The Psalm, read daily in this month of Elul, transmits the essence of the month which teaches us that through cleansing and purification we can return to the Divine. Elul teaches us that we must reflect on our lives as we continue our trek back to Teshuva, the return back to the Source. Each day of Elul lends us an opportunity to refine ourselves, to wake ourselves up to remember who we are, children of the Most High.

By reading the words of the Psalm with a pure heart we can learn to gaze at the temple within the heart, and teach our children to do so as well. All we have to do is wake up! The shofar calls us to do so. If you have ever lived in Jerusalem during Eul, you will have heard it, in fact it would have woken you up just around 5:00 a.m! Instead of that predawn alarm clock, I encourage all of us to set our own clock this year and make good use of this month of purification (ָטֳהָרה/tahara), by setting our own spiritual timer!.

You may not want to blow the shofar, or read the 27th psalm, but how about adding a cleansing ritual to your day this month. Maybe it’s a salt bath, 20 minutes on your musical instrument, singing a song that moves you, or meditating on the holy breath that courses through you. Maybe it’s an extra yoga class, special blessings for your children, or a morning walk in the park. Perhaps it means motivating the whole family to give tzedakah each day by dropping coins into your pushke. All of these actions and many others serve to get us ready for heights of the High Holy Days that demand that we forgive ourselves, and others, and align ourselves with the Source.

May it be a blessed month of waking up for all of us, and may we soon (and please God let it be in 5777) gaze upon the beauty of the Eternal with wise and loving eyes.

With love and 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 admin@cbichico.org .