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, May 19, 5:30pm: End of School Year Mishpachah Shabbat Service

Join us for dinner and a lively service with our Shul School students.

  • 5:30pm: Potluck: please bring a vegetarian dish to share
  • 6:30pm: Service
  • Oneg following service, sponsored by Steve Naiman
Saturday, May 20, 10:00am: Contemplative Service

Come experience the abundance of Shabbat through quiet meditation, heart felt chants, and experiential prayer. All are welcome!

Saturday, May 20, 11:00am: Torah Study

Join us as Rabbi Sara leads a study titled: I Will be Ever-Present in Your Midst. Kiddush to follow service, sponsored by Alan Tochterman.

Tuesday, May 23, 7:00pm: Intro to Judaism

Siddur Basics: Jewish Prayer

Click here for more info about the Intro to Judaism class.

Tuesday, May 23, 7:00pm: In Our Hands

Sponsored by CAMERA, Cinemark (801 East Ave, Chico) will have a one-time showing of a new film: In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem. If you are interested in joining a group to go see this movie please contact Carol Edelman. Click here for more information about the movie.

Friday, May 26, 7:30pm: New & Returning Member Appreciation Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Saturday, May 27, 7:00pm: Evening Shavuot Study

Join us at at Faith Lutheran. Click here for more info.

Tuesday, May 30, 3:30pm - 5:30pm: Shul School

Shul School End of Year party at Five Mile Recreation Area in Bidwell Park.

Friday, June 2, 7:30pm: Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Saturday, June 3, 10:00am: Torah Service

Sunday, June 4, 10:00am - 1:00pm: Bagel Brunch

Come join the Sisterhood at their yearly bagel brunch fundraiser. The funds from this event help provide camp scholarships and supplement many of the other programs that CBI offers. Please mark this date on your calendars so that you won't miss a great opportunity to help support the Sisterhood and CBI.

Click here for more info about the Sisterhood Bagel Brunch.

Friday, June 9, 6:30pm: Annual Meeting & Volunteer Appreciation Kabbalat Shabbat Service
  • 6:30pm: Potluck
  • 7:30pm: Service
  • 8:15pm: Meeting
Saturday, June 10, 10:00am: Contemplative Service

Saturday, June 10, 11:00am: Torah Study

Saturday, June 17, 10:00am: Torah Service

Wednesday, June 21, 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.

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. The video segment has since been archived by the station, but may be restored, at which time the link will also be restored.

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

On Friday, April 21, 2017, Rabbi Sara was on KZFR 90.1FM, on their reoccurring program: The Peace and Social Justice Program. You can listen to it here.

Rabbi Sara in the News

Rabbi Sara was featured in the March 2, 2017 issue of the Chico News and Review: ‘A good place’ Chico’s Congregation Beth Israel officially welcomes its new rabbi by Evan Tuchinsky.

Last summer, while seeking to succeed Rabbi Julie Hilton Danan as the religious leader of Congregation Beth Israel, Rabbi Sara Abrams started seeing signs that Chico would be in her future...

Click here to read the entire article.

Rabbi Sara was featured in the March 2017 issue of the Voice: New Chico Rabbi Officially Installed.

Rabbi Sara Abrams was welcomed as the new spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel in Chico on August 1, 2016. On February 24, 2017, she was officially installed with a celebratory weekend of programming. the VOICE talked with Rabbi Abrams about goals, yoga, and what she enjoys about leading a small Jewish congregation in Northern California...

Click here to open the March 2017 issue of the Voice. The entire article can be found on page 18.

From Our Student 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,

It's hard to believe that the end of the school year is upon us. This week's Torah portion is called "B'Har" which means, "on the mountain." When we are on the mountain, we can look out at all we have accomplished in the past and look forward to the future. So on Friday, please join our Shul School students and stand on the mountain with us to see just how far they have come (they will be taking part in the leadership of the service) and encourage them to keep learning with the same enthusiasm in the future. We are very proud of them! Our vegetarian potluck dinner will begin at 5:30, service will begin at 6:30.

All the best,

Rabbi Sara

CBI Newsletter

CBI Newsletter

The CBI Newsletter is included in one "Weekly Update" email of each month (usually the first Wednesday of each month). During the rest of the month, 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, or to be added to our email list, please send email to .

Intro to Judaism I

CBI presents Intro to Judaism I with Rabbi Sara on Tuesday evenings this spring. The eight session class is being held at CBI. Each session is from 7:00 - 8:15pm, with the first session on March 14.

The cost of the class is: $80 for members, $100 for non-members. (Financial aid available.)

Schedule and topics:

March 14: Intro: Genesis and Judaism
March 21: Jewish Time: Shabbat and its Origins
April 4: Jewish Time: Moon, Months, and Moments
April 18: Sacred Relationship: What is Covenant
May 2: Sacred Texts and Words: Tanakh
May 9: Sacred Texts: Oral Torah
May 16: Sacred Space: Synagogue and Temple
May 23: Siddur Basics: Jewish Prayer

Click here for more info about the class.

To register or for more information, contact CBI at or 530-342-6146.

Watch for our Intro to Judaism II class coming this fall!

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