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:

Friday, January 19, 5:30pm: Mishpachah Shabbat

Join us for a potluck dinner and a service co-led by our Shul School students.

  • 5:30pm: Potluck: please bring a vegetarian or dairy dish to share with everyone.
  • 6:15pm: Mishpachah Shabbat Service.

Saturday, January 20, 10:00am: Contemplative Service

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

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

Join us as Rabbi Sara leads us in our Torah study. Oneg to follow study, sponsored by Alan Tochterman in honor of his father, Mendel Tochterman.

Friday, January 26, 7:30pm: Sisterhood Shabbat Service

Saturday, January 27, 10:00am: Torah Service

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

Saturday, February 3, 10:00am: Torah Study

Saturday, February 3, 11:00am: Guest Chant Circle

Click here for more information.

Friday, February 9, 7:30pm: Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Saturday, February 10, 10:00am: Torah Service

Wednesday, February 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.

CBI Membership

To learn about membership at CBI, visit our Join/Contribute page. This page includes information about joining CBI, benefits of membership, celebrations at CBI, and how to donate to the synagogue. Also available is a copy of the application form.

Rabbi Sara in the News and on the Air

Rabbi Sara has been featured and interviewed in various publications and TV and radio appearances.

Click here to read, view, or listen to Rabbi Sara.

Guest Chant Circle at CBI

Deepen your Shabbat with Chant

February 3, 2018 at 11:00am,
following Torah study at 10:00am

Experience a unique way to access your spiritual self through holy texts, paired with the powerful melodies composed by Rabbi Shefa Gold.

No musical background needed,
just an openness to experience the power of chant!

Led by Carrie Shepard and Hallie Morrow.

Hallie and Carrie live in Davis, CA, and are members of Congregation Bet Haverim. In 2016, they graduated from Rabbi Shefa Gold's Kol Zimra Chant Leadership program. They have been leading monthly chant circles since September 2014, and chant services since January 2015 at Congregation Bet Haverim.

Click here for more information.

From Our Student Cantor

"The Hatzi Kaddish"

CBI Student Cantor Steve Margolin’s essay about the Hatzi Kaddish, a prayer used in the matbeah shel tefillah (the formal order of prayers) as a transition from one section of prayer to another.

To read the full essay click here.

"Cycles of Time and the Shul Soundscape"

CBI Student Cantor Steve Margolin’s brief essay about the music and sounds of the shul explores how they vary during different events and times during the week and throughout the year, especially during the High Holy Days.

To read the full essay click here.

"What’s All This About Korbanot?"

CBI Student Cantor Steve Margolin’s 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

January 17, 2018
Dear Friends,

I have been thinking about advocacy in recent times especially given the social and political climate of our country, for wherever you stand on the political spectrum, this is a time that requires individuals to speak up for those who have been denied their voices--the Me Too/ Times Up movement as well as the protests and arrests of 80 rabbis in Washington today who advocated for the Dreamer's rights to stay in our country --illustrate the zeitgeist of our time.  Today our voices are needed to defend those who may not have the strength or power to do so, and to support "the stranger, the widow, the orphan." Moses is one of history's first and most righteous advocates. His prince-hood (although born an Israelite) permitted him to stand up against injustice and advocate for the freedom of the enslaved Israelites. Commentaries understand Moses to have had a stutter-"I am slow of speech," however, even with this impediment came the call and the voice for freedom.  His advocacy arose first as a willingness to be a mouthpiece for God's justice, saying, "Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, 'How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let my people go that they may worship Me" (Exodus, 10:3). Later his advocacy would be for the law code so that the people could have a divine structure that would like guide their lives with fairness and justice for all.

Clearly the advocacy of Moses needs to continue to take root in us.  This week at CBI our Social Action Committee is having its first meeting of the year to plan together how we can be a voice of justice for the stranger, the widow, and the orphan here in Chico.  We look forward to including you in our work as we find our voices and seek like Aaron and Moses to be mouthpieces for God.

It's good to be back.

With blessing,
Rabbi Sara

Intro to Judaism III

CBI presents Intro to Judaism III with Rabbi Sara on Tuesday evenings this winter/spring. The nine session class is being held at CBI. Each session is from 7:00 - 8:15pm, with the first session on February 6.

The cost of the class is: $90 for members, $110 for non-members. (Financial aid available.)

Click here for more info about the class.

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

CBI Newsletter

CBI Newsletter

The CBI Newsletter is included in one "Weekly Update" email 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 .

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