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Adult Education 2022-2023 / 5783

A year focusing on Jewish Values and Sh’mirat HaAdamah (Guarding the Earth)

Current and Upcoming Classes and Events

For most classes, there is no charge for CBE members.  Non-members are requested to make a donation to the Adult Education Fund (suggested $36) by clicking HERE and selecting Adult Education Fund in the "TYPE"  dropdown menu.

Tikkun L'eil Shavuot ♦ Tuesday, June 11 ♦ 8:00 PM to late! ♦ In person at CBE & Zoom



Please join us for this fun & educational community gathering.
Shavuot is the historical marker of Moses receiving the Torah on Mt. Sinai. According to legend, the Israelites overslept the morning of the giving of the Torah.

To "repair" our behavior on the night of the original Shavuot, the kabbalists created a gathering, called Tikkun L’eil Shavuot ("Repairing the Night of Shavuot"), in which we stay up all night learning. At CBE, we have been gathering for many years to learn from each other, and share food, especially cheesecake.

(When you join us, you’ll learn why we eat dairy on Shavuot!) 

For our planning purposes, please sign up here and let us know if you plan to join in person or via Zoom.  Feel free to change your mind about how to attend after you sign up! We just need to know how much cheesecake we need!

We start at 8 PM with a short service/minyan in the sanctuary and then move over to the swing space for the Tikkun at about 8:15 PM. We will be partially indoors and partially outdoors (depending on the weather) and hybrid via Zo

We will share teachings from Rabbi David and Cantor Sarra, and from our congregants. Teachings could be Torah study, Jewish topics, games, music, movement, creativity and more. (We try to stay up to midnight, but you can don't have to!)

If you have something you would like to teach, please contact


Torah Talk with Rabbi David

The first three Thursdays of each month from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM via Zoom only.

This class will be a general text study class that could bring in Talmud, Mishnah, Torah, Midrash, or other sacred texts. It could also be about Jewish values and current events, or an upcoming holiday.

This class will be held via Zoom only. After you sign up, you will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom login information.



Monthly Meditations with Cantor Sarra

Mondays October 2, November 6, and December 4, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

In person and via Zoom

Cantor Sarra will continue her popular meditation program on October 2, November 6, and December 4. The December program will be about Mussar and Miracles, in preparation for Chanukah.



Shabbat Torah Study with Rabbi David
Shabbat mornings except days with B'nai Mitzvah.  Watch for announcements in Star-Lite or see our online calendar.

This study and discussion of the weekly parsha follows a short Shacharit service.  Various translations and commentaries are employed, as well as the rabbi’s own insight.


Mid Week Bible Study 
Facilitator: Waky

Wednesdays 1:00 – 2:00 PM

A group of adult students has been studying Jewish texts together for several years. (We are studying Pirkey Avot now.) All are welcome; we study using the chevruta style of learning where we all share our thoughts on a wide perspective on the texts. No previous knowledge is required nor is Hebrew a necessity. Drop-ins are welcome. 

Educational Resources

Israel Discussion Series Resources

The following resources came out of the first Israel discussion on February 8, 2023, as valuable to the understanding of Israel's history and society:

Shalom Hartman Institute podcasts:
Shalom Hartman Boston program


Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor" by Yossi Klein Halevi
Apeirogon: A Novel, by Colum McCann
ALLMEP -- Alliance for Middle East Peace
Arava Institute

Jewish Meditation Recording with Cantor Sarra

Watch this video recording from Cantor Sarra to relax your mind and nurture your spirit. This recording includes guided meditations, teachings, and chanting. New and experienced meditators will appreciate this! Original program- March 27, 2020

Archive of The STAR Column, "People of Chelm Want to Know"

Find the archive of 10 plus years of this column, published in The STAR, and developed by Bob Ferrara with Waky's help as the editor and fact checker.


Past Classes and Events 

Scholar-in-Residence Weekend 2024 with Rabbi Leonard Gordon

Learn with our 2022 Scholar in Residence, Rabbi Leonard Gordon, Chair of the National Council of Synagogues and a frequent teacher in the ME'AH program at Hebrew College.

Theme for the Weekend:
"How we as Jews interact with the world around us in the aftermath of October 7th and the trauma those attacks unleashed"

Speaker Events:

  • Friday, February 9th at 6:30 PM - Shabbat Service (in person & via Zoom): Rabbi Gordon will provide the D'var Torah, speaking on: Interfaith Dialogue through the lens of October 7th: Reflections on a recent visit to the Gaza border.
  • Saturday, February 10th - Shabbat Service (9:30 AM) & Torah Study with Rabbi Gordon (about 10:30 AM) (in person & via Zoom):  Rabbi Gordon will speak on: Parshat Mishpatim; Legislating Emotions: Setting Boundaries for Anger
  • Saturday, February 10th at 6:00 PM:  Havdalah service at a congregant's home, February 10th (in person only): Rabbi Gordon will speak on: Shared stories, different traditions: Decoding Islam for Jews. You must register to receive the location for this speaker event.

About the Speaker:

Rabbi Leonard Gordon chairs the National Council of Synagogues, the organization that facilitates interfaith dialogue for Reform, Reconstructionist and Conservative Jews. A frequent teacher in the ME’AH program* at Hebrew College, he is currently planning a ME’AH trip to Andalusia (Spain) this May.

He has master’s degrees in comparative religion from Brown and Columbia Universities and a Masters of Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary where he was ordained. In 2018, he earned a Doctor of Ministry degree in interfaith studies from the Andover Newton Theological School. He recently served as Rabbi at Congregation B’nai Tikvah in Canton, MA.

(*ME’AH is an intensive Adult Learning experience offered by Hebrew College. Many congregants have participated in ME’AH classes.)



Jewish Book Month Speaker: Author Ilan Evyatar on "Israel at War: Fighting the Iranian Axis"
Sunday, November 5, 2023 • 21 Cheshvan 5784
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Join us, via Zoom only, for our Jewish Book Month Author Event.  Author, Ilan Evyatar, former columnist for the Jerusalem Post, will speak on the topic, "Israel at War: Fighting the Iranian Axis".

We welcome, speaking to us from Jerusalem, llan Evyatar, former editor-in-chief of the award-winning magazine, The Jerusalem Report, and a former News Director, columnist, and senior contributor at The Jerusalem Post.  He has edited and translated several books and has worked as a speechwriter and ghostwriter.

Born in Israel and raised in London, England, he has interviewed a wide variety of top intelligence officials, as well as leading political, business, and cultural personalities. He is the co-author, with Yonah Jeremy Bob, of the recently published Target Tehran, a history of Israel's attempts to thwart Iran's nuclear weapons program, and how it leveraged mutual fear of Iran to forge alliances with Gulf Arab states.

You can order the book through Silver Unicorn here:

There is no charge for this event.  A donation, by non-congregants, to the Adult Education Fund would be appreciated. Link to donate is

  SIGN UP HERE   to receive the Zoom link.  You will receive a confirmation email shortly after signing up.


"American Jewish Identity and Israel"-An Adult Education Class with Rabbi David 

Tuesdays, November 14 to December 5 

5:00 PM to 6:15 PM

CBE Library & via Zoom

Please join Rabbi David for this timely exploration of Jewish identity and Israel!
What does it mean to identify as an American Jew today?  Is being Jewish just something we are born into, or does it involve a shared set of beliefs and values?  What role does a sense of peoplehood play in how we feel about being Jewish?

Our class will also focus on these questions, plus the central role the modern state of Israel plays in American Jewish Identity today. We will use parts of the Shalom Hartman Institute ‘Foundations for a Thoughtful Judaism' Curriculum. 

  SIGN UP HERE      You will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom link.


CBE Yom Hashoah program with Yelena Lembersky, author of Like a Drop of Ink in a Downpour  ♦ Monday, April 17 ♦ 7:30 PM in person at CBE and via ZOOM

Join us for this moving speaker. Yelena Lembersky will speak about Shoah in her grandfather's, Felix Lembersky's, art and her family's journey to bring these paintings out off Russia.

The massacre at Babyn Yar, outside of Kiev, Ukraine, is among the thousands of mass graves still being uncovered throughout these areas. The Holocaust in the Soviet Union is one of the most barbaric moments in history with the murder of at least 2 million Soviet Jews at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators.

Artist Felix Lembersky searched for his parents in Ukraine after its liberation in 1943. When he did not find them, he began to search for clues and reconstruct their last steps on canvas. Execution: Babyn Yar paintings, ca. 1944-52, are the earliest artistic representation of the massacre. His granddaughter, Yelena Lembersky, will speak about Shoah in Felix Lembersky’s art and her family’s journey to bring these paintings out of Russia. 


How Jews & Judaism Confronted Modernity and How We Can Respond to the Challenges We Now Confront ♦ Sunday, April 2 ♦ 3:00 PM in person at CBE and via ZOOM

A conversation with Barry Shrage, with an introduction by Rabbi Emeritus Lewis Mintz
Barry Shrage is the inaugural speaker in the Rabbi Lewis Mintz Fund series and is Professor of the Practice in the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University. 

One of America's foremost Jewish leaders, Shrage served for the past 30 years as president of Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) of Greater Boston and as a powerful voice on the American Jewish communal scene. He is known in Boston and throughout the world for his tireless support of Jewish education; his promotion of engagement by religious and nonreligious Jews; his commitment to working for social justice at home and abroad alongside others; his strong support of Israel; his bridge-building, outreach, and engagement with the non-Jewish community in creative partnerships; and for his boundless energy and creativity.


Exploring Judaism with Rabbi David

Via Zoom only.

Four successive Monday evenings 7:00 – 8:30 PM, starting Monday, January 23rd and ending Monday, February 13th.


Have you ever wanted to know more about Judaism but didn’t know where to start?

Congregation Beth Elohim in Acton is offering a free course to help you learn some of the basic tenets of Judaism. Topics include Jewish theology and ideas, the life-cycle, and the Jewish calendar. Bring your questions, concerns, and curiosity. This is an ideal course for interfaith couples and individuals to learn more about Judaism.

There is no charge for this course, but registration is required in order to receive attendance information.

Led by Rabbi Braham David, Congregation Beth Elohim Interim Rabbi, and Director of the Jewish Discovery Institute. The Jewish Discovery Institute is co-sponsoring this class.


Israel Discussion Series-First Session
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
7:00 PM
In person at CBE & ZOOM

The Congregation Beth Elohim Adult Education committee is pleased to host a series of informal group discussions on congregants’ experiences in, or connections to, Israel.
At our first session, Bob Becker will discuss his trip to Israel last summer to visit his brother and study at the Shalom Hartman Institute Community Leadership Program in Jerusalem. Bob reports that he learned a lot at the Hartman Institute, but perhaps more from his brother.

Want to hear what Bob learned?  Join us!  There will be snacks and drinks.

We request that you sign up and let us know if you plan to join in person or via ZOOM.  This is for our planning purposes. You may change your mind.


Jewish Book Month Author event with Rabbi Art Green
Sunday November 20 at 5:00 PM

Rabbi Art Green will be interviewed by his long time friend Rabbi Emeritus Lewis Mintz. Rabbi Green's recent book: Judaism for the World: Reflections on God, Life, and Love won a National Jewish Book award in 2021.

Rabbi Art Green formerly taught at Hebrew College and Brandeis University and founded the Shalom Havurah in Somerville. He is an expert on the 18th Century spiritual revival movement of Jews in Eastern Europe, and is the leading figure within Neo-Hasidism, the attempt to apply Hasidic teachings to life in the contemporary world.

We will arrange to purchase this book from Silver Unicorn. Books will be available at the event.




Lunchtime Talmud with Rabbi Mike ♦ Thursdays starting September 23 ♦ 12:00 to 1:00 PM

Due to popular demand, the lunchtime Talmud sessions will continue this year. Join Rabbi Mike for some noontime learning and discussions for Talmud beginners and up.

Talmud is the core of the Jewish people’s rabbinic tradition, and the root of some of our deepest wisdom. Join Rabbi Mike for some noontime learning and discussions for Talmud beginners and up.  You can register and attend when you can.  You do not need to attend all sessions.

This may be a hybrid class (in person and via zoom) so please stay tuned.

Talmud is the core of the Jewish people’s rabbinic tradition, and the root of some of our deepest wisdom. We’ll be studying Brachot, which discusses foundational Jewish prayers, such as the Shema and blessings over food, and the idea of intention during prayer.

To make the class as accessible as possible, we’ll use the new edition from Koren Publishers, which includes color pictures. If you do not already have it, you can buy:

• a physical copy of the Talmud from a local bookshop

• a physical copy from the publisher by clicking here

• a PDF file from the publisher for $9.95 by clicking here 



Tikkun L'eil Shavuot ♦ Saturday, June 4 ♦ 7:30 PM to Late - In Person & ZOOM

Can you study late into the night?


Please register so we know to expect you and to receive attendance information!

We will include a Shavuot service in the middle of the Tikkun.

Shavuot is the historical marker of Moses receiving the Torah on Mt. Sinai. But, according to legend the Israelites overslept the morning of the giving of the Torah. To "repair" our behavior on the night of the original Shavuot, the kabbalists created a gathering, called Tikkun L’eil Shavuot ("Repairing the Night of Shavuot"), in which we stay up all night learning. 

Please join us for a full night of learning, partially indoors and partially outdoors (depending on the weather) and hybrid via Zoom.  We plan to share food, especially cheesecake. We will abide by the CBE Covid-19 policy, which is here:

We will share teachings from Rabbi Mike and Cantor Sarra, and from our congregants. Teachings could be Torah study, Jewish topics, music, movement, creativity and more. 

If you have something you would like to teach, please contact Waky at by May 31, 2022. Each speaker will have up to 20 minutes (including Q and A) to share their teaching.

If you have any questions or want to register "offline", feel free to contact us at or contact Waky.

This program is partially funded by the CBE Adult Education Fund. Additional donations to the Adult Education Fund can be made at:


Speaking Across Conflict-- Respectful discussions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ♦ March 9 & 23 ♦ 6:30 to 8:30 PM via ZOOM

The goal of this two-session workshop is to learn respectful, open and honest communication and listening skills on a charged issue – Israel and Palestine.
Resetting the Table will facilitate this two-session workshop.  Participants will share personal connections to Israel, exchange views and practice communication skills for addressing differences constructively. The workshop builds community capacity to explore disagreements while strengthening relationships, trust, learning, and collaboration.

Resetting the Table will bring an experienced facilitator -- Michele Freed -- to lead us in this skill building exercise. You can see her background here.  Resetting the Table has extensive experience organizing and facilitating these workshops. More information about their work can be found here. 
This workshop is partially supported by a grant from Combined Jewish Philanthropies.

If you would like to join us, register by February 11th.  You may also email Matt Liebman at to register.

To participate you must be a member of the congregation and commit to both sessions.   You will only see the registration form IF you are logged into your website account.  If you are not logged in already, a login form will display for you to complete. 

If you don't have an account on the system or don't recall your login information, email  Provide your name, email address and phone number and someone will register you on your behalf and you will receive a confirmation email. Then, when you have time, please email to get your account set up for any future events with login required and to access portions of the website available to congregants only (logged in).

There will be some optional reading material, and a survey to complete ahead of time.  We will seek a diversity of views, perspectives, backgrounds with respect to Israel and Palestine.

This workshop is organized by the Adult Ed Committee, in collaboration with Rabbi Mike and co-president Jaymi Formaggio.


Makor Chochmah: Fountains of Wisdom from the Book of Proverbs led by Rabbi Mike ♦ 5 Tuesdays in March ♦ 7:00 to 8:30 PM

What is the path that a wise person follows?  The book of Proverbs, attributed to King Solomon, is a collection of teachings about proper conduct and the nature of divinity, unusual in that it ignores narrative description of events in favor of discussions of moral values and the meaning of life.  In our class, we’ll look at these teachings, and their connection to our lives, both as individuals and in larger culture.



Scholar in Residence weekend with Rabbi Neal Gold ♦ February 11 to 13

Learn with our 2022 Scholar in Residence, Rabbi Neal Gold, Jewish Chaplain & Hillel Director at Babson College in Wellesley, MA and the Past President of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis.
All sessions are open to the public. 

There is no charge for these events. Donations are accepted.  For non-CBE members, we request a donation (suggested $36).  Donations to the Adult Education Fund can be made by clicking HERE and selecting Adult Education Fund in the dropdown menu.  You can also navigate to our website,, and click on DONATE under the GIVE menu heading.

Theme for the weekend:
B’tzelem Elohim --  All Human Beings are Created in God’s Image
How does this key Jewish value inform us in these times of conflict?

On Sunday morning, Rabbi Gold will be joined by Dr. Mohamed Lazzouni, Imam from the Islamic Center of Boston in Wayland.

About the Speaker:
Rabbi Neal Gold teaches and writes about Jewish texts, Israel, and the intersections between Jewish life and the contemporary world. Rabbi Gold is a lecturer for Me'ah through Hebrew College and teaches courses that empower adults to understand Judaism on a deeper level.  He is the Jewish Chaplain & Hillel Director at Babson College in Wellesley, MA, and the Past President of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis. He has served as the national Director of Program & Content for ARZA, the Association of Reform Zionists of America, for which he writes about the weekly Torah portion. For over 18 years he led congregations in New Jersey and Massachusetts. He received smicha from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. 

Neal is a prolific writer, teacher, counselor, and social activist, who loves how the beauty and power of Jewish texts and traditions unite communities, inform Jewish souls, and transform the world. In 2019 he created a rapidly expanding online platform for Jewish learning called A Tree with Roots. 

Weekend Events:
This weekend, Rabbi Gold will provide a D’var Torah on Friday night services, Torah Study on Shabbat morning, and a presentation on Sunday morning at the CBE Brotherhood Breakfast.

The Friday evening and Saturday program will be conducted both in person at CBE and on ZOOM.  The Sunday morning Brotherhood event will be conducted via ZOOM only.  Register below for the events that you plan to attend in order to receive the ZOOM links.  For congregants, you may also find the ZOOM links and passwords in the latest Star-Lite.    For questions, email

For in person events, please refer to our CBE During COVID page to see our rules and guidelines for in person events.  There are additional guidelines, but, in particular, 

  • Congregation activities, both indoors at CBE or indoors off-site must be limited to vaccinated individuals, for those 12 years old and up, and, effective February 1, 2022, those 5 years old and up.
  • Masks must be properly worn at all times when inside the building.


Kabbalah of Genesis: Studies in the Zohar led by Rabbi Mike ♦ Non B'nei Mitzvah Saturdays, October through December ♦ 10:45 to 11:45 AM

No sessions on October 2, 30, November 6. Please check the calendar HERE for any other Saturdays to be sure it is being held.

The Zohar is the best-known text of Kabbalah, a mystical commentary on Torah.  Join us after Shabbat morning services, approximately at 10:45, as we introduce some main concepts in Kabbalah and look at select commentaries from the Zohar.  All Zohar texts will be in English.


CBE Racial Justice Group Meeting and Chanukah Menorah Lighting ♦ 
Thursday December 2 and Tuesday December 14 ♦ 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

 Join us for a Zoom Chanukah Menorah lighting and discussion of Heather McGhee’s book, “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together.” We will look at how the story of Chanukah inspires us to call on our tradition of resilience to overcome injustice. Please see the latest Star-lite for Zoom login details or contact



Open Studio Torah Repair with Sofer Rabbi Kevin Hale ♦ Sunday,  December 5 ♦ 1:00 to 2:00 PM

Join us in the CBE Sanctuary for Open studio time with Rabbi Kevin Hale as he rededicates our Torah Scrolls.



Into the Water on Dry Land: Navigating the Sea of Social Justice (without Drowning) ♦ Five Tuesdays in November ♦ 7:00 to 8:30 PM

Led by Rabbi Mike - in person and via ZOOM
While pursuing justice is deeply Jewish, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.  In this class we’ll draw upon Jewish teachings to cultivate not just effectiveness, but also sensitivity and kindness in the struggle for justice.  In addition, we’ll look at teachings that support those who are facing the spiritual travails of this work, foes like exhaustion, alienation, and burnout. 


Jewish Book Month Author Event (ZOOM)

Sunday November 7 ♦ 7:00 pm

An Evening with Rabbi Ariel Burger, author of Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom

The world remembers Elie Wiesel -- Nobel laureate, activist, and author of more than forty books, including NIGHT -- as a great humanist. As Wiesel’s teaching assistant at Boston University and as his friend, Ariel Burger and Elie Wiesel had intimate conversations on matters of intellect, spirituality, and faith. Rabbi Burger gives us a front-row seat to these remarkable exchanges in and out of the classroom. 

Rabbi Burger is an author, artist, and teacher whose work integrates education, spirituality, the arts, and strategies for social change. Please join us via Zoom as he discusses his book: Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom -- winner of the National Jewish Book award for Biography. 

Please register to receive the ZOOM link and password.

If you would like to receive a copy of Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom , please contact by Thursday October 14.  You will hear back from Waky who is organizing the book order and will take your payment of $14.00 per book.

This event is free, but donations are accepted to the Adult Education Fund at


Glimpses of Light and Darkness: Genesis Through a Photographic Lens (ZOOM) ♦ 
6 Sundays starting October 17 ♦ 10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Leann Shamash is offering a class (through Hebrew College) which combines photography and Torah study.  The deadline for registration is October 12th.

From Leann: “We’ll look at six different parshiyot in the book of Genesis. We’ll explore a theme every week through some text study, and then participants will go out over the course of the week and explore that theme through photographs.

The following week we will share our photos online and together critique them. This is not a class about how to photograph or the technical nature of photography.  It is a class where I ask you to go out and explore how to express themes visually. There are no rights or wrongs so you are welcome to participate whatever level you are.”  

The fee for this class series is $144 which represents an $18 discount for CBE Acton members.


Prior to October 17th, you will receive an email with the ZOOM link and password.

Questions?  Email Julie Kozhukhin at

Also, if you are interested in taking another Hebrew College course, we can offer small stipends to help defray the costs. Please contact us at

Hevra Kadisha with Hal Miller-Jacobs (in person and via ZOOM) ♦  Sunday, October 17 ♦ 3:00 PM

Reciting Kaddish and Yizkor for a departed loved one is a basic Jewish custom most are familiar with. Yet many are not familiar with the loving custom of how we care for the departed in preparation for what many believe is the afterlife. The process of taharah, ritual washing of the deceased is done by a caring cadre of individuals. This is a rescheduled class from our winter 2020 series called Things We Need to Know for Ourselves and Our Parents: A series of presentations about “End-of-life” issues.

Hal Miller-Jacobs, formerly of Acton, now resides in Lexington. He is a cofounder of the Community Hevra Kadisha of Greater Boston.  

The Community Hevra Kadisha of Greater Boston (CHK) is an independent, non-denominational organization of individuals, synagogues and other Jewish institutions committed to making the full range of burial rituals accessible and available to the entire Jewish community.  



Jewish Meditation with Cantor Sarra: A Year of Blessings (ZOOM) ♦ Monday August 30 ♦ 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm

Each new year brings a potential for greater happiness, forgiveness, holiness and connection in our lives. With mindfulness and kavanot (intentions), we’ll set our hearts and minds in the direction of these blessings for 5782. The class will be followed by a meditation series in the fall, starting in October. 


Cantor Sarra's Spring Classes

You will receive the password via email or you will find it in the STAR-Lite or you may email  For the two 3 session classes, you may attend one, two, or all three sessions.

Singing Out of Egypt

Monday, March 22nd at 7 PM 

During Passover, we take the journey out of Mitzrayim (Egypt, or literally the “narrow place“) and into the wilderness, on our way to the Promised Land. Through the songs we sing at our Passover Seder, we’ll take a leap out of our own Mitzrayim - the individual and collective places where we feel stuck - and into freedom. If you’d like to share a melody from your own Seder table, please bring it!

Laila Tov: Good Night Meditation Circle 

Three Mondays, March 8, April 5 and June 7 from 7:00-7:30

Join Cantor Sarra for a guided meditation, simple breathing, and a few easy stretches for a peaceful night’s sleep. We’ll finish each evening with the Shema and prayers for our friends and loved ones. For all ages!

“Mi Gibor - Who is Strong?” (Pirkei Avot, Sayings of Our Sages): Jewish Meditation and Courageous Living 
Three Mondays, April 26, May 3, May 10 at 7 PM

How can we live a life of fearlessness and true courage? With a shot of chesed (lovingkindness) and a pinch of g’vurah (boundaries), we’ll find our recipe for confronting the challenges of life. Through breathing, mindfulness and Mussar (Jewish ethical teachings), we’ll grow in strength to help ourselves and the world around us. 

For all classes, feel free to sign up for one, two or three sessions. All are welcome! 


Tikkun L'eil Shavuot ♦ Sunday, May 16 ♦ 7:30pm

Can you study late into the night?  Join us for an evening of learning from Rabbi Mike and Cantor Sarra and congregants.  

Click the link below to sign up and you will receive the ZOOM link and password or check the Star-Lite.

Shavuot is the historical marker of Moses receiving the Torah on Mt. Sinai. But, according to legend the Israelites overslept the morning of the giving of the Torah. To "repair" our behavior on the night of the original Shavuot, the kabbalists created a gathering, called Tikkun L'eil Shavuot ("Repairing the Night of Shavuot"), in which we stay up all night learning. Please join us for a full night of learning,

We will start with a short Shavuot service (scheduled for 5:30 to 6:15 pm; hopefully outdoors and hybrid via zoom).  Check Star-Lite or the website calendar for the ZOOM link and password for the service.

After a break, we will reconvene at 7:30 pm, on Zoom,  with teachings from Rabbi Mike and Cantor Sarra, and from our congregants. Teachings could be Torah study, Jewish topics, music, movement, creativity and more.  Last year we learned how to bake cheesecake and about the Italian Jewish community.

If you have something you'd like to teach, please contact Waky at by May 11, 2021. Each speaker will have up to 20 minutes to share their teaching. 

This program is funded by the CBE Adult Education Fund. Additional donations to the Adult Education Fund can be made at:
Questions?  Email



Yom HaShoah event with a CBE Connection ♦ Wednesday, April 7 ♦ 7:00 pm

When Yitzhak Ziv (Itzale) arrived in Israel in 1949, not long after the Holocaust, he was taken in by Zilpa Buchaltzev, CBE congregant Ronny Almog's grandmother.

Itzale was one of the only surviving relatives from a small town in Lithuania, who escaped through the forests of Siberia. This year, CBE will hear Itzale tell his story of survival and overcoming, from his exile from his home in Lithuania through his teenage years in the Siberian labor camps, and eventually his unification with his family in Israel.

This will be a recording of Yitzhak Ziv's telling of his story last year when he was 93, just a few months before his recent passing. The recording is in Hebrew with English subtitles. Amir Ziv, Yitzhak's son, will join us for Q&A.

Check the Star-Lite for ZOOM information or click "sign up here" to receive the ZOOM information by email.



Scholar in Residence ♦ February 12 - 14, 2021

Learn with our 2021 Scholar in Residence, Ruth W. Messinger, social justice consultant, educator, and former CEO of American Jewish World Service (AJWS)

All sessions are open to the public; advance registration is requested.

There is no charge for these events. Donations are accepted.  For non-CBE members, we request a donation (suggested $36).  Donations to the Adult Education Fund can be made by clicking HERE and selecting Adult Education Fund in the dropdown menu.

About the Speaker:

Ruth W. Messinger works as a social justice consultant in the Jewish community in New York, engaged with issues of race/racism, voting rights, immigration and the environment, and teaches civic engagement and organizing. From 1998 to 2016 she was the CEO of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), an international human rights and development organization which she continues to serve as its Global Ambassador. Previously, she had a twenty-year career in public service in New York City. She is married to an educator and has three children, eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren. 

Friday, February 12

Shabbat Service at 6:15 PM

Followed by:

How Did I Get to This Judaism, and What it’s Like to Live It

How Ruth Messinger Found the Jewish Roots of Fighting City Hall — in conversation with Rabbi Mike Rothbaum

Saturday, February 13

10:30 am • Study with Ruth Messinger

Parashat Mishpatim — Lessons on Life from Shmattes and Donkeys


Sunday, February 14

10:15 am - guest speaker Ruth Messinger for Brotherhood Breakfast ZOOM meeting

What Does It Mean to Live With Social Justice in Your Life?  Rewards and Challenges



Mussar and Miracles with Cantor Sarra ♦ Monday, November 30 at 7:00 pm

Mussar, the spiritual art of Jewish ethical living, is a path of wisdom and a guide for the way we choose to act in the world. This time of year offers a special opportunity to include Mussar and enhance our Chanukah celebrations. Through Chanukah stories and the light of our everyday miracles, we will experience Mussar teachings about gratitude, faith, and freedom.

Jewish Book Month Author program with Sarah Hurwitz, author of Here All Along ♦ November 15 ♦ 7:00 pm

We are thrilled to welcome nationally renowned speechwriter and Jewish author Sarah Hurwitz to CBE for our Jewish Book Month event on Sunday, November 15. Sarah will be in conversation with Rabbi Mike, discussing her personal journey and what it means for American Jews today. A Q&A will follow.

Sarah Hurwitz was a speechwriter for Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama, and head speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama. In this memoir, Ms. Hurwitz describes how she rediscovered Judaism as an adult. Ms. Hurwitz will talk about why Judaism matters in these difficult times.


Jewish Meditation Series with Cantor Sarra ♦ Mondays November 9,16, 23 ♦ 7:00 to 8:30 pm

V'ahavta L'reyacha Kamocha: Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

These famous words from the Torah are at the heart of so many traditions around the world. How can we access and experience that love from an authentic place? Through Jewish teachings, breathing and meditation, we will connect with the still, small, and powerful voice of love that lies within.

Grandparenting Through a Jewish Lens with Leann Shamash ♦ 5 sessions: October 19, 26, November 2, 9, 16 ♦ 7:00 to 8:30 pm

An online Hebrew College class.  Leann Shamash was the director of education at CBE for 15 years) 

Register and Pay on the Hebrew College website HERE

The cost is $80/person and $130 per couple. Hebrew College offers financial assistance for people who need it (please contact Ahava Rosenthal (

Grandparenting can be a rewarding and challenging experience. But in these days of social distancing amid the fear of a pandemic that seems to stretch far ahead of us, being an active grandparent has become especially fraught. In Grandparenting Through a Jewish Lens, you’ll explore how Jewish wisdom can help us navigate our roles in our children’s and grandchildren’s lives, both in the day-to-day reality of living with COVID-19 , as well as in contemplating what being reunited with our families will look like. We will also explore our personal grandparenting journeys: what came before us, what we will leave behind, and how we can share our personal stories with our grandchildren.

Mon, June 24 2024 18 Sivan 5784