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Special Events

Scientists in Synagogues Speaker Series: A talk by Professor David Kaiser (MIT) entitled "Einstein's Legacy: Studying Gravity in War and Peace” - October 15, 2023

The video recording of this talk is below, but will only be available to those logged into their account.  If not already logged in, scroll to the top of the screen to log in.  

Abstract:  "Einstein's Legacy: Studying Gravity in War and Peace" , MIT's Dr. David Kaiser

A popular image persists of Albert Einstein as a loner, someone who avoided the hustle and bustle of everyday life in favor of quiet contemplation. Yet Einstein was deeply engaged with politics throughout his life; indeed, he was so active politically that the U.S. government kept him under surveillance for decades, compiling a 2000-page secret file on his political activities. His most enduring scientific legacy, the general theory of relativity -- physicists' reigning explanation for gravity and the basis for nearly all our thinking about the cosmos -- has likewise been cast as an austere temple standing aloof from the all-too-human dramas of political history. But was it so? This lecture examines ways in which research on general relativity was embedded in, and at times engulfed by, the tumult of world politics over the course of the twentieth century.

Video Recording of Professor David Kaiser's talk is below.  You must be logged in to see it.

Chanukah 5783/ 2022 Celebrations

Click on the photo to view the gallery from our Chanukah celebrations!  You will find photos from our Chanukah Party, the Maynard Menorah lighting, the kosher chinese food Shabbat dinner, and some Chanukah craft decorations from the ELC.


Faux Food Truck Festival ♦ Sunday, May 22, 2022

Many congregants enjoyed the food from the "food trucks" set up by several organizations within CBE.  Here are some highlights!  Click on the photo to view the gallery from this event!


Purim Service & Megillah Reading and Purim Carnival 2022

Fun was had by all as the video and photos show!  Check out the 15 second "chicken dance" video and then click on the image below the video to see the gallery of fun photos.

Click on the image below to view the gallery of photos! You may need to click on the lower right of the blue bar to see all 23 photos.


Chanukah 2020/ 5781 Virtual Celebrations

Click on the image for the photo gallery that includes images from some of our virtual events including our daily community candle lighting, Chanukah Story & Craft, Great Jewish Fry Off,  Menorah craft contest, and our own CBE Coffee House!

Here is the video of our congregant/ congregant family members who shared their first time voting experiences in the Na'aseh sponsored New Voter's program.



Crisis And Faith - An Interfaith discussion on how to find the Holy in the midst of the COVID-19 Crisis ♦ April 1, 2020

Panelists:  Rabbi Michael Rothbaum, rabbi of Congregation Beth Elohim; Reverend Jill Cowle, serves the Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church in Harvard; and Imam Dr. Khalil Abdur-Rashid,  University Muslim Chaplan at Harvard University.   CLICK HERE for full bios of the panelists.


50th Anniversary "Peace, Love and CBE Gala" ♦ Saturday, November 16, 2019

Enjoy this photo gallery of 55+ photos from this party in celebration of CBE's founding in 1969!  Click on the photo of Rabbi Mike and friends to see the full gallery!  You may need to click "next page" to see all photos!


George Schaffer's Yom HaShoah Presentation ♦ April 30, 2019

Congregant George Schaffer, of blessed memory, gave a Yom HaShoah talk on his life and Kinder Transport experience for Micky Waks' 6th graders at the Horace Mann Middle School in Franklin.

Dan Klein was there to record the talk:



Religious School/ Family Education


Pictures from the exciting first day of School, 2019!





Gimel Class (3rd grade) Shabbat Service - May 10, 2019



New York City Trip for 8th and 9th graders ♦ March, 2019




3rd Grade Family Education Program - March 3, 2019





Brotherhood Breakfast with speaker, Barry Friedman held on March 6, 2022

Presenter Barry Friedman has been creating beautiful carvings from found objects in his small condo in the Boston area. Wandering through a nearby cemetery, he picks up dead branches and then carves and paints them to create art objects.  He says “I work with nature." This activity is a metaphor for Barry’s whole life, transforming death and loss into art and beauty. 

Barry was born in Poland in 1939. When he was three years old, he and his family escaped from Sobibor Concentration Camp when the Partisans blew a hole in the camp wall. Barry tells many stories about those times when he lived in the woods, hiding in fear and struggling to find food to eat. Somehow he manages to imbue these stories with humor, although they are, in fact, unbelievably sad.


Video of the discussion with Joe Federman, AP Bureau Chief for Israel and the Palestinian Territories, at the Brotherhood Breakfast held on Sunday, January 9, 2022 



Joe Federman grew up in Westborough, Mass. and made his first trip to Israel in 1983 on a NFTY tour, a decision he is pretty sure his mother now regrets. He went to Clark University in Worcester and has a master's in international affairs and Middle East studies from Columbia University. He has worked for the Associated Press in Charleston, West Virginia and New York City, in addition to spending four years at The Wall Street Journal. He returned to the Associated Press in Jerusalem in 2003 and has been there ever since. He has gone on assignments to Rome, the Hague, London, Cairo, Beirut, Amman and across Israel and the Palestinian territories. Currently, he is the news director for the Associated Press in Jerusalem, overseeing coverage of Israel, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jordan. Despite the time away and long distance, he remains a proud and active member of Red Sox Nation.



Video of Yousef Bashir's presentation at the Brotherhood ZOOM "Breakfast" with Yousef Bashir - September 12, 2021



Yousef Bashir spoke at CBE in 2013 and 2014 while earning his MA at Brandeis University's Conflict Resolution and Coexistence (COEX) Program. As the current Director of Research & Operations at the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, he is a tireless advocate for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and previously worked on Capitol Hill as a member of the Palestinian Diplomatic Delegation to the United States. 

Read Yousef's own words in Brandeis Magazine and in his 2019 Op-Ed in the New York Times (paywall). His book, The Words of My Father: Love and Pain in Palestine, was endorsed by The New Yorker Magazine"At one of the darkest times in the elusive effort to end the conflict in the Middles East....a remarkable new memoir." He was interviewed in 2019 in



Annual Sisterhood Membership Dinner ♦ October 23, 2022

We were happy to be back, in-person, for this popular annual event!  Click on the photo to see the fun we had!

Na'aseh/ Social Action/ Kulanu

Walk Against Hate sponsored by ADL and CBE Kulanu together with over 30 community organizations

About 500 people joined CBE Kulanu to listen to speakers, carry signs, and walk against hate.



"Refugee Shabbat" - Dinner & Service Hosted by Na'aseh ♦ Friday, April 28, 2023

According to HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), Refugee Shabbat is a moment for congregations, organizations, and individuals in the United States and around the world to dedicate a Shabbat experience to refugees and asylum seekers. lAt our service, we learned more about CBE's teamwork with the United Church of Christ, Boxborough (UCCB) to support the resettlement in our area of an Afghan family of six.  We heard from team volunteers, a special guest from Jewish Family Services, and the Afghan family members themselves.


Video of 21st Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute with guest speaker. Tanisha M. Sullivan, the President of the Boston branch of the NAACP.: "Dear Beloved Community…The Power of Grace in the Movement"- 2023

About Tanisha Sullivan:

Tanisha M. Sullivan is the President of the Boston branch of the NAACP, leading the organization in its fight for racial, economic, and social justice with a data-driven and solutions-oriented framework. In this volunteer leadership role, Sullivan has led efforts to build a more inclusive democracy and improve quality of life for all Massachusetts residents. She is a seasoned corporate lawyer, has over 25 years experience in the life sciences industry and served as the inaugural Chief Equity Officer for the Boston Public Schools. Boston-born, Sullivan earned a bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Virginia, and an M.B.A. and J.D. from Boston College. In 2022, she ran for Secretary of State in Massachusetts. 

Close to 150 people attended, either in person or via Zoom.


Video of 20th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute:  "Racial Justice and Communal Safety: Cultivating MLK's Legacy" with distinguished guest speaker U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins
Monday, January 17, 2022 

We were honored to welcome Rachael Rollins as our featured guest speaker. 

About U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins

The Honorable Rachael Rollins is U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.  She is an advocate for criminal justice reform and has worked to push measures to reduce incarceration, correct racial and ethnic disparities, adopt alternatives to traditional prosecution, and improve relationships between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. She is the first woman to serve as Suffolk County District Attorney and the first woman of color to serve as U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.   

The event was sponsored by Na'aseh ,the Social Justice group of CBE.  Co-sponsors included: Racial Justice for Black Lives, United Church of Christ, Boxborough, St. Matthew's United Methodist Church, Congregation Beth El, Sudbury, Fostering Racial Justice, Highrock Church of Acton, League of Women Voters - Acton, Acton-Boxborough United Way, and Indivisible Acton.


Confronting the History of Housing Discrimination – Learning from Our Past and Taking Action Now ♦ May 26 and June 2, 2021

Sponsored by Na’aseh and its Racial Justice Group

This two session, interactive workshop was developed by JALSA in consultation with Bob Van Meter, adjunct professor at Boston College Carroll School of Management. In the sessions, we sought to understand racial disparities in housing in Massachusetts and the history that created them.

Session 1 Video:

Session 2 Video:



Racial Justice and Reckoning: A Proactive Conversation with the Acton & Boxborough Police Chiefs ♦ Tuesday, May 25, 2021



Modern Day Refugees: Everything you Wanted to Know about Refugee Resettlement in New England ♦ Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Speaker:  Emma Tobin, Chief Program Officer, International Institute of New England (IINE)

Emma Tobin's talk explored the lived realities of refugee resettlement in an increasingly complex immigration landscape, including the role that communities can play in supporting refugee and immigrant integration. 

You can view the event video below and view the powerpoint slides of Emma's presentation HERE.


"Race and the Juvenile Justice System" sponsored by the CBE Racial Justice Committee ♦ March 24, 2021

Speakers were Sana Fadel, Director of Citizens for Juvenile Justice, who provided an overview of racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system, including their work to address this long standing problem.  And, Senator Jamie Eldridge talked about legislation that addresses both the juvenile and adult justice systems.  


Reverend Mariama White-Hammond's 2020 MLK breakfast talk ♦ January 20, 2020

Rev. Mariama White-Hammond's talk was entitled “From Hip Hop Activist to Just Transition Pastor: One Woman’s Journey to Live at the Intersections.” She discussed her own journey, from teenage leader of Project HIP-HOP to preeminent climate justice activist and civil and human rights minister, and how it relates to the sacred and joyful work of tearing down silos — not only in the world, but in our communities and in our own hearts.

Rev. White-Hammond is the founding pastor of New Roots AME Church in Dorchester. She applies an intersectional lens to her ecological work, challenging folks to see the connections between immigration and climate change or the relationship between energy policy and economic justice.

Her presentation (courtesy of Acton TV):


Christmas/ Mincha Prayer Vigil in support of our Immigrant Neighbors • Suffolk County Sheriff's Dept. • December 23

WBZ Jim Smith reports the event, including statements by Rabbi Mike:  "Faith Leaders Hold Immigration Detention Vigil Outside South Bay House of Corrections"


Adult Education

Jewish Book Month Speaker: Author Ilan Evyatar on "Israel at War: Fighting the Iranian Axis" ♦ November 5, 2023

On Sunday morning November 5, the Adult Education committee was thrilled to host Ilan Evyatar, co-author, with Yonah Jeremy Bob, of the recently published book titled: Target Tehran: How Israel Is Using Sabotage, Cyberwarfare, Assassination and Secret Diplomacy to Stop a Nuclear Iran and Create a New Middle East.

It is 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. If you haven’t had a chance to read this book – it just got published in September -- you can order it from Silver Unicorn in Acton, or at other booksellers.

Over thirty people went on Zoom to listen to llan Evyatar, who was calling in from Jerusalem. He is the 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.

READ MORE HERE:  You will find further speaker bio information and a summary of his talk here, provided by Matt Liebman, Adult Education Chairperson

Here is the video recording of his informative, timely and interesting talk:


"An Update on Democracy in Israel with speaker, Rabbi Eliana Jacobowitz ♦ Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Many congregants have expressed interest in better understanding the history and current status of political events in Israel. To that end, on August 29, 2023, the Congregation was briefed on the Status of Democracy in Israel by Rabbi Eliana Jacobowitz of Temple B’nai Brith of Somerville. She was born and raised in Israel, and studied law at Tel Aviv University, ordinated at Hebrew College and has been Rabbi at TBB Somerville since 2010. Because of her legal background in Israel, she provided special insights on the current situation in Israel. Rabbi David, who spent two weeks in Israel this summer, introduced Rabbi Jacobowitz, and provided firsthand descriptions of the weekly protests in Israel.

READ MORE HERE.  You will find a summary of Rabbi Jacobowitz's talk by Matt Liebman and suggested links from the Rabbi to learn more and get involved.

This is the recording of this Zoom only event:


Yom Hashoah program with Yelena Lembersky, co-author of "Like a Drop of Ink in a Downpour" ♦ April, 2023

Our Yom HaShoah guest speaker, Yelena Lembersky, spoke of her grandfather, artist Felix Lembersky, who recreated his parents' last steps during the Babyn Yar massacre, via his powerful paintings. Yelena spoke of his art and her family's journey to bring his paintings out of Russia.


A conversation with Barry Shrage, with an introduction by Rabbi Emeritus Lewis Mintz - How Jews & Judaism Confronted Modernity and How We Can Respond to the Challenges We Now Confront ♦ April, 2023

Barry Shrage was 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.

After retiring from CJP in 2018, Shrage joined the Hornstein Program at Brandeis, where he trains and mentors students in their future roles as Jewish professional leaders. He is also working closely with the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, where he is developing and leading a new initiative on Jewish identity.


Jewish Book Month Author Event with Rabbi Art Green ♦ Sunday, November 20, 2022

We thank Rabbi Emeritus Lewis Mintz for guiding us in an entertaining conversation with Rabbi Art
Green. Rabbi Green spoke about his recent book Judaism for the World: Reflections on God, Life, and Love, which won a National Jewish Book award in 2021 in the category of Jewish Thought. He is one of this generation’s foremost Jewish thinkers and writers.

His life mission is to encourage Jews to continually engage in our rich and joyful Jewish traditions. Rabbis Mintz and Green are not strangers. Art Green was a Jewish camp counselor to a young Lewis Mintz in the early 1960s.

We learned that Rabbi Green was a personal student of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, and the founder of an influential new way of practicing Judaism, the Havurot Shalom, which started in the late 1960s in Cambridge and is still going on today.  For a time, Lewis and Naomi Mintz were also part of that community, or “shtiebel”. 


Our 2022 Scholar in Residence was Rabbi Neal Gold, Jewish Chaplain & Hillel Director at Babson College in Wellesley, MA and the Past President of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis ♦ February 11 to 13, 2022

The theme for the weekend was:
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?

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. 

Friday Shabbat Service D'var Torah

Brotherhood Breakfast - Sunday, February 13:  Rabbi Neal Gold with Dr. Mohamed Lazzouni, Imam from the Islamic Center of Boston in Wayland


Jewish Book Month Author Event with Rabbi Ariel Burger ♦ Sunday, November 7, 2021

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.

Scholar in Residence ♦ February 12 - 14, 2021

Our 2021 Scholar in Residence was Ruth W. Messinger, social justice consultant, educator, and former CEO of American Jewish World Service (AJWS).  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 Night:

Saturday Morning

Sunday Morning:

End of Life Series Videos - January 5, 2020; January 26, 2020; March 1, 2020; October 17, 2021


Ethical Wills with Bob Russman-Halperin - January 5, 2020

For centuries Jews have written ethical wills to share their values and life lessons with future generations. In this interactive workshop, we update the concept for the 21st Century, and use practical tools and the latest technologies to begin a rich conversation with our children and beyond. Recorded on January 5, 2020.

Elder Healthcare with Malka Young, LICSW, CCM - January 26, 2020

Malka Young will share practical information that will help you help your parents or prepare for your own later years. How to find healthcare? What are the pitfalls to avoid? What does Medicare cover? What do you do if you are concerned about your parents' driving? These and other questions will be answered in an interesting and informative workshop. Recorded on January 26, 2020.

Estate Planning with Attorney Barbara Epstein of Scheier, Katin & Epstein and a member of CBE - March 1, 2020

Attorney Barbara Epstein gave a 60 minute presentation on the fundamentals of estate planning.   Estate planning is sometimes thought of as limited to saving taxes for people of financial means. However, the broader and more realistic view is that estate planning is necessary for anyone who wishes to direct the transfer of his or her assets on death or to manage those assets during incapacity or incompetency. In addition, for those with minor children or beneficiaries with special needs, estate planning is even more critical. Recorded on March 1, 2020


Chevra Kadisha with Hal Miller-Jacobs, cofounder of the a Community Hevra Kadisha of Greater Boston - October 17, 2020

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.

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. 





Shabbat Shirah @ Home ♦ Friday, January 29, 2021

Featuring two CBE "virtual choir" premieres
The CBE choir continued our beloved tradition of Shabbat Shirah (Sabbath of Song) featuring two CBE "virtual choir" premieres. You can find video recordings of the beautiful music HERE on the Choir page.   Below, we share the recording of the D'var Torah by our wonderful choir director, Judy Kramer.   

Havdalah Service Under the Solar Canopies ♦ October 17, 2020

Rabbi Mike Rothbaum, Cantor Sarra Spierer and the CBE Solar Team held a special Havdalah service under our solar canopies in the ELC parking lot. A limited number people attended the event in person including the Solar Project Committee,  Senator Jamie Eldridge and Representatives Tami Gouveia and Danillo Sena. Others joined via ZOOM.

Click on the photo to view the photo gallery and the image below is a video recording of the service.


Tue, December 5 2023 22 Kislev 5784