Pesach Events, Resources, & Guidelines:

We realize that due to the shelter-in-place, many of our homes might be stocked up with Chametz items. All these items can be sold and included in the Sale of Chametz form. To sell this Chametz, fill out the electronic form here.  Alternatively, print out the form here, fill it out, and send a copy/ picture of it to R Cohen.

Tuesday, April 7, 10:00 PM – 10:20 PM
After a long day of cleaning and cooking, join R. Cohen (virtually) for a glass of beer and some L’chayim toasts, because the rabbi couldn’t resist this alliteration and because the rabbi needs to finish drinking his Chamezdik beer.
If you haven’t received the new Zoom link and password, please contact the CBI office at

Wednesday, April 8, 8:00 AM
Siyum for Fast of the First Born
Join Wednesday morning for a siyum as one of our members completes a tractate of Talmud. The siyum also exempts any participating first borns from fasting on Erev Pesach. Since the seudat mitzvah (mitzvah meal) is virtual, bring your own breakfast/snack for the conclusion of the siyum. Fast begins at Alot HaShachar at 5:17 am.
If you haven’t received the new Zoom link and password, please contact the CBI office at

Wednesday, April 8, 5:30-7:00 pm
We will sing the songs of the Seder, share words of Torah, and take the chance to wish each other a Chag Kasher VeSame’ach from the comfort of our own homes. All are warmly invited to join us on Zoom for this meaningful and important virtual gathering.
If you haven’t received the new Zoom link and password, please contact the CBI office at
Please RSVP by filling out this form. Please let us know:

  1. Will you be attending?
  2. Are you willing to share a short song, story, tradition, family history, family photo, special dish, seder object, etc? RSVP and let us know if you are willing to unmute yourself and share on the call. (any presentation should be limited 3 minutes, no guarantees we will have time for everyone to share). If so, please describe what you would like to share in your RSVP reply.

UNITY HALLEL – with the Modern Orthodox Communities of Beth Israel & Beth Jacob:
Sunday, April 12, 9:30 am
Let us join together with members of the CBI and BJC communities to daven Hallel together from our own homes! Following Musical Hallel led in turns by both communities, we will hear brief words of Torah from the clergy of both shuls.
If you haven’t received the new Zoom link and password, please contact the CBI office at

Sunday, April 12, 7:00 PM
Join us for the first virtual trivia night!
Before the game please download the Kahoot! app on your phone. We will be playing through Kahoot and Zoom.
Please RSVP if you’d like to attend to Melissa Nathan with the subject line “CBI Trivia RSVP”. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Melissa with any questions.  If you haven’t received Melissa’s email or the new Zoom link and password, please contact the CBI office at


Tuesday, April 7
Search for chametz at 8:07 pm

Wednesday, April 8
Eat chametz until 10:57 am
Burn chametz until 11:57 am
Candle Lighting* 7:21 pm
Mincha, Yom Tov Ma’ariv 7:21 pm
Begin First Seder after 8:06 pm
* NOTE: Before a two-day Yom Tov, it is advisable to light a 24-hour/yahrzeit candle so that on the second evening the candles may be lit by transferring the flame from this pre-existing flame.

Thursday, April 9
Morning Service 9:15 am
Yom Tov Mincha, Ma’ariv 7:15 pm
Light Candles from pre-existing flame AFTER 8:20 pm
Begin Second Seder AFTER 8:20 pm
Count first night of Sefirah AFTER  8:20 pm

Friday, April 10
1st Day of the Omer
Morning Service  9:15 am
Yom Tov Mincha followed by Shabbat Ma’ariv 7:00 pm
Light candles from pre-existing flame at 7:23 p

Shabbat, April 11, 1st Day of Chol Ha’Moed Pesach
2nd Day of the Omer
Morning Service  9:15 am
Reading of Shir HaShirim at home
Shabbat Mincha 7:00 pm
Ma’ariv, Havdalah & Shabbat ends after 8:22 pm

Sunday: 8:00 am
Weekday Mornings: Given the later sunrise times in the spring, it is advisable to delay Shacharit until Netz (sunrise) rather than keeping to the CBI Shacharit schedule of 6:30 am.
Sunrise on Tuesday, April 7 is 6:45 am, further information available here.
Weekday Evenings:  7:25 pm


Birkat Ha’Ilanot – Blessing Over Fruit-Bearing Trees
In the month of Nissan, we have an opportunity to fulfill the beautiful mitzvah of Birkat HaIlanot, the blessing over fruit-bearing trees. It is preferable to recite the blessing as soon as one sees a fruit tree in bloom in this season (ideally on a weekday): Baruch atah Adonay Elohaynu melech haolam shelo chasar b’olamo klum u’bara bo b’riyot tovot v’ilanot tovim l’hanot bahem b’nay adam.

Kiddush Levana (Blessing the New Moon) 
One may say kiddush levana on their own, or along with another person in their household. It may be said at night this week through April 7 when the moon is visible and not occluded by clouds. Ideally, one would say kiddush levana outdoors, but if they are concerned about going outside for health reasons, they can say it in their home by a window.

Hallel on Pesach Evening
With regard to the Hallel that many shuls have the practice of reciting on Pesach evening after Ma’ariv, this practice is only for when praying with a tzibur (communal service), and not at all relevant to those praying alone, without a minyan. The extra Hallel after Ma’ariv is only recited when there will be a larger crowd for Ma’ariv and additional pirsumei nisa (publicizing the miracle). One still recites Hallel at its proper time during the Seder, as indicated in their haggadah.

Tefilat Tal – Prayer for the Dew
We no longer insert the prayer for rain (“Meshiv haruach u’morid hageshem”) after Shacharit on the first day of Pesach. In lieu of the traditional piyut of Tefillat Tal (Prayer for Dew) said in a communal setting during Musaf on the first day of Pesach, individuals should insert the phrase “Morid HaTal” (Who brings the Dew)  in their private Musaf amidah.

Sefirat HaOmer
We begin counting the Omer on the second night of Pesach after nightfall.

Prayer Guide for Pesach, with page numbers, by our colleagues at ASBI in Chicago

 *CBI Communal Seder Companion:  Please click here to see the wonderful stories, words of Torah, illustrations and songs shared in a collective voice for you to use as a companion to your personal seders this year and for many years to come. Feel free to print the PDF for your personal use.
A huge thank you to all the community members who contributed. The sense of community, dedication, love and warmth is felt so strongly at CBI. While this may not have been the Pesach we envisioned, it will surely be one we will always remember.
May we only know health and happiness, and may we be reunited soon. If not in Jerusalem, then at our beloved shul, CBI.
Chag kasher v’ sameach!
The Pesach Taskforce
– Aryeh Canter, Lauren Schuchart, Ben Fleishman, Noah Nathan & Melissa Nathan

* R. Avi Weiss Seder Supplement: In the Time of Coronavirus:

*A Different Night/A Night to Remember Free Downloads & Seder Companion

*Abridged Seder from Hebrew Institute of White Plains (for those who need it):

*YU Pesach Torah To-Go:

Emotional, Tech, Practical & Financial Support:

Health over the 3 Day Yom Tov and Shabbat 
This year, the challenges of a three day Yom Tov in isolation may pose health risks, physical and mental, to members of our community.

R. Cohen will be leaving his phone on and within earshot throughout Yom Tov and Shabbat. If you are in a situation where your physical or mental safety might be at risk, you can call 510-566-0966 at any time over the three days and R. Cohen will answer.

In addition, please contact R. Cohen before Pesach to discuss halachik options for any foreseeable risks to physical or mental health that the observance of Pesach and a three day Yom Tov in social isolation poses to you or those you know.

CBI Supportive WhatsApp Groups:
To join a WhatsApp group sharing positive insights during this time of hardship, please use this link:
To join a WhatsApp group sharing ideas for caring and creative parenting during this time of hardship, please use this link:

Safety in the Home: 
During social distancing, and prolonged time at home, those who live with domestic violence are at increased risk. For anyone feeling unsafe in their homes right now there, here are some helpful resources on coping when stuck at home.

Tech Support:
If you are looking for some tech support to get on Zoom, WhatsApp or FB to stay connected, please let us know and we will direct you to some tech angels. Email

Chessed Callers & Errand Angels:
We now have a group of over 40 volunteers that have paired with over 100 community members around the East Bay that may need some extra support during this health crisis. This amazing group will be keeping regular communication with community members as well as assisting with running errands during the shelter-in-place protocol.
It is our hope that all members of our community will remain healthy inside their homes in the coming weeks. As R. Cohen emphasized in a previous message to our community: “At this time IT IS A MITZVAH to ask for support and help as it is a mitzvah not to put yourself and others at risk.”  The Chessed Callers & Errand Angels are here to make that as easy as possible!

Errand Form
Anybody in the community is encouraged both to submit and fulfill errands using the Errand Form located here:
If you have multiple errands, such as a grocery request as well as a pharmacy pickup, please submit one form per errand so that we can better organize assignments and timelines.  If you have trouble using the form, you can also send your request to Jana Loeb ( – 414-573-3730)

Important Information About Requesting Errands
One note about errands, as with everybody we must be conscious of social distancing and safety for our Errand Angels. We would like to help our angels to make very efficient trips and minimize the number of locations. To that end, when you are submitting errands please keep a few things in mind:

  1. Plan Ahead – things like groceries and Pesach shopping should be requested far in advance so that our Angels can consolidate errands. Also, please try and include everything in your original request to the best of your ability.
  2. Specific store/item requests – we are encouraging Angels to shop at a single store per trip and thus may not be able to get the specific store/brand you are requesting. Have that in mind when making the request and set your expectations accordingly.
  3. Quantities – many stores are either limiting quantities of purchase on some items or certain items (pasta, toilet paper etc.) are proving hard to find. Again, to help with this please submit and consolidate errand requests as early as possible and set your expectation in terms of delivery times.

How to Help Out
First and foremost, please take care of yourself! Stay inside, wash your hands, and listen to official guidelines.
If you would like to help out either as a Chessed Caller or to take on some Errands, you can sign up here:
Every morning an email goes out with all of the outstanding Errand Requests and any volunteer can claim them. You can always check on the outstanding errands here:

Financial Aid:
We recognize that sheltering-in-place impacts the financial well-being of some of our members as well as some of our beloved Jewish institutions. In the coming weeks and months, the shul’s Tzedakah fund will be used exclusively to aid our community. Please contact R. Cohen if you anticipate financial hardship in the weeks and months to come, we are here to offer support. You can make a donation to help fellow congregants, indicate “communal chessed“.

  • by Paypal, please pick the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund
  • @CBI-Berkeley on Venmo
  • to by Zelle
  • by check “Congregation Beth Israel” to 1630 Bancroft Way, Berkeley CA 94703

Hebrew Free Loans. HFL provides interest-free loans to help Jewish individuals in Northern California overcome financial challenges. They are now offering loans to help manage financial difficulties related to COVID-19.
Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund has set up a COVID-19 Response Fund to enable donors and the community to help meet individual and organizational needs, as well as an up-to-date Jewish community resource guide for all to use.

Daily Practice:

CBI Daily Torah WhatsApp Group w/ R. Cohen
Rabbi Cohen will share a daily video dvar Torah to the CBI Daily Torah Group and CBI FB group.
On Friday, Rabbi Cohen will share a video drasha and a source sheet to print. To join this group, please use this link:
CBI FB group can be found here:

Daily Mishna w/ M. Sutton
8:45-9 am April 12-14, and Friday April 17.

Join us to learn a Mishna together, particularly in lieu of saying kaddish for departed loved ones during this time. We will start with Mishna Berakhot. Please be in touch with M. Sutton if you have a yahrzeit this week or in the 11 months of saying kaddish for a loved one ( If you haven’t received the new Zoom link and password, please contact the CBI office at
Please click here to listen to past Daily Mishna classes with M Sutton.