We are Berkeley’s vibrant Modern Orthodox community. Learn about us by meeting some members of our CBI Family:

Rachel and Jacob

Rachel I was born into the CBI community—when my parents started dating, they also started dabbling in Beth Israel. At first, they’d come to services and stand in the back. Then they started staying for Kiddush. Then they started going out to lunch with members of the congregation. The process really paralleled their courtship. By […]

Joan

My family joined CBI in 1966 when we first moved to Berkeley. It had only been Congregation Beth Israel for a short time at that point. Though I grew up in the reform movement, my husband came from a Baghdadi Sephardic community in Shanghai, China, and insisted on joining an orthodox synagogue. The rabbi and community were so […]

Rona

I joined CBI the summer before my son Eli began kindergarten. As it turned out, a few years later Eli was integral to my first impression of Rabbi Cohen. The rabbi was in the process of applying for the job at CBI, and we were all having dinner at the home of a member of the congregation. […]

Nell and Chaim

Nell When I got married, my husband, Chaim, and I were only peripherally involved with Beth Israel. I had previously been a member as a single person, but that had lapsed. Our social circle was elsewhere, and it was not clear that our personal practices fit with CBI. I was unsure about becoming official members, […]

Dorothy and Harry

I have spent a lifetime doing and thinking deeply about biological science—I am an emeritus professor of cell biology at UC Berkeley. My wife Dorothy had been part of my team for decades when we decided to balance our lives together with something more spiritual. After going through various stages of Judaism, we found that […]