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

Thom and Betty

Thom and Betty Seaton We have lived in Berkeley since 1971 in the same home. We recently celebrated our 50th anniversary. Our household is managed by our Goldendoodle Posey who enjoys taking the family on hikes on the Fire Trail, in Tilden, at the Berkeley Bulb and the Berkeley Marina. We have two adult children. Jonathan, who […]

Ori and Rena

CBI was a major pull towards our decision to relocate to Berkeley in 2017. We were both raised in LA and were looking for a new place to settle. We researched and visited various cities all over the country, trying to figure out what was most important to us in a community and synagogue.  After […]

Josh and Jen

We really like CBI and the way it balances both being a traditional community and having progressive Berkeley values. Also we love the fact that CBI is on the cutting edge when it comes to feminism in an Orthodox setting. About twenty years ago, Jenny and I began to discover the richness of being observant […]

Katrin

What is very special about Congregation Beth Israel is that it is a welcoming and friendly community, but at the same time, there is a sense of seriousness that you can notice immediately as you enter the building. At CBI, people of all degrees of observance are included and at the same time, at the […]

Bob and Barbara

Bob: Barbara and I have been married for fifty-nine years now. We are both from rural New England, namely Vermont and western Massachusetts. In 1967 we came here with a new baby, thinking that in two years, we would move on. I was a post doc. I was trained as a physicist, but in the […]

Leslie and Alan

Alan and I started going to CBI before we were married, almost thirty-nine years ago. Rabbi Leibowitz, who was the rabbi at CBI at the time, officiated at our wedding. As we started our life as a married couple, and then as a young family, we became very close with several CBI families. They were […]

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, […]

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 […]