Our tradition teaches that God had “singled Abraham out” so that Abraham would instruct his descendants “to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is just and right.” The Torah is very clear; the way of God is good, and doing good is Godly. Each and every time we confront the world with צְדָקָה וּמִשְׁפָּט , deeds that are just and righteous, each and every time we reject “the callousness of indifference and the prudence of impartiality,” indeed, each and every time we call our faith into account by assuming personal responsibility for the world that surrounds us, we join the path of Abraham and Sarah, that is, we join the path of the Holy One (see R. Abraham Joshua Heschel, “The Prophets,” pp. xxii and xxvi).

Funding Jewish childhood education
Because we feel strongly about our members supporting this cause, we offer several drives each year to fund scholarships from early education at Gan Shalom all the way through local high schools. This helps create a vital future for Jewish people, placing knowledge and literacy at the center of the community. All that we do at CBI would not be possible without significant investment in those areas.

Volunteers at Berkeley’s Men’s Shelter – Wednesday, September 30
Fourth Wednesday of every month, 5 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.
Of the 613 commandments that we are obliged to observe, upwards of 100 involve taking care of people in need. CBI is committed to helping our local community by preparing and serving dinner on the fourth Wednesday night of each month to more than 50 clients at the Berkeley Men’s  Homeless Shelter. This is a great opportunity for both teens and adults to become involved in tzedakah va’hesed (justice and loving kindness). We need volunteers to assist in shopping, cooking, serving and cleanup. We are also always happy to receive donations to underwrite this activity.

You can join us on Wednesday, September 30, to cook, serve or clean up. To sign up for one of the following shifts, please click here. Please contact Maharat Victoria Sutton with questions, or if you would like to help shop.  Feel free to join for the whole time or only part of it.

5-6:30 – Cooking Shift
6:30-7:45 Serve and Clean-Up Shift
Berkeley Men’s Shelter is located at 1931 Center Street.
About the Berkely Men’s Housing Project:
The Men’s Housing project is located in the Veteran’s Memorial Building in Downtown Berkeley and provides 48 single men’s beds and 5 emergency cots/beds on a nightly basis, 365 days a year. To find out more, volunteer or donate, please visit their website.
Be Part of Homeless Solutions in Berkeley

Literacy Drive
We are expanding the definition of Jews being “The People of the Book.” In partnership with the Jewish Coalition for Literacy (JCL), we suggest a way for you to help:

  • Volunteer to teach children to read. We will arrange for training from the JCL. Then you will visit community sites, including Washington School (on Bancroft between CBI and Berkeley High) and Cragmont School (at Spruce and Marin) to help students improve their competency in English.

Food Drive
During the winter holiday season, we conduct a dinner drive in conjunction with other East Bay synagogues and the Alameda food bank. Last year, Beth Israel helped raise $79,500 for Bay Area food banks. Twenty dollars will feed a family of four.

During the rest of the year you can bring non-perishable items to the Alameda County Food Bank bin located in the CBI lobby.