Jewish texts deal with significant questions about the meaning of life, from the theological and the philosophical to the legal and practical, guiding not just how we look at the world, but how we live in the world. Classes are offered most days of the week, many taught by Rabbi Cohen, several others led by community members. All classes at CBI, unless otherwise noted.


Jewish Meditation Group: A Hasidic Approach to Jewish Meditation based on the Teachings of the Maggid of Mezeritch and other Hasidic Masters, in theory (haskafah) and practice. We will cover:

  • Preparatory Practices
  • Quieting/Settling the Mind (hashkatah)
  • Meditative Mussar (yeshuv da’at): Strengthening Positive Qualities (middot)
  • Developing Meditative Concentration
  • Thinking Deeply (nachshav ha-ruchaniyut) and Transforming Confusion (aliyat machshavot zarot)
  • Experiencing Unity

R. Ken Lipman, Ph.D. Sundays, 9:30 am-10:45 am – 

Tell Your Story: Redemption and Revelation: Each 3-hour workshop will teach you the structure of compelling storytelling and give you the opportunity to tell a story to other participants. Being able to tell a story well is a great skill to have. It’s also a chance to bond with your fellow CBI members and hear a story about them you never have before!
No charge – RSVP required to
Michael Kaye is a writer and performer who has garnered press in Rolling Stone, Billboard, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Los Angeles Times. Michael has been a writing fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Julia and David White Colony, Ragdale, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and the WUJS-Arad Arts Program in Israel. He taught memoir writing for four years at the famed Gotham Writers’ Workshop in New York and is the author of Mastering the Narrative.
Michael Kaye — Sunday @ 11 am-1 pm; please note the class was rescheduled from May 19 to May 26


Key Books in Tanach: Book of Samuel
Following the chaotic period of the Judges, the Book of Samuel narrates the centralization of leadership in Israel. The book opens with the birth of the prophet Samuel, who unifies the nation, and crowns the first kings of Israel.  The Book of Samuel presents a gripping exploration of political personalities, palace intrigue and the role of God in the lives of kings and nations.
Maharat Victoria Sutton is the Director of Education and Community Engagement at Congregation Beth Israel, Berkeley. She received ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and graduated from Barnard College, with a BA in Biological Sciences.
M. Victoria Sutton — Mondays @ 12:00 pm.  

NCSY LNL – Latte & Learning (for Teens; Grades 9-12): Our Special Blend: Coffee & Torah Every week. In addition to coffee, NCSY’s Latte & Learning initiative serves up Judaism in a relaxed, inspirational, and fun environment. LNL is the place for teens to ask questions, voice their feelings, and connect with each other.
Mondays @ 7:30-8:30 pm @ CBI


Lovesick:  Dark Tales of Friendship  with Bernie Steinberg:
The rabbinic maxim “Either friendship or death!” underscores the vital importance of friendship in the Jewish tradition.  Havruta—dialogical conversation between friends— is the primary medium of Torah learning and spiritual growth. One midrash even argues that friends are more important than family because we freely choose our friends. Yet we know from experience that friendship, like family, while a huge blessing can provoke complex conflict and evoke profound pain.
Bernie Steinberg — Tuesdays @7:30-9:00 pm, May 14, 21, 28


Nine Talmudic Readings by Emmanuel Levinas: Nine readings of the Talmud by the French Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas translate Jewish thought into the language of modern times. Here Levinas applies a hermeneutic that simultaneously allows the classic Jewish texts to shed light on contemporary problems and lets modern problems illuminate the texts. Besides being quintessential illustrations of the art of reading, the essays express the deeply ethical vision of the human condition that makes Levinas one of the most important thinkers of our time.
uni Schweig — Wednesdays @ 8:00 pm @ the Schweig home


Talmudic Wisdom: Join us for a weekly class on Tractate Chagigah that explores major Jewish questions of practice and thought.  In this week’s class we will begin the second chapter of the tractate. Class won’t meet on May 17.
R. Yonatan Cohen • Fridays @ 9:00 am