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 welcoming that I fit right in. Combined with the excellent after-school Hebrew program for our children, it became an easy decision to join this community. My children grew up here, were Bar and Bat Mitzvahed here. Two of the three were married here. I buried my husband, Marcus, here.
The longer one has been someplace, the more it becomes part of your life. I have served on CBI’s board, was treasurer, and, from 1975 to 1978, was president of the congregation. This is the sort of place that fosters that desire. The more you give, the more you get, and CBI has become my community.