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 instrumental in being role models for us, and mentored us in the early stages of raising a Jewish family. They made us feel deeply connected to the community.
CBI has been with us through every milestone of our lives: our own marriage, the births of our children, their b’nai mitzvah celebrations, sad losses in our families, and then the next generation of marriages and the birth of our grandchildren. The shul continues to be our spiritual home and is the most significant institution that we have been affiliated with.
Alan has seen the shul from the inside-out, catering innumerable lunches and simchas, community events, dinners, and kiddush after kiddush after kiddush. And he has welcomed CBI members and guests to our own home dining room for Shabbat dinners and lunches for decades.
Our children attended Gan Shalom Preschool and went to teen classes with Professor David Henkin, and my daughter has now sent her own kids to Gan Shalom.
I was president of one of the earliest Gan Shalom Parent Committees and I have been on the board of CBI for many years. I was honored to be CBI’s president twice; first when Rabbi Cohen started in 2006, and for a second term when he was on sabbatical. Both presidencies were amazing experiences.
Forty years is a long time to be involved with CBI! We have stayed involved because the shul provided a home for us to develop and grow individually, and as a family, and as community members. CBI continues to be such a vibrant, inspiring, and engaging place, even during a time of unprecedented challenges. Alan and I believe it has been our great fortune to be a part of this community.