Dear friends,

We are delighted to invite members to sign up for our outdoor in-person services and shofar gatherings, as discussed  by R. Cohen in his Fireside Zoom Chat (the recording can be found by clicking here).

Please email the office ( for a link to sign up for services (members only).

Deadline to sign up is Thursday, September 10th.

The CBI Reopening & High Holiday Committee

High Holiday In-Person Outdoor Services
We will be offering four in-person outdoor morning services: an early morning service at 7:30 am followed by a late morning service starting at 10:30 am, at two separate locations (in the vicinity of CBI) during the two mornings of Rosh Hashanah and the morning of Yom Kippur. We will also be holding mincha services during the afternoon of Yom Kippur. These services will be conducted at a fast pace, most liturgical poems will be omitted, and R. Cohen will not deliver a sermon at these gatherings. Attendees will be required to sign up in advance using the link above and follow the strict Covid related guidelines described in previous communications. In addition to this:

  • Services will begin with Nishmat kol chai. All other preliminary morning services should be recited at home.
  • Attendees are expected to arrive promptly on time.
  • Services will be limited to children in middle-school and older:
    • Middle-school children attending with a parent must be able to stay in place, by their parent, for the duration of the entire service. No roaming will be allowed and children will not be allowed to arrive early or leave late . The parent and child will be asked to leave if guidelines are not followed.
  • We are hoping to have shade covers due to the excessive outdoor heat during the later morning service. However, we strongly recommend all those who are sensitive to the heat to attend the earlier service.
  • Attendance will be limited to CBI members only.
    • Adult immediate-family of current members can sign-up for High Holiday membership by emailing

The locations for these services are still to be confirmed but they will be in the vicinity of CBI and restrooms will be available nearby. After sign-up, you will be assigned to one of the two locations and you will not be able to swap or change your location.

Outdoor Shofar Gatherings
We will hold several outdoor Shofar gatherings throughout Berkeley for members who won’t be able to join our in-person services. This will be a short, ~10 minute gathering where attendees will hear the 30 Halachically-required Shofar blasts of Rosh Hashanah. These gatherings will occur between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm on Sunday September 20th, the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah in various locations around Berkeley (there is no shofar blowing on Shabbat). The shofar blower will stand 20 feet apart from everyone else and the top of the shofar will be covered.

  • Attendees will be required to sign up beforehand and must ONLY attend the slot they are given.
  • Attendees will be required to follow the strict Covid related guidelines described in previous communications including:
    • being required to wear a mask at all times
    • be completely free of any COVID-19 symptoms as described by the CDC
    • if over the age of 65 or in a high-risk group (i.e. diabetic, high blood pressure, heart or lung disease, or other underlying health condition, etc.) must consult with their physician AND R. Cohen in order to attend.
    • Keep 6 feet distance at all times between family pods
  • Children under bar/bar mitzvah may attend but they must remain next to their parent at all times. Furthermore, as a supervising adult, you must ensure that your children also follow the COVID guidelines, do not socialize with other children, and keep at least 6 ft distance between others at all times.
    • If your child physically attends a program with other CBI children or is in a bubble with other CBI children, we still ask that your child maintain social distance from these children at our gatherings in order to maintain uniform communal norms that are not confusing or alienating for other children.
  • Please do not congregate either before or after shofar-blowing to socialize.

You can register to attend a shofar blowing gathering, please ask the office for a link.

Please let us know if you or someone else in our community is homebound by responding to this email or by filling out the above form, so we can arrange for an outdoor home visit with Shofar blasts during the 2nd Day of Rosh Hashanah.

Machzors will be available for use at the in-person, outdoor services but we encourage you to also bring your own.

If you are not planning on coming to our in-person services and wish to borrow a Machzor for you to use at home, please indicate email the office for the link.

Machzors are also available for purchase from Afikomen.

Virtual Drashot & Kol Nidrey
R. Cohen’s High Holiday sermons, for Rosh Hashanah, Shabbat Shuva, and Yom Kippur will be delivered ahead of each holiday on Zoom.

Rosh Hashanah Drasha – Thursday, Sept. 17, 8:30 pm @Zoom
Shabbat Shuva Drasha – Thursday, Sept 24, 8:30 pm @Zoom
Yom Kippur Drasha – Saturday Night, Sept. 26, 8:30 pm @Zoom

Zoom Selichot & Zoom Kol Nidrey
We will gather on Zoom, on Saturday night, September 12, 9:30 pm – 11:00 pm, for pre-Selichot singing with themes and tunes of the High Holiday season, followed by Selichot.

Kol Nidrey will also be conducted on Zoom, following the Halakhic ruling of Rav Hershel Schachter, before the onset of Yom Kippur and will provide a meaningful way to begin the fast day as a community. Please consult next week’s weekly bulletin for the schedule.