Our CBI Family deeply recognizes the need to enhance and expand the role of women in Torah learning, religious life and communal leadership within the framework of halakha (Jewish Law). Our community is especially proud to be the country’s first Orthodox congregation to appoint a woman president (Katy Tornheim in 1973), with nine more serving in that capacity in the ensuing years.
Women in our community are invited to participate in a women’s Torah reading during Bat Mitzvah celebrations, the reading of Megillahs during holidays and the reading of Kinnot (elegies) during Tisha b’Av. Women at CBI also deliver drashot (sermons) from the bimah. In 2008, CBI played a critical role in launching the Merkavah Torah Institute for Women — a women’s Beit Midrash program that meets at CBI weekly.
The design of our main sanctuary expresses our commitments. A mechitzah runs through the middle of the sanctuary, and our bimah is accessible to both women and men.