A multi-generational, hands-on Jewish experience
CBI is family—the Jewish identity of every child is our collective responsibility. We empower families from all backgrounds to pursue their unique Jewish path in their homes and communities.
Through our Youth Education Program, we transmit our love of Torah by helping each other discover ourselves in its stories, live its values, and develop the curiosity and literacy for an engaged and meaningful Jewish life.
Torah-based, multi-mode learning that builds community and Jewish identity
CBI’s Youth Education Program is designed to foster deeper relationships between students, their families, other members of the congregation, and the greater community while also strengthening participants’ relationship to their Jewish identity.
Students meet weekly, Sunday mornings and Tuesday afternoons. Families learn together one Sunday a month, plus gather for a Kabbalat Shabbat potluck one Friday evening a month, and Shabbat morning once a month.
All experiences incorporate the five senses. We find our own stories and values within the stories and values of Torah, exploring, as families, our relationship to the Earth and our Jewish values in the world.
Above we create positive Jewish experiences, learn and have fun together!
A learning philosophy as old as the Torah itself
Judaism is a tradition formed in the home – a collective story passed down generation to generation, from teacher to student, from parent to child. A home, however, need not be bound by a “house.” Just as we make up a physical and cosmic family bound together by a shared narrative, so too do we make up the collective beit Israel, "House of Israel".
Our Sages of Blessed Memory, when faced with how to broaden the definition of the “private domain,” innovated the concept of the eiruv – the Mix – and our public domain became a private domain. Judaism is lived in a series of “houses”:
- Beit Knesset – House of Gathering (community space)
- Beit Sefer – House of Story (school)
- Beit Midrash – House of Inquiry (study hall)
- Beit Din – House of Judging (the court)
- Beit Hayyim – House of Life (cemetery)
The entryways of Jewish houses are held up by words of Torah, the genetic code of the Jewish tradition. It is the beginning and end of our pursuit of wisdom and the foundation of the values we cultivate in the home and bring out into the world.
Jewish education must always begin with cultivating a connection with Torah. The purpose of Jewish education more than simply to increase facts and knowledge; it is to cultivate a deep connection to the accumulation of wisdom which has been passed down in our collective story through all the generations. It becomes the duty of each generation to ensure the continuity of connection to Torah. It becomes the duty of each generation to teach the next generation how to construct an eiruv – how to define and expand the boundaries of the wisdom of Torah and adapt the values it engenders to the needs of that generation.
The Talmud teaches that a parent is obligated to their child for four things: to teach them Torah, to teach them a trade, to prepare them for marriage, and to teach them how to swim. A supplementary Hebrew School education should accomplish all four by ensuring our children are connected to the narrative of the Jewish tradition, are equipped to take that tradition and apply it practically, are prepared to foster the next generation of Jewish learners, and are able to ensure the survival of our values.
Parents want their children to have positive feelings about home. It is the responsibility of educators to ensure their students have positive feelings about their learning. By recognizing and understanding that Judaism is a tradition formed in the home, we must take the same approach to educating the children of our synagogue as we endeavor to cultivate a sense of family in our Beth Israel home.
Our Sages of Blessed Memory taught: kol yisrael aravim zeh l’zeh, all of Israel are mixed-up together. We must, in this generation, build an expanded eiruv, to craft an expanded public domain, to build an expansive definition of home.