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The strength of our Jewish community and of Congregation Beth Israel depends on active and hard-working committees. Below, you will find descriptions of the important work each of these groups does. If you would like to become involved in the activities of any of the committees, please contact the current chairperson or email us. If you see the need for a group or committee that does not yet exist, contact any Board member or Rabbi Tom Gutherz.

Adult Education  

This committee sets the goals and direction of adult programming and helps to coordinate the calendar of adult learning activities, including lectures on selected Jewish topics by guest speakers, Jewish-Catholic dialogues and films relevant to Jews and the Jewish experience. Committee members assist with programming and publicity. Contact Nancy Summers.


The mission of the Caring Committee is to provide support and assistance to members of our Jewish community who are experiencing life transitions such as a birth of a child, illlness, or death of a loved one. The Caring Committee serves the community in several ways from visiting Jewish patients from out of town, to expressing condolences to bereaved families and assisting with shiva arrangements. Contact Charlotte Crystal.


The Cemetery Committee is responsible for managing the Hebrew Cemetery in Charlottesville. Volunteers meet with members and non-members at the Cemetery to discuss plot selection and purchase; assist with paperwork; maintain the Cemetery database; and oversee the lawn, wall, and stones maintenance. For more information, see the Cemetery page. Contact Kent Schlussel.

Chevrah Kadisha  

CBI has a functioning Chevra Kadisha, a Jewish Burial Society, a committee of volunteers who have trained themselves in the ways of Jewish traditional preparation for burial. Not all families choose to utilize the services of the Chevra Kadisha, but many take comfort in following time honored traditions at life's endpoint. See the Chevrah Kadisha page for more information. Contact: Dan Doernberg (men); Marcia Silvermetz & Lynn Valentine (women).


Financial planning is necessary to the life of the congregation. This committee recommends financial policy to the Board, oversees the financial management of the synagogue, manages long-term financial planning and provides oversight of the monthly budget and balance sheet. The Board has delegated the collection and receiving of money for the synagogue to the Executive Director. The Treasurer oversees all money that is spent by the synagogue. These two positions work together with the Finance Committee to oversee the finances of the congregation. Contact Rachel Rosen.


The Preschool Committee provides guidance and support to the Preschool Director and assists in the functioning of CBI Preschool & Kindergarten. Committee activities include review of the curriculum, safety and security, parent education, family programming, budget and tuition development, fundraising and promotion of the education of young Jewish children. For more information about CBI Preschool & Kindergarten, please visit

Religious School  

The Religious School Committee supports the growth and development of religious education for children and their families at CBI. The committee assists in the development of curricula, policies and procedures for the Sunday Religious School (Kindergarten through high school) and the Wednesday Hebrew School (third through seventh grades). The committee provides guidance, planning and support for room parents, Junior Congregation and other educational programs for youth. The committee works closely with the Rabbi Educator and acts as a vehicle for congregants and school staff to communicate suggestions and concerns about the school. For more information about CBI's Religious School, please see the Religious School page. Contact David Kaufman.

Ritual Practice  

The Ritual Practice Committee works with the rabbi to ensure meaningful religious ritual practices at CBI for all occasions. These include all worship services, life cycle events, holidays and special programs. The committee also provides for the care of the synagogue's Torah scrolls, prayer books and all other ritual items. Contact Sandy Schustek.


The Security Committee focuses on issues of safety and security for all CBI congregants and guests and recommends actions to improve the security of the synagogue. Contact Kent Schlussel.

Social Action

The mission of Congregation Beth Israel's Social Action Committee is to galvanize our Jewish community to do the work of tikkun olam (repairing the world), inspired and guided by our traditions and teachings on social justice. Read more about CBI's Social Action efforts, or contact co-chairs Dan Doernberg or Pam Rosen.

Sun, April 14 2024 6 Nisan 5784