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High Holidays 2020 / 5781

Dear CBI Community,

It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that this year our experience of the High holidays will be like nothing we have experienced before. Despite the fact that many of us have gotten used to conducting much of our business and social lives virtually, it is still difficult to contemplate how to create the warm and powerful feelings that we remember from our experiences of being together for prayer and community over the high Holidays. Yet even as we plan to go virtual for most of our services, we here at CBI - rabbis and staff together - are hoping that “different” does not have to translate into “less meaningful.” There is something beautiful about imagining how we can be connected spiritually even though we are physically distant. There is something refreshing about knowing that the content and rituals of prayer that we have grown used to will gain a different expression and feeling as we experiment with this new form.

There is a rabbinic expression calledmikdash me’at, literally the “small sanctuary” or “the small holy place.” It comes from the time when the one Temple in Jerusalem had been recently destroyed. The rabbis declared that the walls of one’s own home can be reconstituted as a “replacement” for the Holy temple.

I am enjoying imagining that every person in their own home will be creating their own sacred space, little sanctuaries into which we will enter as we gather virtually for the holidays. It represents an opportunity for each of us to think deliberately about what it means to create a sacred space, and to reflect on how that feels, even in (or especially in) our own homes.

Our office will be regularly communicating with you, sending you zoom links and detailed information via email as we approach all these different Holidays and services. The CBI staff is available to answer questions and help facilitate access to programs and services. Please do not hesitate to call.

The schedule of service for the high holidays this year appears below. I welcome your questions and feedback. L’shanah Tovah Tikateyvu: May you be inscribed for a happy new year!

Rabbi Tom Gutherz


PLEASE NOTE: All CBI Members will automatically receive detailed emails and updates about all High Holiday services and programs - containing Zoom links, instructions, registration forms, and all information needed to facilitate easy participation. These arrive in your inbox a few days before each holiday.

We respectfully ask all non-members and guests of CBI members who want to join and celebrate with the CBI community to please use the registration form linked below. Once signed up, you will receive detailed information on the services you wish to attend. Please contact the CBI Administrative Office with any questions or concerns.



Congregation Beth Israel has had the pleasure of using the machzor,  Mishkan Hanefesh over the last few years. This new text has a wide array of prayer options. Please consider helping CBI defray the cost of these new machzorim by purchasing a set for personal use and also consider purchasing one or more sets for the congregation. The cost of the set is $36 and is a discounted price from the usual purchase price. Opportunities for dedication will be available. If you'd like to donate, please fill out this order form.

We have compiled some thoughtful ideas on how to create a prayerful sacred space in your own home this year.

Click HERE to view & download this document.

Sat, July 31 2021 22 Av 5781