Congregation B’nai Israel strives to ensure that Jewish learning is constantly occurring because we know, as Jews, that learning is essential to the maintenance of Jewish values, identity and continuity. Our goal is to create a community where people can share in experiences of Jewish learning and become energized by it.
We provide opportunities for individuals and families to develop a spiritual, educational and social connection to Jewish life and to the Congregation, as well as to integrate Judaism into people’s daily lives.
What an honor to have hosted Special Guest Speaker Anat Hoffman — “Between the Stones and the Hard Place: Moving Pluralism to the Top of the Israeli Agenda” in December.
Israeli activist, passionate voice for Religious Pluralism and Human Rights in Israel, she serves as Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC). She is the director and founding member of Neshot HaKotel, also known as Women of the Wall. In 2013, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz named her “Person of the Year” and The Jerusalem Post listed her fifth, among its list of 50 Most Influential Jews, for forcefully and successfully bringing the issue of women’s rights at the Kotel to the “forefront of the consciousness of world Jewry”. This program will take place at B’nai Israel and with the support of an anonymous gift and is co-sponsored by Temple Israel of Westport and the FJP – Federation of Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County.
A Shabbat to Save the World
Joachim Prinz: I Will Not Be Silent
Friday, January 12
5:30 p.m. Oneg Shabbat
6:00 p.m. Kabbalat Shabbat Services
7:15 p.m. Dinner (RSVP, see below)
8:15 p.m. Film and Conversation
Join us the Friday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Weekend for Shabbat services, dinner and a film. In Berlin in the 1930’s, Joachim Prinz and he set out to restore the self-esteem of the German Jews. Knowing the Nazis were monitoring his every word, and despite repeated arrests, Prinz continued to preach about the value of Judaism. He saved many lives by encouraging Jews to emigrate from Germany. Expelled from Germany himself in 1937, he arrived in the United States, the land where democracy had supposedly triumphed over bigotry and hatred. Here, he witnessed racism against African Americans and realized the American ideal was not a reality.
As a congregational rabbi in Newark, NJ and later as President of the American Jewish Congress, Prinz became a leader of the civil rights movement. Prinz worked to organize the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, declaring, “bigotry and hatred are not the most urgent problem. The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence.” Moments later, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech.
Please reserve your place for dinner no later than Tuesday, January 9, by contacting Chris Rocha at 203-336-1858 or Chris@cbibpt.org.
Jewish Prayer 101 – for Believers, Non- Believers and Those-Who-Just-Aren’t-Quite-Sure
Mondays January 22, 29, February 5, 26 and March 5 at 7:00 p.m.
Rabbi James Prosnit takes a deep dive into the structure and meaning of our liturgy. Why we pray, what we pray, when we pray it.