We have been members of Congregation B’nai Israel for close to 20 years and joined because we loved the synagogue, the preschool, the teachers, and many other families that were members. But, the reason we have stayed for so long is because of the clergy! They have become an instrumental part of our lives. We don’t have a happy or sad occasion without the clergy being there to support us. I can’t imagine our family without them in our lives. They have even become important to our extended family, who live locally or far away. My husband Jonathan often says that “our rabbis are the richest people he knows because of their true desire to give for the good of other people, especially their congregants. They work tirelessly to make sure that all CBI families have access to them and to be there for each of us. That is a daunting task, but they do it with pleasure and grace. There is not another synagogue that has 2 better rabbis. Not just because they are warm, caring, intellectual, learned and charismatic, but they offer every congregant what they would want. We feel privileged and honored to be able to call Rabbi Silvers and Rabbi Bloch “our” Rabbis!
-Nel & Jonathan Bloom, Members
The on-going gift of your website has once again born fruit. I have used your leyning to help a young man prepare for his Bar Mitzvah - a joyous event, after a year’s learning together, which culminated yesterday. And I will be using it to prepare for the 50th anniversary of my own Bar Mitzvah, coming in a few weeks. Thank you! I hope you will be able to use this bit of tzedakah to support your work and the work of your shul. And I hope this reminder of your impact will make you happy, and bring you an added measure of vision and of strength.
I am writing to share how proud I am of CBI. My heart swelled with pride as my relatives and friends got a sense of what we have here, during my Grandson’s Bar Mitzvah. Rabbi Silvers, the rest of the Clergy, the Congregation’s President, and all the singers and musicians did a magnificent job at the Friday night service! I have gotten tremendous positive feedback from all of our guests about what a beautiful and unique experience it was. My Grandson’s feeling for Judaism in due, in large part, to what he has experienced at CBI. Thank you for all your contributions to his development. It is very meaningful to me.
-Sandy Hendrick, Member
Congregation B’nai Israel’s music program is second to none. It embodies everything that is great about our synagogue, Judaism, and the human spirit. Cantor Stephanie Shore has cultivated our musical and drama talents for more than 25 years. Her passion for music and Judaism has been a driving force for our children, teenagers, and adults of all ages. A testament to our success is that we are the largest multi-generational chavurah at CBI. We share our love for music with each other, and especially with the Congregation. It is our greatest joy as individuals and as a group to share our love for music and to uplift and comfort everyone’s spirits during our musical Shabbats and other events. We are all truly blessed to be part of something so magical.
-Howie Newmark, Member
“If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph: THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD, WAS MUSIC”
Few words have resonated with me so well. When I joined Congregation B’nai Israel, I didn’t know my relationship to God would be so connected to music. As a member of the Cantor’s Chantors, I have learned various tunes to traditional prayers and sang joyfully during Shabbat services. I find myself singing prayers any time of day or night and any day of the week because the music plays in my head time and again. Music runs through our Congregation from our Junior Choir to our adult Cantor’s Chantors. In addition to the glorious sounds of vocals, our temple is rife with talent as our members participate in our B’nai’s Big Beat Band and the teens demonstrate their guitar licks and drum prowess in the Youth Band. The Cantor is inspiring as she leads us in song each Shabbat and at rehearsals, and we are all blessed to share in the love of music; that which brings us together. CBI is both a musical and magical place for worship.
-Robin Koota, Member
I just wanted to say "thank you" for another successful year at SLJ! Both of my daughters grew in so many ways through your programs. I especially appreciate the opportunity that you gave to my 8th grader to learn through responsibility and trust. The Madrikhim program is an extraordinary program for her to develop confidence and responsibility. She also LOVED the 2nd retreat in the Spring!!!!!!
-Julia Hanapole, Member
Our family has been members at CBI for more than 13 years. Our children have gone to the preschool and have been at the SLJ from Kindergarten through Confirmation. Both of our son’s were rock stars at their Bar Mitzvah because of all they learned from their teachers, tutor, and clergy. Kim Beame and her staff are always available to us to help with anything and have been so supportive over the years. Both of my boys are in Youth Group and my older son is on the BISY Board. They love it! SLJ and CBI have been and will continue to be a special place for us. It’s where our children learned to embrace Judaism!
-Bonnie Shimel, Member
My family has been members of CBI for almost 15 years. My children started in preschool and are now finishing 12th and 10th grade. Both of my sons continued on after Confirmation and currently are President and Vice President of BISY. We have had amazing experiences with CBI throughout every stage of life. SLJ and the temple youth groups have given my sons such strong foundations and a love of Judaism. It just gets better every day!
-Amy Sue Harwood, Member
There is nothing like CBI’s Hebrew school. The leaders, teachers, and student assistants have the highest professional standards. They use age-appropriate games, events, dancing, food, art, and guest speakers to educate. The result is amazing interactive teaching and events where Jewish values and traditions are brought to life in a really fun and meaningful way. SLJ has exceeded our objectives of fostering a deep understanding and love of Judaism. It has become a second home to our children…and it has ignited and shaped my children’s confidence, leadership skills, and warm community-oriented character.
-Danielle Ross, Non-Member
Thank you CBI for the past 3 wonderful years. My daughter Mia has had such an amazing experience at SLJ. The teachers and staff have always been exceptional-caring, concerned, and devoted are the words that I would use to describe the many influences that Mia has come in contact with at the school. I would be remiss if I did not mention the truly wonderful Kim Beame. Kim, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your time and kindness that you have consistently shown my family. Your knowledge and ability to lend an ear are greatly appreciated. We look so forward to next 3 years and beyond with our SLJ family.
-Elyssa Antonacci, Member
Dear Miss Mindy-Just a quick thank you from me and Mer for your love and dedication to our children. Your hard work and love transforms our kids each year and makes them bigger, better, smarter. I spent a few quality hours with Ben at the zoo the other day and could not believe how educated he has become. So smart, so logical, so confident, filled with a wealth of information… all in just one school year. I know you played a part in all this. A part of me is sad the year with you is over, but maybe the fun will continue in Hebrew School.
Thank you again...your hard work is appreciated and never forgotten!!!!
-Ziv Alcalay, Member
The preschool graduation ceremony was perhaps the most moving, meaningful, and beautiful one I have ever seen. Its message, music, and the joy each child radiated made it remarkable. I was filled with such a sense of hope for the future of Judaism, hope that this generation of children will be inspired to “become the change” they wish to see, hope that they will continue to embrace diversity and the importance of community. I found myself looking at all of these amazing children and imagining what their tomorrows will bring. Spirits soared listening to the amazing talents of Cantor Shore and Miss Susan. I used every tissue! The words of Rabbi Silvers and Rabbi Bloch will be remembered. And finally, Linda, thank you for all you have done over the years-for taking such an interest in our grandchildren, for having such a dedicated staff of professionals teach and guide them. They both love school, they love their teachers, and they love to learn! I wish you the best always and look forward to many more celebrations!
-Anita & Jay Meinbach, Grandparents
We came to CBI one year ago due to the advice of our dear friend who highly recommended the school. Our son was developmentally behind for his age when entering the Pre-K program at CBI due to an undiagnosed ear condition. What a difference one year makes! Now he is getting ready to graduate from the Pre-K program and after spending one year at CBI, he has caught up developmentally and his confidence has skyrocketed. He loves school, loves to be challenged, and even talks about how much he loves his teachers on the weekends. I often think to myself how he would have benefited if we found the school earlier. We feel so blessed to have found such a great school and to be part of such an amazing, nurturing, and warm community. It really does take a village to raise a child and everyone from the Security team, to Administration, to the Teachers feels like family to us and have changed my son’s life permanently.
-Ali Shahriari, MD & Valerie Shahriari, JD, RN
New to the school for our daughter’s pre-k year, we were nervous to make a change but were met warmly and with support by the wonderful administrative staff and have had every expectation exceeded by her loving, energetic, goes-the-extra-mile-teacher, Miss Amanda. My daughter loves school and I love her teacher’s commitment to making this very important year enriching and rewarding. Miss Amanda utilizes creative educational songs, projects and teaching methods and has created a culture of respect, kindness and confidence in her classroom. From reading and writing to advanced math skills- our daughter is learning and absorbing so much. Most importantly, feels so great doing it.
-Jennifer & Michael Weinstein
NCECE is literally the best place on earth. Our children have learned so much academically and have grown so much socially and emotionally here. The amazing curriculum molds children into wonderful, thriving young boys and girls that are more than prepared when their time at NCECE is finished. My family has made some of our closest friends at NCECE, made memories that will last forever here, and holds NCECE forever in our hearts.
-Rachel & David Greenberg, Members