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Membership

Our congregation serves as the Jewish home of the Napa Valley. As a dynamic and inclusive community, we embrace modernity, yet are rooted in tradition. We are growing in numbers, as well as in spirit, and seek to affirm the most positive values of Judaism: respect, compassion, justice and the sanctity of life. We uplift our unique stories.

We invite you to join us for an education program, a service, a cultural celebration or a community forum. All are welcome at CBS. We urge you to enter our doors and experience our progressive and contemporary Jewish community. In community, we can shape vibrant and sacred lives that will sustain and enrich each of us.

Why Should You Join the CBS Congregation?

Perhaps you’ve been thinking about joining a synagogue. Maybe you’ve just been waiting for the right time to actually do it:

  • when you are ready to find a community
  • when you get married
  • when you have children
  • when you need a rabbi
  • when you can more easily afford it

As you read on, we hope you’ll see that it’s always the right time to belong. That’s what this is all about: your Jewish connection! The synagogue—one of Judaism’s most ancient institutions—continues to provide for the spiritual, communal and educational needs of every generation of Jews.

Each synagogue is unique, with its own distinct character and culture. But all synagogues have one fundamental thing in common: they are the centers for Jewish living in your community.

A synagogue is a special place because it nurtures three things that Jews have sought for themselves and their families, three things that infuse life with a sense of meaning and fulfillment: community, learning and spirituality.

 

Myths About Joining a Synagogue

Myth #1: There’s no place for me… I’m not even sure I believe in God.
There have always been differences of opinion regarding belief and practice in our tradition. The meaning of the word Israel is to “struggle with God.” The synagogue provides a safe, supportive atmosphere in which to engage in that struggle and explore one’s spiritual needs. Most of all, synagogue life provides a strong community to help you sustain your connection to Judaism and pass the torch of the Torah to future generations.

Myth #2: Synagogues are only for families, not for singles like me.
It is true that synagogues have many family oriented programs, but that does not mean that they are only for families. Aside from youth programs and religious schools, many synagogues have women’s groups, adult education seminars, leadership opportunities, social justice programs and, of course, worship experiences. The synagogue’s task is to enhance your connection with other Jews and your personal search for meaning.

Myth #3: Why should I join now? My child is not yet ready for religious school.
It is never too soon to be a part of the Jewish community. While we often think that synagogues are around to “teach Judaism” to our children, there is so much more. Synagogues provide ongoing opportunities to study, experience and enjoy being connected to a Jewish community. As for children, most synagogues offer preschool programs as an important component in children’s development. The synagogue provides a safe, nurturing place to help your child develop key skills, as well as to create an enriching Jewish atmosphere for him and for you!

Myth #4: It costs a fortune to join a synagogue!
Reform synagogues are committed to every Jew who desires to be part of a congregation. A Jewish sage once said that “the gates of prayer are always open.” Reform synagogues have promised to keep their gates open and inclusive to all. Hand in hand with this idea follows another: that “all Jews are responsible for one another.” That is why synagogue leaders set up a fair dues structure—so that the vital ongoing services and programs continue to serve the entire community.

Reform Judaism and You

A Bohemian rabbi, Isaac Mayer Wise, introduced Reform Judaism to the United States in 1846. He brought with him a new Jewish orientation emerging in Central and Western Europe to Reform Judaism—that is, to introduce modifications to make Judaism relevant and meaningful in an emerging modern society. There were many shifts in thought and practice and even changes in the classical prayer book (siddur). The early Reformers were the Jewish theological innovators of their generation.

Today, this proud tradition continues! The Reform movement and its synagogues are the spiritual and communal homes for the largest number of Jews in North America. Some of its guiding principles include:

  • immersion in study (Torah), prayer (avodah) and the performance of good deeds (gemilut chasadim);
  • personal responsibility for religious choices based upon knowledge and commitment;
  • a commitment to tikkun olam—the repair of the world in partnership with God—through acts of social justice;
  • full equality of women and men in all aspects of synagogue leadership and religious life (the Reform movement ordained the first woman rabbi in 1972);
  • welcoming all who wish to celebrate Jewish life—singles, families, gay/lesbian Jews, interfaith couples, retirees and young adults; and
  • developing and maintaining close links with the State of Israel and its citizens.

For more information: https://reformjudaism.org/why-join-reform-congregation

 

Complete your Membership commitment today!

Membership Forms 2019_5780

Fri, February 21 2020 26 Shevat 5780