There are many wonderful ways to get involved at Congregation Beth Israel! We have a large variety of programs happening at any given time. Our goal is for you to find a warm, inspiring, and welcoming atmosphere in which to nurture, expand, and explore your Jewish life. If you are interested in finding out more about any given program, please contact Shoshanna Pro-Richards, Membership Sr. Program Manager.
Mini Menches is a community of families with children aged 0-5 who come together to create lasting friendships, Jewish connection, and memories. They meet for bi-monthly Tot Shabbat services, have frequent meet-ups, and create a space for adults to learn together in Brunch and Learns. This program is open to the larger Portland- area Jewish community.
Go check out that restaurant you’ve been dying to try and leave the kids with us! Each month kids in grades K-5 will join us for Jewish learning, to play games, eat dinner (and dessert!) together while you get a night off. We end the fun with a family Havdalah. This event costs $15 per child and online registration for each one will open one month in advance; email Chelsea@bethisrael-pdx.org for more information. This program is only open to members of CBI.
Dor Chadash is CBI’s junior youth group for students in 6th – 7th grades. Through monthly events, participants build friendships and explore Judaism in fun and exciting ways. Dor Chadash does everything from social justice projects to laser tag! The goal of Dor Chadash is to build strong, safe, and fun connections between teens as they go through their B’nei Mitzvah and prepare for high school. All events center around building relationships, friendship, and comfort-levels with each other. This program is only open to members of CBI.
Portland Area Reform Temple Youth (PARTY) is Congregation Beth Israel’s youth group for 8th-12th graders. Participation gives high school students (and 8th graders!) a chance to make friends with other Jewish teenagers! These connections are what keep our teens engaged and give them a safe space and foundation to lean on as they go through their formative teen years. The youth group sponsors programs including social enrichment, worship, and social justice events. All programs are peer-lead by a group of self-selected high schoolers. PARTY holds monthly activates during and directly following Religious School. They welcome all teens! This program is open to the larger Portland- area Jewish community.
Congregation Beth Israel’s Religious school aims to touch the heart and soul of every student through the study of Judaism. The school creates an environment where students learn to be comfortable being Jewish. Younger students experience Judaism through their senses; music, art, cooking, and stories expose them to the richness of Jewish culture. Intermediate students search for answers to life’s questions through an exploration of Jewish values and feelings. Older students develop an awareness of our rich history and the modern Jewish community. They are encouraged to apply Jewish concepts to social action and personal decision making. We believe in incorporating Jewish learning into each child’s developmental stage, so as to form a foundation of ethical Jewish values and deep pride in our People’s way of life. Our Religious School is only open to our members. If you are interested in joining our community and enrolling in our Religious School, please reach out to Shoshanna to begin the conversation.
Jews Next Dor (JND) is CBI’s group dedicated to young adults in their 20s and 30s. JND creates opportunities for the young adults of Portland’s Jewish community to come together in a relaxed and open environment. JND offers both spiritual and social events, such as monthly Shabbat services and happy hours. This program is open to the larger Portland- area Jewish community.
The CBI Book Club meets at 9:00 A.M. on the first Sunday of each month from September to May. All are welcome for coffee and lively discussion with their fellow bibliophiles. This program is only open to members of CBI.
CBI’s Brotherhood has entertaining social events and provides crucial support to the community throughout the year. Congregation Beth Israel’s Brotherhood focuses on strengthening the ties between CBI members and their families to our Jewish heritage and traditions. They do this through activities such as summer hikes, Shabbat on the Plaza BBQs, High Holidays Ushering, and the perennial favorite- Latkes & Vodkas. This program is only open to members of CBI.
The mission of CBI’s sisterhood is to bring women together to support and benefit Congregation Beth Israel and the community by providing opportunities for friendship, service, spiritual growth, and learning. Examples of their activities include celebrating Havdalah, monthly social hours, and embarking on social action endeavors, such as Knit-a Mitzvah. This program is open to the larger Portland- area Jewish community.
CBI’s dedicated group of docents combine knowledge of local history, community stories, and architectural understanding to enrich the experience of visitors on a walking tour of our main sanctuary. This program is only open to members of CBI.
Kol Echad Choir (With One Voice) is a great chance for congregants to connect with Cantor Ida Rae Cahana and fellow congregants through music. This volunteer adult choir is open to all CBI members who are post-B’nei Mitzvah age. They experience singing, schmoozing, and soul-expanding time with Cantor Ida Rae Cahana and their synagogue family. Reading music or Hebrew is not required. Through our time together, participants come away with a deeper musical appreciation and understanding of prayers; as well as new friendships. This program is only open to members of CBI.
Members of the CBI community are invited to stop by CBI for a friendly drop-in game of Mah Jongg! It is a lovely opportunity to connect with friends, old and new. Mah Jongg meets on Friday mornings, starting at 10:00 A.M. This program is only open to members of CBI.
This group welcomes and greets for all religious services and CBI programming. This program is only open to members of CBI.
Adults aged 50 and over are invited to join this CBI group as they participate in social, cultural, and service-oriented activities. Ideas for interesting and fun activities are welcome! This program is open to the larger Portland- area Jewish community.
Wise aging is a chance for adults over the age of 50 to study and discuss the aging process with a group of their peers. They focus on how to turn toward opportunities that come with each year. This group requires meeting in four sessions and uses the book Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience, and Spirit by Rabbi Rachel Cowan and Dr. Linda Thal as a guiding source. This program is by invitation only and is only open to members of CBI. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Shoshanna Pro-Richards., Membership Sr. Program Manager. With thanks to JFCS and the Holzman Foundation for bringing this program to Portland.
CBI is committed to life-long learning! We invite adults of the community to participate in chances to grow and expand their knowledge together. Based on a theme of the year, Adult Education programs range from courses and guest speakers to round-table discussions or experiential learning opportunities. These programs are typically available to be watched online for those unable to join us in person. This program is open to the larger Portland- area Jewish community.
This program is an opportunity for adults looking to learn Hebrew and prepare for an adult B’nei Mitzvah experience. This program is a two-year commitment and is only open to members of CBI.
The CBI clergy and lay leaders invite members of the community to study Torah on Saturday mornings at 9:00 AM! This program is open to the larger Portland- area Jewish community.
Social Action Committee works with Rabbi Joseph to promote social justice and set priorities for CBI’s call to action through programming and volunteer opportunities. This group provides a myriad of programs that support causes through education, advocacy, direct service, and interfaith coalition building. This program is only open to members of CBI.
CBI works to give back to the community through frequent social action projects! Volunteers come together throughout the year to host and help deliver meals during Thanksgiving and Christmas, support refugees in our community, lobby in Salem, participate in our annual Mitzvah Day, and so much more! We have many ongoing projects in partnership with our neighbors at NW Tower; these include tutoring children from NW Tower Annex, as well as providing meals and parties for NW Tower residents. With a long list of activities, there are always opportunities to help our community. These projects are open to the larger Portland- area Jewish community.
Members of the sisterhood come together to show off their knitting skills for a good cause in monthly get-togethers! This group meets creates cold-weather gear for Lift Urban Portland’s Christmas dinner. This program is open to WRJ/ Beth Israel Sisterhood members.
This subcommittee comes together to act on behalf of the social justice values held at CBI. They connect and lobby with leaders on all levels of government to pursue the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam. This program is open to the larger Portland- area Jewish community.
This subcommittee organizes support for immigrant and refugee families on local, state, and national levels. They work to provide opportunities for direct service, and advocacy when necessary, to families who have relocated to Portland. This program is open to the larger Portland- area Jewish community.
CBI is a member of the Interfaith Alliance on Poverty. This group’s mission is to alleviate poverty in the Portland area. Key to this work is understanding root causes and systematic issues that are central to the perpetuating of poverty. Activities include educational programs, advocacy, and direct service. Meetings are held monthly and include educational components. This program is open to the larger Portland- area Jewish community. Information about the larger program can be found here.
This subcommittee develops and guides the vetting process for the allocation of Social Action funds to other organizations doing social justice and hunger relief work. This program is open to just the CBI community and is by nomination only. Those interested in finding out more about the nomination process should contact the Social Action Chair.