We invite you to join us. - Congregation Beth Israel
What do we do at Beth Israel?
We Pray. We Learn. We Repair. We Connect.
At every age, and throughout our lives.
All by the teachings of the Torah.
We invite you to join us.
Congregation Beth Israel
A progressive and welcoming approach to Judaism.
“...through prayer, I can sense my inner strength,
my inner purpose,
my inner joy,
my capacity to love...”
from our prayerbook, Mishkan T’Filah
Services are held
every Friday night
morning. We hold
outside in our
the summer (left).
adults and brings
in a packed
right, the cast of
our 2012 play,
of the Desert”
Our worship services are as diverse as our
congregants, and music is an integral part.
Our High Holy Day Services include a traditional Reform service,
an alternative, contemporary service, and a children’s service.
Our Adult Choir sings at some of our Shabbat Services and
performs many musical programs throughout the year.
Our Klezmer Band, A Touch of Klez,
entertains us regularly.
We often use contemporary music
with electric guitars and drums in
our Shabbat services.
“study leads to all the
Adapted from Mishnah Peah 1:1
our Early Care
children 6 weeks
to 5 years old.
regularly with our
clergy to learn
about Jewish values
and celebrate the
Our Adult Learning Programs strive to provide the knowledge and
means to explore and celebrate Judaism. We have a variety of ongoing
learning programs, including weekly Torah Study, Rabbi’s Forum, and
Lunch and Learn. We have hosted scholars and authors who spoke on
anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, issues facing Israel, as well as hosting
interactive, hands-on learning, such as creating our own “Coats of
Many Colors” (above).
Our Community Learning Center
We learn and study
individually and together in
our Ellen Jeanne Goldfarb
Community Learning Center.
Religious school education begins at the
preschool level and continues through
high school. Our program is held
on Sunday mornings, with
lots of interactive learning.
Hebrew classes for grades 3
through 6 are held during
the week at CBI and at the
Farmington Public Library.
Arts, Growth &
Our seniors meet each week
to discuss current events, share
lunch, and engage in a musical
or educational program. Cantor
Siskin (second from right) is
Children of all
Our Reform community has come a long way
since 1843, when like-minded German Jews officially
founded our congregation. Now the only thing
that is similar about us is our commitment to the
exploration and celebration of Judaism.
We are a home for people of all ages, for personal exploration, spiritual life,
and engagement in the world. We give
our children a true gift—for together, as
a community, we teach them values and
ethics that will guide them their entire lives.
We believe everyone has something to offer
and that there is a place for each of us. We
are a place where angels thrive.
be what they alone
can be: deeply rooted
Jewish responses to the
human condition in our
time…”—Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman
We provide the sacred space and you
provide your Jewish self!
We go out into the
needed. Here, teens fix
bicycles at the Village for
Families and Children.
Throughout the year, we reach out to our congregants who are alone or in
personal transition. We write notes, make phone calls, deliver meals, present a
gift, or do other simple acts that bestow the welcome gift of community.
We also work outside of Beth Israel with organizations such as Foodshare,
Covenant to Care for Children, and the Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen.
—Rabbi Michael Pincus
We come from all walks of life, with different
cultural and religious heritages. Beth Israel is a
family-friendly congregation and a spiritual home for
many interfaith couples, single adults, and the LGBT
(lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community.
We prepare meals for soup kitchens.
We reach out to congregants who are in a personal
transition in their lives, and to our older population
who are not able to get to the building often.
“We are a community where members are
empowered to be each other’s angels.”
Meet us on Sunday mornings
for a cup of coffee!
Our Young Families
Group meets every
Please feel welcome to contact them!
Rabbi Michael Pincus
Rabbi Dena Shaffer
Beth Israel in 2004
as its Assistant Rabbi
and assumed the
responsibilities of Senior
Rabbi in 2011. Inspired
to become a rabbi because of his love
of Jewish stories and music, and the
power of Judaism to guide his life, he is
committed to helping create a warm and
welcoming community for all where they
can find opportunities for spiritual growth
and engagement with the world.
is a graduate of the
Hebrew Union College in
Cincinnati, Ohio, where
she was ordained in
2010. She hopes to bring
her passion for Jewish
life to her new position at Beth Israel.
Rabbi Shaffer believes Judaism can be
a holistic experience that can influence
and lend meaning to all aspects of
our lives. She will strive to help both
individuals and the congregation find
relevance and vitality in Judaism.
Cantor Pamela Siskin became an invested cantor in 1989 and joined
our community in 1998. She is also the synagogue’s Director of Lifelong
Learning. Cantor Siskin believes that music and education are paths
that lead to the mysteries beyond ourselves. When we create and learn
together, we embrace the notion of a holy community serving our
heritage, our history, our culture, and our spirit.
Contact information: [email protected]; 860-233-8215 x234.
Would you like more information?
Contact Jeffrey Winnick (left), the President of
our Congregation, [email protected], or
Toni Robinson (right), Temple Administrator,
[email protected], 860-233-8215 x225.
They’d love to hear from you!
Congregation Beth Israel
Rabbi Michael Pincus • Rabbi Dena Shaffer • Cantor Pamela Siskin
Harold Silver, Rabbi Emeritus • Stephen Fuchs, Rabbi Emeritus
Jeffrey Winnick, President
701 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06119 (860) 233-8215
[email protected] • www.cbict.org
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