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Who We Are

Over 100 years ago, a group of Jews who settled in Northampton founded Congregation B’nai Israel. Their stated purpose is still contained in our By-Laws:

The objectives of this Congregation shall be to maintain a synagogue, religious school, a cemetery, and such additional educational, religious, social, and recreational activities as will tend to strengthen Jewish life.

It is a simple, prosaic mission statement, with profound implications. Each generation following the founders has strived to strengthen Jewish life in Northampton while also recognizing that we live in and are affected by events and societal changes in the larger world. Maintaining our synagogue and our educational and social programs has meant continually adapting to the changing needs and desires of our congregation, while holding fast to the Jewish ideals and values that have sustained our people for thousands of years.

Our CBI Community Vision


* Offering opportunities to engage together in many and varied opportunities to socialize, pray, and learn as part of a kehila kedosha (holy community).
* Conveying a feeling of homecoming and a sense of being held, surrounded, and supported during times of joy and times of sorrow.
* Welcoming all to experience lifecycle events and Jewish holidays as a community.
* Reaching out to our community, the State of Israel, and Jews around the world.


* Encouraging joy for, and knowledge of, the riches of Jewish culture, prayer, learning, and Hebrew.
* Fostering each member’s deep and rich experience of prayer and spirituality.


* Embracing all who are interested in creating a Jewish life for themselves and their families by fostering an atmosphere of joyful Jewish observance and culture.
* Inviting diversity of practice, tradition, and spiritual path.


* Supporting the development and implementation of curricula and learning models that spark or rekindle a lifelong passion for Jewish learning.
* Integrating the Jewish learning experience with all other facets of this vision.


* Encouraging and empowering congregants to become involved in all aspects of synagogue life from participation in ritual, to volunteering, to leading.


* We envision a common future as the heart of the Northampton Jewish community, brimming with joyful spirituality and meaningful Jewish learning.  We will continue to explore how best, as American Jews, to cherish the future of Israel and to create meaningful ways for our members to fulfill the responsibilities of tikkun olam.

Our CBI Community Values

Ours is a community that champions:
* A common future rooted in Jewish education, culture, text, values, and history;
* Diversity of practice, tradition, and spiritual path; and
* Reverence for Torah, for each other, for our community, for all people, and for our planet.

Our CBI Leadership Vision

Our synagogue leadership prioritizes:
* Efficient, mission-oriented leadership guided by love and deep respect for the institution and its individual congregants and employees;
* Financial security based on prudent stewardship of our resources and active fundraising;
* Enthusiastic and well-organized volunteerism;
* Unparalleled learning opportunities for children and adults; and
* Clear encouragement and communication of ways to support the synagogue through service or other forms of giving.








Mon, May 27 2024 19 Iyyar 5784