Shalom! I want to welcome you to Congregation B'nai Israel.
As you will soon learn, there are so many activities going on that are fun and inspiring. For those who are members here, CBI is a haven – or maybe I should say it is a little like "heaven.” Heaven?
There is a story of a man who is conflicted in his belief about heaven and hell. One night, in a dream, one of God's angels visits him and tells him that he will show him these places. The angel takes the man by the hand and walks down the hall to tall heavy wooden doors which enter into a large hall. As the doors open, the man sees a long banquet table filled with every delicacy you could imagine. The best cuts of meat, the most delicious fruits, and five gallon containers of every flavor of ice cream you can imagine. Sitting around the table are hundreds of thin, hungry people with sad faces. What also was unusual about these people was that they did not have hands. Instead, at the end of one arm was attached a huge fork and to the other arm a huge knife. Unfortunately, even though there was so much food right in front of them, they could not get the food into their mouths. The angel turned to the man and said, "This is hell.”
The man pleaded "Please show me heaven!” The angel took the man and walked down the hall to heavy wooden doors that entered into another large hall. Again there was a long banquet table filled with every delicacy you could imagine. Sitting around the table were hundreds of people who looked healthy and were smiling and laughing as they partook of the bounty before them. These people too did not have hands, but had large utensils attached to the end of their long arms. But in this hall, the people picked up the food and fed it to the person sitting at the table across from them. The man glanced at the angel with an understanding look that said, "This is heaven.”
What makes Congregation B'nai Israel special is our people. We are a community where people reach out to each other. Young and old walk through our doors and find people who are happy. We welcome each other with smiles and hugs and when you come to temple, you feel like you are home with family. Shabbat services are warm and inviting. Our religious school is vibrant and joyful. So when we leave here, we walk out feeling satisfied and peaceful.
I hope you will visit us. Come to our religious services and experience their beauty. Get to know me and the other members of the professional staff. Meet the members of our congregation. I know that you will find us welcoming and our services meaningful.
I look forward to meeting you. Please call me or email me with any questions you may have about Congregation B'nai Israel's special traditions and the many wonderful activities we offer. I also hope you will become a member of the CBI family. I know you will find here, as we do, a great place for seeking God, studying Torah, and nurturing your Jewish soul.