Welcome to Congregation B’nai Israel!
The only Conservative Egalitarian Synagogue in St.Catharines and the Niagara Region
Interested in becoming a member of CBI? Download a membership form here!
We are a diverse Jewish community which respects the wisdom of its traditions and embraces the family and children. With programs for youth, young adults, families and the elderly there is something for everyone!
To read about Rabbi Gad Romang click here
To read the Rabbi’s weekly message click here
Our Hebrew school students designed their own pottery menorahs in preparation for Hanukkah!
Annual Message from Rabbi Gad Romang
Dear CBI Members and Friends,
As I write this message, I think back to this time two years ago when I introduced myself to our community. Well, I have been your Rabbi now for these two years and have gotten to know you, learned from you and look forward to building upon and enhancing even more relationships over the coming year. I hope many of you have gotten to know me and have learned from me as well. I want to focus on some of the things that have become obvious to me since my arrival. It is clear to me that you really love this congregation and believe me, I love it too. Many of you regularly attend services, volunteer and commit time to CBI and donate generously to our financial needs. It motivates me to work with members who share such a strong commitment to this community. I enjoy working with you and I hope we can continue doing this over the next years. Our success is based on teamwork and this cohesive approach is our way to see CBI grow and sustain itself.
I get great pleasure in knowing that so many of you love to study and learn our traditions and writings. Attendance at Hebrew school, adult education classes and other offerings such as dvar torah in the synagogue, Haftorah trope class, yiddish club, bagel brunch club and dancing activities all make CBI the amazing place it truly is for you and me. We have so much educationally and otherwise that makes me very proud of this congregation.
So many of you have shared with me your sincere appreciation for what we have accomplished in the last two years and I am sure we can and will do even more in the future. Your presence and contributions to our Schul for Shabbat, festivals and Thursday morning services are outstanding. The Kavanah and deep prayer are part of our daily life. The participation and leadership provided by many of you as Gabaim, Torah readers and contributors to services makes me feel that we have a bright future. Yashar Koach to you.
My sincere wish is to further foster and grow our community within a framework of mutual respect, forward thinking and appreciation of what we can do by working together to make CBI a lasting and thriving congregation. I wish you and your family Shanah Tovah Umetukah, Shanat Shalom Ubriuth! A good and sweet year, a year with peace and good health!
Rabbi Gad Romang – Sept 2017
Annual Message from Mark Steinman, CBI President
It is my distinct pleasure to share with you some of the many achievements over the last 12 months at Congregation B’Nai Israel that have been made possible by the time, energy, commitment, and generosity of the CBI community.
Pulpit and Spiritual
- Attendance is high at the wonderful services led by our Senior Rabbi, Dr. Gad Romang and organized by our Gabbai, Dr. Fanny Dolansky and her team. Thursday morning minyans followed by breakfast also enjoy robust attendance
- Two amazing and spirited Kabbalat Shabbat dinners were held at Shul in the winter
- Rabbi Gad’s highly-rated bi-weekly Adult Education classes draw large numbers
- 104 new ETZ Chaim Chumashes donated by members were purchased and are in full use
- Through the generosity of the Wright family, a new Yahrzeit Board has just been installed in the sanctuary
Cemetery Policy re: Interfaith Burials
The Board of Governors of Congregation B’nai Israel, with the approval of Rabbi G. Romang, at its meeting of May 25, 2017, passed a resolution resulting in the following policy now in effect for B’nai Israel Cemetery regarding burial of interfaith couples.
- Interfaith couples may be buried side-by-side in our Cemetery in an area designated by an appropriate walkway.
- The Jewish spouse will receive our usual ritual services, including the services of our Rabbi who will officiate.
- The non-Jewish spouse will be buried next to his/her spouse, but will not receive ritual services except for a kosher casket. Only a Jewish layperson may officiate at this burial.
- A monument, either single or double stone, may be erected on these plots, on which only allowable symbols may be used.
- As is our practice, the wording on the monument must receive the advance approval of the Cemetery Committee.
- The Jack Miller Learning and Resource Centre, a state of the art Library and Meeting area, was designed, built, dedicated, and is being enjoyed. Dr. Mary Jane Miller donated the funds for this wonderful space in memory and honor of her husband
- A new outside security camera and monitoring system has been installed. We also now have bell chimes for both the front and back doors of the Newman Community Centre and Tomarin Room
- New state of the art televisions were installed in the Herzog and Jack Miller Centre
- The two downstairs bathrooms were renovated thanks to funding from the CBI Foundation
- Jess Bretzlaff of The Bagel Oven continues to grow her business out of CBI’s kitchen
- Thanks to Diana Silver for managing the Office.
- Our superintendent Chris Duller continues to keep all parts of our Building in order. With respect to security, hired guards assist Chris when large crowds are expected.
- Ten new members have been welcomed over the last fiscal year, many of whom have become very active in CBI’s activities.
- We mourn the loss of six members. May their memories be a blessing.
Development (aka Fundraising)
- A well- attended Klezmer concert at the Performing Arts Centre in May raised significant funds for CBI’s operations
- With the leadership of Dr. Howard Slepkov and the volunteerism of so many members, CBI hosted an Open House in May as part of the Niagara Folk Arts Festival. Over 400 people attended and many areas of the 190 Church Street building were open to the public for an amazing evening of community.
- Long-time members Vicky and Harvey Wright generously donated and led an Appeal campaign to renovate various parts of the Auditorium. This work will begin in mid-October, 2017. Over 30 donors donated as Friends in Kind to this Appeal and we expect to add more donors before the renovations commence. Todah Rabah!
Appreciation also to our Vice-President Rosalie Samosh, to our Board of Governors, to our Committee Chairs, and to our Committee members who continue to perform their mandates with care and flair and make CBI a wonderful place to call home.
This was our year.
I wish you all a safe, healthy, and lovely summer.
Mark – June 2017