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Congregation B'nai Israel
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Kindness makes a better place - (http://gplnk.us/2jQjFDR)

“Kindness makes a better place,” is on the cover of the February edition of the Shelanu. Almost all the articles in this month’s magazine are centered around social justice and doing good deeds, which is intentional.

Lori Sklar Mitvah Day is February 12 and we want to inspire everyone to come out and participate. A lot of press attention has been given to doing “random acts of kindness” in recent years. We take this idea a step further by encouraging people to do intentional acts of kindness. We make the process easy to participate. For the most part, all you have to do is show up and we will show you how to put your skills to work!

“No act of kindness is ever wasted.” – Aesop

Two self-centered New Yorkers developed a 12-step program for increasing their kindness. What they found in their experiment was that people aren’t really unkind, just unobservant.

They carried out their program for twelve months and they feel it made them better people.
Rabbi Bloch writes a wonderful article about how one person really can make a difference. Read her telling of the story of the starfish and how she relates it to making a difference locally, in Israel, and all across the world.

#Kindness #Randomactsofkindess #socialjustice #BocaRaton

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Volunteer in the gift shop in Boca Raton! - (http://gplnk.co/2hA49eo)

CBI has yet another opportunity for service. We continually welcome those who want to volunteer at the Gift Shop. The proceeds go to support Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) at Congregation B’nai Israel. The goals of the group are to improve Jewish learning and living, advance social justice through advocacy and action along with funding the education of the Clergy.

We also encourage you to shop in our gift shop that carries a variety of items. Not only do we carry a wide variety of Judaica, as well as gifts for all occasions. We carry merchandise from Israel, American Jewish artists, and famous designers. You might also find a gift for your special person for Valentine’s Day among our large variety of special gifts. We also carry everything you need from Shabbat to Passover and everything in between. We have baby gifts, beautiful mezuzot, and stunning jewelry for all ages.

If you are interested in making a monthly commitment and getting trained to volunteer in the shop, please contact Sue Levine or (561) 638-5450. Supporting our gift shop supports the overall mission of Congregation B’nai Israel. The next time you want something that is related to who you are as a person of Jewish faith, please consider our gift shop!

#BocaRaton #giftshop #volunteer #volunteeropportunity
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Religion is good for mental health - (http://gplnk.co/2hA49eo)

In a world where mental illness has become more mainstream, we seem to have become less tolerant and less patient. However, all of us have suffered from anxiety or depression, induced from the environment around us. Others suffer from mental illnesses as a result of chemical imbalances.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), one in five adult Americans have a diagnosable mental disorder. While not disabling, 1 in 25 have a serious functional impairment. The rate among children is about twenty percent, more than double the rate of diabetes and asthma combined.

Articles in www.jpsych.com/ tend to indicate the non-Orthodox Jewish people suffer less from religious OCD. Non-Orthodox Jewish people are more likely to seek and recommend treatment to others for psychological problems; there is less of a social taboo against admitting and seeking help for problems.

This makes sense. We're an inclusive community, and having a God and support network to turn to during times of trouble is good for mental health.

If you need a support system, come to our Friday Shabbat!

#mentalhealth #BocaRaton #Shabbat #TGIF
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We are family - (http://gplnk.co/2lbKDox)

In 1979, the Rhythm and Blues group “Sister Sledge” released the song “We Are Family”. In the song, the “family” is not necessarily a traditional family, yet there is ample family love for everyone in the group.

Everyone is encouraged to sing as an affirmation of their family bonds. The song became number one on the R&B charts and number two on the pop charts. The writers based the lyrics of the song on how the four singers in “Sister Sledge” interacted with one another.

At Congregation B’nai Israel in Boca Raton, we are family. We are a musical family that encourages people of all ages to sing in new and creative ways. We are an inclusive family, welcoming people of all walks of life and folks that are non-traditional family types. We are a serving family, helping those in our community who struggle to eat and those who have critical financial hardships. We are a connected family, inviting each other into our personal lives as we grow in faith, service, and study of the Torah.

If you have something missing in your family, consider being a part of ours. We can be a place for you where you grow with God and with people who focus on love.

#BocaRaton #family #congregation #growth
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Converting to Judaism - (http://gplnk.co/2lM50Mb)

Conversion to Judaism in Boca Raton doesn’t happen at one worship service or over any short period of time. One of the misgivings about Judaism is that we are a monolithic religion. In reality, the practice of the Jewish faith varies from Rabbi to Rabbi and from synagogue to synagogue.

The background of the person coming to Judaism is also a factor. For most Reform Jewish congregations, the principle of inclusion is crucial. This makes us different from many other religious groups. We want Judaism to grow with people who are committed to study and a life that reflects our values. Reform Jewish congregation strive to include those who have non-Jewish partners. Conversion under these circumstances makes sense for the couple and for the congregation.

At Congregation B’nai Israel, we welcome all who seek a significant religious commitment. A discussion with our Rabbis is certainly appropriate prior to a program of study. You may have already had an exposure to Life Events at our congregation or other exposure through friends or family. You will find that we are inclusive, fun and loving and will support you in your journey to become part of the Jewish faith.

#BocaRaton #Judaism #Jewish #ReformJudaism #Conversion

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Volunteer in the gift shop in Boca Raton! - (http://gplnk.co/2hA49eo)

CBI has yet another opportunity for service. We continually welcome those who want to volunteer at the Gift Shop. The proceeds go to support Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) at Congregation B’nai Israel. The goals of the group are to improve Jewish learning and living, advance social justice through advocacy and action along with funding the education of the Clergy.

We also encourage you to shop in our gift shop that carries a variety of items. Not only do we carry a wide variety of Judaica, as well as gifts for all occasions. We carry merchandise from Israel, American Jewish artists, and famous designers. You might also find a gift for your special person for Valentine’s Day among our large variety of special gifts. We also carry everything you need from Shabbat to Passover and everything in between. We have baby gifts, beautiful mezuzot, and stunning jewelry for all ages.

If you are interested in making a monthly commitment and getting trained to volunteer in the shop, please contact Sue Levine or (561) 638-5450. Supporting our gift shop supports the overall mission of Congregation B’nai Israel. The next time you want something that is related to who you are as a person of Jewish faith, please consider our gift shop!

#BocaRaton #giftshop #volunteer #volunteeropportunity
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Marriage in Boca Raton - (http://gplus.ly/2kowVwr)

In the spring edition of +The Knot (promoted on the Shelanu magazine), the publishers have put together nearly 500 pages of wedding couture and honeymoon destinations. Congregation B'nai Israel is stunning, too, and would be a wonderful location for your wedding day in Boca Raton.

What might be of even more help to a potential bride and groom is the online version of The Knot. The website offers some very practical ways to plan, organize and execute a wedding. There is a free registry where potential couples can choose from multiple retailers and then let all of their friends and relatives know what they need/would like, whether or not they are a guest at the upcoming wedding. A unique feature has the website donate to charity for each item that is purchased. A Guest List Manager is also part of this website that allows the couple to manage and organize information, including RSVP’s, gifts and guest lists. There is a comprehensive checklist that is kind of like Weddings for Dummies that covers all the basic areas of planning and leaves ‘no stone unturned’.

Congregation B'nai Israel in Boca Raton is a beautiful and welcoming place to celebrate your wedding day. We'd be glad to help you with your wedding plans, integrating the unique customs and traditions of Judaism.

For more information, check out our site here: http://gplus.ly/2kowVwr

#BocaRaton #wedding #marriage #TheKnot 
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Shabbat - (http://gplus.ly/2koH4sT)

The Shabbat is one of the best known and least understood of all Jewish observances. People who do not generally observe the Shabbat often think that it is a time marked by stifling restrictions. But to those who observe Shabbat, it is a day of great joy eagerly awaited throughout the week, a time when we can set aside all of our weekday concerns and devote ourselves to higher pursuits.

While prayer is an important part of Shabbat, it is certainly what defines the event. Shabbat is also a time for growth and spiritual reflection. The lack of “work” is designed to reduce the interference. At CBI, we have a commitment to making all services unique and creative, especially our Shabbat services. Over the years, we have done a variety of creative things during our services but probably none more creative than this coming Friday when we will have a “Big Band” Shabbat. Our Shabbat Shira will feature an authentic Big Band! Whoever heard Hebrew prayers performed to your favorite Big Band melodies? It may be a first for a Shabbat but it is one of the ways that we continue to make the world of Jewish worship larger.

We had a beautiful Shabbat Shira service on Friday, February 10th, and we'll have a Woodstock Shabbat on Friday, March 31st!

#BocaRaton #Shabbat #ReformJudaism #Jewish #Judaism

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Women of Reform Judaism - (http://gplus.ly/2kMQLTU)

In the novels of “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”, four girls wear one pair of pants (at different times) that fit them perfectly even though they are all different shapes and sizes. The sisterhood at CBI is similar to this theme. While each of them are very different in their own unique lives, the aims of “Women of Reform Judaism” (WJR) fit them all perfectly.

The aims speak to them as Jewish women. They strive to promote a variety of important goals. Among their aims are to improve Jewish learning and living, advance social justice through advocacy and action, and fund the education of our Clergy by making donations to the YES Fund and strengthen the commitment to Reform Judaism within CBI. They inspire spirituality, educate families, support children, and sustain the religious school and early childhood programs.

Their “sisterhood” is also one of social connection and social support. They count on one another not only to participate in the advocacy and action issues, but they count on one another for emotional and friendship support, like biological sisters often do.

To find out more about WJR and the specific social justice issues that they support visit: http://gplus.ly/2kMQLTU

#BocaRaton #Sisterhood #ReformJudaism #Judaism #Jewish
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Union for Reform Judaism - (http://gplus.ly/2hh5Pui)

"Our Judaism is for everyone. It is egalitarian, intellectually rigorous, joyful, spiritual, pluralistic, and constantly evolving. It is soul-elevating spiritual practice, life-altering Torah study, courageous practice of tikkun olam, loving care for our community, especially the most vulnerable — that is what we are."  — Rabbi Rick Jacobs, URJ President

Formerly known as the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, The Union of Reform Judaism is an association of the more than 900 Reform and Liberal congregations of the U.S. and Canada, representing some 1.5 million Jews, with headquarters in New York. It took on the name of Union for Reform Judaism in 2003.

It is the largest organization of Jewish congregation in North America and exists to strengthen communities, provide leadership and to promote change in the world.

While social change in both North America and in Israel is one of the key aspects of URJ, studying the Torah and living one’s life through study is also crucial to Jewish identity. Most people in the URJ believe in modern forms of marriage and push governments to be more open.

Also, fairness and equality are also important social gains that URJ feels like they have had a part in among Jewish people in Israel and in North America.

Most of the more recent philosophy includes developing spiritual institutions that include more people. To learn more about the history of the URJ, visit: http://gplus.ly/2kJZSEL

#BocaRaton #ReformJudaism #Judaism #Jewish #URJ
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