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Education Update

Religious School Announcement sent Friday, October 9, 2021

Shalom Chaverim, Shalom Chaverot!

This week we read the Torah portion that tells us the story of Noah’s arc. In many ways, we are all still adjusting to exiting our arcs and returning to society. That is why we are putting extra thought into ensuring that Religious & Hebrew school are a safe and happy space to reclaim meaningful social relationships.
A few joyful announcements:

  • Please send a snack & water bottle with your child.
  • There are many opportunites for all Religious School parents:
    • 9:30am - 10:00am @ Sanctuary:  PreK-3rd grade parents are invited to join TefilahPlease, refrain from eating or bringing your dog into the Sanctuary or Social Hall.
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​9:30am - 10:15am @ bike rack:  Nosh & Schmooze with other Religious School parents over coffee and bagels.
    • 10:15am -11:00am @ Social Hall for Parents’ Circle
      • Raising a mensch:  The role of community in parenting
        • Speakers needed! Are you willing and/or able to give a one-time  20 minute informal presentation to the RS Schmooze school parents’ circle about a project, area on interest or hobby of yours? We’d love to have you! Contact me.
      • 11:45am - 12:30pm @ bike rack:  Jewish Mindfulness with Leslie Levitas Martin.  Please wear comfortable clothes & bring a yoga/exercise mat.  
        • If you need childcare for your younger children in order to participate in the Parents Circle and/or Mindfulness with Leslie, please email me so we can make arrangements.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Farewell to Keren Hammill at the Social Hall 12:30-1pm. Please join as we thank Keren for years of hard work with our teens!
  • Haven’t completed the paperwork yet? Please do so here. It’s especially important to us to know about any food allergies since we are having cooking classes.

L’Hitraot, See you Sunday,
Rabbi Galit

​​​​​​​Religious School Announcement sent  Thursday, September 30, 2021

Shalom Chaverim, Shalom Caverot!
In Israel this time of year is called “Acharey Hachgim”, or “Post-Holiday Season," which means one can finally expect some routine until Chanukah.

We have so much planned for our Religious School community over the next few weeks.
Following are a few joyful notes for our upcoming Sunday:

  • The Urban Cow Marathon is this Sunday. The last few miles of the race course come north on Riverside from the Westin Hotel to 13th Ave where they turn right into Land Park; this portion of the route will be completely closed to traffic from 8:15am – 11:15am.  Therefore, families must access our site from the north on Riverside or from the east on 11th Avenue.  Please allow for extra travel time.
  • There are many opportunites for all Religious School parents:
    • 9:30am - 10:15am @ bike rack:  Nosh & Schmooze with other Religious School parents over coffee and bagels.
    • 9:30am - 10:00am @ Sanctuary:  PreK-3rd grade parents are invited to join Tefilah.
    • 10:15am -11:00am @ Social Hall: Debut of the RS Parents’ Circle! 
      • Pandemic Parenting:  Protecting the Psychological Health of Your Child During Covid with Dr. Glenn Hammel 
    • 11:45am - 12:30pm @ bike rack:  Jewish Mindfulness with Leslie Levitas Martin.  Please wear comfortable clothes & bring a yoga/exercise mat.  
    • If you need childcare for your younger children in order to participate in the Parents Circle and/or Mindfulness with Leslie, please email me so we can make arrangements.
  • Please send a snack & water bottle with you child(ren).
  • Support the Confirmation Class and purchase (cash only) treats and drinks at 12:30pm at the bike rack!  
  • ​​​​​​​Continue to visit the webpage, for the Religious School and Tuesday Hebrew School Calendars, Schedules and updates.

​​​​​​​Lastly, did you enjoy the Simcaht Torah celebrations?  Click here to watch a short lecture about “What IS Torah?” from a renowned Hebrew University scholar, Prof. Yair Zakovitch [don't worry, there are English subtitles].

Happy Routine everyone!
Rabbi Galit


2021-2022 COVID-19 GUIDELINES 

UPDATED:  September 23, 2021 

Congregation B’nai Israel (CBI) is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy learning environment for all of its participants. CBI’s COVID-19 Advisory Committee meets regularly to update all health and safety policies.  The group takes into consideration recommendations established by the CDC, State and County, and the neighboring School Districts in determining the health and safety policies during times of health emergencies. This handbook is a living document that will be updated in accordance with the latest evidence-based guidelines. We will send email updates when any changes to our guidelines are made as well as post it to our website,  


 As a part of the CBI community, we all have a role in keeping our community healthy and safe. By returning to in-person Religious School and Tuesday Hebrew School and other youth programs, your family is committing to partnering with us to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Please know that even though we are all committed to the health and safety of our community, we cannot remove 100% of the risk of transmission of COVID-19.  CBI has put a number of restrictions and guidelines into place, based on Sacramento County best practices and guidance from our COVID-19 Advisory Committee, which will reduce this risk as much as possible.   We ask that all CBI families:  

• Be respectful to staff who are following and enforcing health and safety policies.  

• Understand that we will be extra cautious with the illness policies.  

• Continue to follow social distancing guidelines and restrictions outside of school.  

• Remain flexible and adaptable as the situation evolves.  


Masks are required for all individuals ages 2+, regardless of vaccination status, on the CBI premises, including outdoors.  We recommend reusable cloth or disposable medical masks. Masks with vents or gaiter type masks are not allowed.   

Vaccinations:  CBI has adopted a vaccination policy requiring all professional staff and teaching staff, including hadricha, to be vaccinated.  Furthermore, vaccination is a requirement for anyone 12 and older to attend any indoor service and program. 

Regular Health Screening: 

We ask that staff, students, and program participants monitor for the following symptoms and remain home if ill: cough, shortness of breath, fever (temperature must be 100.3 degrees or lower), sore throat, headache, loss of taste/smell.  Please err on the side of caution, and if in doubt stay home. 

Health and safety protocols will be communicated regularly reminding parents to keep children at home if they are ill.  

Food Safety: Programs involving food will take place outside until further notice.   

Positive Case and Exposure:

CBI is following the guidelines of Sacramento County -

See the table below for steps to follow if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 or is exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.  

Congregation B’nai Israel will notify families in the affected class via email. A school wide email will be sent in cases that affect more than one class. 

Positive Test:  Student/Staff 

Exposure:  Student/Staff 

  • Let CBI know of positive test immediately. Contact Leslie Oberst, Executive Director 

  • Individual who tested positive must quarantine for 10 days from day of positive test. 

  • Individual with a positive test may return after 10 days if they have no symptoms and are fever free for 24 hours without medication. 

If the positive person was within 6 feet of anyone for more than 15mins 

  • Individual is exposed and vaccinated, they do not need to quarantine, but must monitor for symptoms. 

  • If individual is exposed and not vaccinated, they must quarantine for 10 days (individuals are not eligible for modified quarantine). 



Exposure outside of CBI Student/Staff:   

Defined as exposure is within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour period 

Student/staff lives with a person who has COVID-19 and is: 

  • Symptomatic:  Isolate for 10 days from symptom onset and test for COVID-19 
  • Not symptomatic:  quarantine for 10 days from date that case became symptomatic and test for COVID-19 

Student/staff does not live with a person who has  COVID-19 and is: 

  • Vaccinated and: 
    • Symptomatic: Isolate for 10 days from symptom onset and test for COVID-19 
    • Not symptomatic:  May return to campus 
  • Not vaccinated:  quarantine for 10 days from symptom onset and test for COVID 


Religious School Announcement sent  Friday, September 24, 2021

Shalom Chaverim, Shalom Chaverot!

Thank you to everyone who participated last week for our Opening Day of Religious School.  We look forward to seeing the students this Sunday for the official first day!  Check out your child’s schedule here!

A few joyful reminders:

  • For everyone's safety, we need every Religious School household to complete the Enrollment/Student Information Form.  If you haven't completed it yet, please click here
  • Masks are required for all individuals ages 2+, regardless of vaccination status, on the CBI premises, including outdoors.  We recommend reusable cloth or disposable medical masks. Masks with vents or gaiter type masks are not allowed.   
  • Parents of PreK - 3rd graders are invited to join Tefillah at 9:30-10:00am in the Sanctuary. 
  • All parents invited to join Jewish Mindfulness for Overextended Parents with Leslie Levitas Martin at 11:45am.  Please wear comfortable clothes & bring a yoga/exercise mat.  The group will meet at the bike rack to walk to Land Park.
  • Our special Chugim begin this week.
    • Cooking with Gayle G. includes preparing sugary treats. Please complete this form ASAP to notify us of any allergies or if you prefer your child not participate.
    • Are you able to lead a 4 week chug this year? Contact me to be a part of the fun.
  • Snack Policy: Students are welcome to bring a small snack to enjoy during their class break.  Sharing will not be permitted.
  • For ease, please following the guidelines at pick up:
    • PreK-3rd: meet your child(ren) at 12:30om at their class meeting spot. 
    • 4th-7th: meet your child(ren) at the bike rack.

Most importantly, if you are not feeling well, we will miss you, but please stay home and rest!

If you have any questions, please reach out.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Galit Cohen-Kedem, Visiting Director of Education

Hebrew School Announcement sent  Monday, September 20, 2021

Shalom -

We are excited for the first day of Tuesday Hebrew School, tomorrow September 21, 2021.  Thank you to all the families who completed the form indicating their attendance preferences.  Our sincere apologies if you didn't receive the email.

For those who chose to attend in-person, we will be meeting in the Courtyard at 5pm.  

For those who chose to attend via zoom, please click here for the class assignments with zoom links.  Please bookmark this webpage for your weekly reference.

If you do not see your child(ren)'s name(s) on a list, please let us know.  They are welcome to attend in-person or contact Rabbi Galit for a zoom class assignment.

Please note that the 6th grade trope class will begin in the 2nd semester; more details to follow.

We appreciate your on-going patience. 

Please contact us if you have any further questions.  

Hebrew School Announcement sent  Friday, September 17, 2021

Shalom -

This year our main goal for Tuesday Hebrew School is to enable the students to learn in Hevruta (small study groups) that encourage kids to enjoy the communal experience of decoding the ancient Hebrew prayerbook alongside Modern Israeli expressions. 

Based on the feedback about the success of Hebrew School via Zoom, we are happy to offer both an in-person and a remote option for Hebrew School. 

Tuesday Hebrew School Options:

  • Option One:  in-person Hebrew School from 5-6 pm on Tuesday afternoons, based on Hebrew level. 
  • Option Two:  Zoom Hebrew School in 30-minute blocks between 4-7 pm Tuesday afternoons, with small groups paired with a teacher to review prayers. 

Please take a minute to complete this form so we can place your student in the correct Hevruta.

Announcement sent Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Shalom All,

We are excited to welcome our CBI community back to in person Religious School this upcoming Sunday, September 19 at 9:30am.

My name is Galit Cohen-Kedem and I am the Visiting Rabbi Educator from Israel. This year I will serve as the head of Religious School, Tuesday Hebrew School and oversee all youth education programs.  

Our primary goal for this year is to renew and strengthen our CBI community connections- all while keeping us healthy. We are excited to share with you the
schedule for the fist four weeks of Religious School - there are even opportunities for the parents!  While the general outline for Sundays will stay consistent for the year, we will be making adjustments to specific offerings based on recommendations from CBI’s Covid advisory committee. 

Please click here for the schedule for the Opening Day of Religious School. Parents are invited to experience an outdoor scavenger hunt and stay for a Q&A session with Rabbi Alfi, Rachel Stern (VP Education) & myself.  Meanwhile, the kids get to meet their class mates, teachers and Hadracha [madrichim] staff.  Feel free to bring a picnic blanket along as we will be gathering on the grassy field.
For reference, all emailed Religious School updates, including this one, are posted on our webpage Education Update. Please visit the page for relevant information about enrollment.

As always, I am here to answer any further questions.

Wishing you all a Chatima Tova, a year of health and growth-

Rabbi Galit

Announcement sent Monday, September 6, 2021

Dear Religious School and Hebrew School families,
We are elated to share with you our plans for the upcoming Religious & Hebrew school year, which begins Sunday, September 19th at 9:30am.
We appreciate your patience as the Senior Staff and Executive Committee, in consultation with our Covid advisory committee, have worked to modify our Religious School programming to create an environment that meets our students' social, educational, and emotional needs while also following all safety protocols.
The theme for this school year is CONNECTION!  After a year and a half of gathering mostly on screens, we will be focusing on safely strengthening and rebuilding our connections to each other and our community.  Our Jewish values will be on display every week, which prioritize our health and our connections to each other.  
Following are key details for the year. 
Health and Safety Information

  • CBI will be following Sacramento County’s public health guidelines as well as the recommendations of our Covid advisory committee, which consists of medical professionals, staff, and executive board members.
  • All of our teachers, staff, and madrichim are fully vaccinated.
  • Classes will meet outdoors and all religious school activities will be conducted outside. 
  • Many Religious School activities will take place in small groups to allow for distancing as needed.
  • Masks will be required for everyone on campus, communal surfaces will be sanitized regularly, and hand hygiene will be followed.
  • All staff and students are required to stay home if they are feeling sick or have been exposed to COVID/Delta
  • We strongly encourage each of our CBI member households to verify their vaccination status by completing the confidential form  Our Community's Health: Vaccination Status.
  • We understand that students may miss a class due to COVID/Delta exposure or being sick.  Materials will be provided throughout the year for learning at home.


  • The 2021-2022 Religious School and Hebrew School dates can be found on the website calendar.  Tip:  click on one of the Religious School or Hebrew School dates to see the entire schedule for the year.
  • Returning families have already been enrolled; tuition has already posted on your CBI account
    • Contact Melissa Grand, CBI Bookkeeper, with any questions.
    • Important reminder:  CBI remains committed to never deny a Jewish education based on financial resources.  The Scholarship Form can be found HERE.
  • To complete the enrollment, the following forms need to be submitted by September 30, 2021:

Religious School Curriculum 

We are still making tweaks to the Religious School Curriculum. After a year of learning on Zoom, our primary goals for Religious School this year is to have a fun, stress-free zone that kids and their parents look forward to and facilitates creating a stronger community based on our Jewish values.  

We will also have activities for parents on Sunday mornings that focus on connection and community.  More details will be forthcoming.

We are seeking congregants who would like to teach a chug!  If you have a hobby or interest you’d like to share with our religious school students for four consecutive Sundays, please contact Rachel Stern, Vice President of Education, at  for more information.
Tuesday Hebrew School Options

We are happy to offer both an in-person and a remote option for Hebrew School. 

  • Option One:  in-person Hebrew School from 5-6 pm on Tuesday afternoons, based on Hebrew level. 
  • Option Two:  Zoom Hebrew School in 30-minute blocks between 4-6 pm Tuesday afternoons, with small groups paired with a teacher to review prayers.  

More details to follow after Rosh HaShanah.
Important 1st Day Details:

We are looking forward to parents staying to participate in a campus-wide scavenger hunt as a family.  We will meet in the grass between the Kandel Building and the Sanctuary at 9:30am on Sunday, September 19th.  

Following the opening activity there will be activities for the children and parents are invited to stay to meet with Rabbi Galit and hear more about Religous School.
Thank you for your commitment to our Youth Education Program.  Please contact us with any questions or concerns.

Shana Tova,
Rabbi Mona Alfi  
Rabbi Galit  
Leslie Oberst, Executive Director
Rachel Stern, VP Education

Mon, October 18 2021 12 Cheshvan 5782