Worship Resources

CantorandRabbiFormer Cantor Naluai and Rabbi Alfi officiating at HavdallahWorship Resources

Whether you are planning a visit to B'nai Israel, studying for a bar or bat mitzvah, or if you just want to hear the melodies we use when chanting the prayers, you will find these resources helpful.


Tallit Blessing Tzur Yisrael Av Harachamim Y'halelu
Nisim B'chol Yom T'filah Havu Godel Hodo Al Eretz
Chatzi Kaddish Avot V'imahot Ki Mitziyon Eitz Chaim Hi
Barchu Gevurot Shema v'Echad Eloheinu Hashiveinu
Yotzer Or Kedushah 1 Gadlu L'Adonai Aleinu
Ahava Raba Kedushah 2 Hakafah Mourner's Kaddish
Shema Yismechu Torah Blessing 1 V'shamru & Kiddush
V'ahavtah Sim Shalom Torah Blessing 2 V'shamru & Kiddush
Mi Chamocha 1 Oseh Shalom Haftarah Blessing 1
Mi Chamocha 2 Ein Chamocha Haftarah Blessing 2


If you are having trouble hearing these prayers on your device try  Downloading Windows Media Player here.

For more Shabbat Blessings in audio and written form, click here to visit the URJ website.



SisterhoodTallit06L'dor v'dor - From Generation to Generation
(Women of B'nai Israel Tallit)
Over the years, the Board of Trustees has adopted responsa -- policy statements on various religious and liturgical issues such as the use of cameras in services, dietary laws and congregational events, attire on the bimah, and the presence of media at services. Like the responsa adopted over time by traditional rabbinic authorities and by the Reform rabbinate, these policies are based in Jewish religious tradition and apply the teachings of our tradition to practical questions currently facing the congregation. The responsa are developed by the Religious Practices Committee, which does research and study with the help of the Rabbi. Typically the process takes several months of drafting and redrafting. Once the Committee is satisfied with the responsum (singular of responsa), it submits its recommendation to the Board of Trustees for discussion and approval. Click on the links below to see the responsa approved by the congregation.

Age of B'nai Mitzvah

Attire on the Bimah

Bar and Bat Mitzvah Services

Food and Drink in our Worship Spaces

Food and the Jewish Tradition

Media Coverage of Religious Services

Photographing and Videotaping During Services

Roles of Rabbi and Rabbi Emeritus

Sustainable Living and Reducing Waste

Enrollment in Congregation B'nai Israel Religious School


GerberBatMitzvahShabbat Morning ServiceClick here to see some of Rabbi Alfi's sermons


B'nai Israel's worship services are designed to meet the spiritual needs of our community. We offer a variety of services throughout the year that are as diverse as our congregation. With Shabbat services, holiday observances, and our lay-led service ("Ruach Ha' Am"), Congregation B'nai Israel is always working to serve the spiritual needs of our congregants and guests.

Other opportunities for worship include our Sunday morning family service at the beginning of religious school and our monthly Rosh Chodesh celebration.

Our adult and youth choirs are another great way to express your spirituality while immersing yourself in our synagogue community. We have a strong group, and are always looking for new members.

Becoming more involved with worship is easy at Congregation B'nai Israel. Our clergy, professional staff and members are always ready to work with your family for lifecycle events such as b'nai mitzvah, weddings, brit milah, baby namings and more.

Sub Sections:
Worship Resources


Congregation B'nai Israel B'nai Israel choir

2015choirpic2Adult Choir

The choir needs you!

For most of our century and a half of existence, CBI has had an adult choir. Sometimes it has been composed of professionals, other times by congregational volunteers and others. Today, our choir combines both. These voices share their love of music and their love of the celebration of our traditions.

The CBI Adult Choir is extraordinary in its size, its sophistication, the range of its repertoire, and its ability to have fun. We sing for the High Holy Days, for Shabbat services, and other special events throughout the year. We are joined from time to time by our youth choir, Ensemble Katan.

On alternating years and in alternating locations, the CBI choirs and the Greek Orthodox choirs unite in the Mediterranean Experience (MedX). The choirs, separately and together, share their musical heritage. The concert is followed by a reception where the choirs display their culinary heritage.

On occasion the CBI choir makes recordings; at least one is available at the CBI Gift Shop.

We welcome new additions to our choir – if you enjoy choral music and the pursuit of musical excellence, join us!

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Do I need vocal training, extensive experience singing in choirs, and the ability to read music? While these are helpful, they are not required. If you are able to sing in tune with others - e.g., no one leaves the room when you start to sing -- and can learn quickly from rehearsals, you are a candidate for the CBI adult choir.

2. If I can't read music, how will I learn? When preparing for a service or an event, rehearsals are weekly. Written music is provided and the director teaches the parts during rehearsal by playing them on the piano and/or singing them. It is helpful to record these first rehearsals and to go over the music at home daily or at least before weekly rehearsals. Recording or making notes at weekly rehearsals will enable you to learn and retain music covered in previous rehearsals.

3. What if my job and family duties make me unavailable on rehearsal night? We encourage members to sing throughout the year, but recognized that work and travel schedules make that difficult for some. Consult with the director when a situation arises; together a solution may be found.

4. When do High Holy Day rehearsals begin? Usually, in July for 10 - 12 evenings. These are held at the temple on a week night (traditionally Wednesdays) from 7:15 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

If you have questions or wish to join the choir, contact Cantorial Soloist Julie Steinberg at 916-446-4861 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Congregation B'nai Israel
Youth Choir

Ensemble Katan

What is it? A youth choir for young people in the 4th Grade and older who are enrolled in Religious School or whose family are members of the Congregation B'nai Israel. Ensemble Katan sings at congregational Shabbat, festival, and holiday services, Religious School T'filah, and other events. We join the CBI adult choir during the High Holy Days, for the bi-annual Mediterranean Experience, and for some Shabbat, festival, and holiday services.

Do you have to read music? No. Rehearsal tapes are provided along with lyrics and music.

Do you have to read Hebrew? No. All Hebrew is transliterated.

When and where are rehearsals? Normally, Sundays after religious school, 12:30-1:30 p.m., in the chapel. Preparation to sing with the adult CBI choir usually includes 2 short (1 hour or less) Wednesday evening rehearsals. Details of these rehearsals will be worked out with individual chorister's schedules.

Is attendance at all rehearsals mandatory? No. Regular attendance is encouraged because we cover a lot of material in a very short time. But if schedule conflicts force a chorister to miss a series a rehearsals, the chorister can return when the conflicts resolve.

How do I enroll my child? Complete the form below and mail or e-mail it. Mitzvah points may be available.

To enroll your young person or for more information, please contact Judy Emick-Leatherwood, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Calendar Highlights

Jan 16, 2018 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Israeli Dancing
Jan 19, 2018 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Shabbat Evening Service
Jan 20, 2018 9:00 am - 10:30 am
Torah Study
Jan 20, 2018 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Shabbat Morning Services