CBE Co-Establishes First Reform Chevra Kadisha in NYC

“Together, we are learning and embracing this most sacred mitzvah of caring for the dead,” said Rabbi Rachel Timoner of Congregation Beth Elohim. “At the same time, we have been developing our own rituals to be mindful and respectful of the multiplicity of gender identities.”

For the past several months, CBE has been in the process of establishing the first Reform chevra kadisha (burial society) in NYC with co-partners Plaza Jewish Community Chapel, Temple Shaaray Tefila, and Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. Many of our members have become volunteers. Read The Forward‘s coverage here.

Rabbi Stephanie Kolin Co-Chairing National Conference of the Multi-Faith Initiative to End Mass Incarceration

This week, Rabbi Kolin is co-chairing and presenting at the Multi-faith Initiative to End Mass Incarceration “Let My People Go” Conference. The conference is held at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA, and other speakers include Dr. Raphael Warnock. Rabbi Kolin’s plenary topic will be on the campaign to close Rikers.


Rabbi Rachel Timoner Named Among City and State NY’s Faith Power 100

“Rabbi Rachel Timoner became increasingly worried that New York City Mayor Eric Adams was only hearing from conservative Orthodox Jewish leaders. So the progressive Park Slope rabbi invited 55 women clergy for a meeting with the mayor.”
Yasher koach to Rabbi Rabbi Timoner for being named among City and State NY‘s Faith Power 100! The list celebrates the most influential faith leaders in NYC, and we are extremely proud to see her many accomplishments recognized. Click here to read the full article.

Rabbi Green Featured in The New York Times

“We are all trying to figure out how to be Jews in the 21st century,” said Rabbi Matt Green, who led the blessings. “And this is it.”

Rabbi Green was featured in a New York Times article, “Shabbat is a Salve, and a Scene” about the ways in which young people are embracing Shabbat during a time of increased antisemitism. Read it here.

Rabbi Timoner and CBE Members Quoted in The New York Times

Rabbi Rachel Timoner had always cherished Israel as a haven where Jews could aspire to their highest ideals. But after Benjamin Netanyahu won a sixth term as prime minister with the help of two far-right parties this month, she was shaken.

Rabbi Timoner and several CBE members were quoted in The New York Times‘ article, “Netanyahu’s Comeback Widens Divide Over Israel Among American Jews.” Read it here.

Rabbi Green and CBE’s Old Jewish Men Event Featured in The New York Times

The events at Congregation Beth Elohim grew out of a chance encounter with the synagogue’s assistant rabbi, Matt Green, 32. He first met Mr. Rinksy in an O.J.M.-branded baseball cap.

“I asked him where he got it, and it turned out he was the genius behind the Instagram account,” Rabbi Green said. ‘I introduced myself as a rabbi, and we got to talking.

Rabbi Matt Green was quoted in The New York Times‘ coverage of the Old Jewish Men Fall Ball, which took place at CBE. Click here to read the full article.

CBE Members Featured in Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Our member Margery Cooper recently spoke to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency about climate change, a top policy concern for American Jews. Click here to read her thoughts on the importance of climate advocacy and her work with CBE’s Dayenu Circle. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, another CBE member, is also mentioned. He recently led the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, a $370 billion climate bill.

CBE Featured in NPR’s Weekend Edition

NPR’s Weekend Edition featured our recent Havdalah service, where we gathered on the steps of CBE in the wake of the Roe decision. Rabbi Timoner and Rabbi Kolin were both quoted in the piece. To paraphrase Rabbi Kolin, we will continue to demand sweetness from this world even when it feels the most bitter.


Rabbi Timoner Published in The NY Daily News

“The current campaign that advocates for the teaching of the rudiments of secular education in ultra-Orthodox schools in New York State […] arose in response to the alarming numbers — in the tens of thousands, according to Yaffed — of Jewish children in New York State being denied the building blocks of secular knowledge. Without this education, there is a high likelihood of poverty.”

Read Rabbi Rachel Timoner’s powerful op-ed about why all N.Y. children deserve a basic secular education in The NY Daily News.



Rabbi Timoner Organizes Group of Women Rabbis and Cantors to Speak with Mayor Adams

On Thursday, May 24th, Rabbi Rachel Timoner organized a group of 55 women and women-identifying rabbis and cantors to speak to Mayor Eric Adams. Representing all denominations, the group marks the largest and first ever group of women rabbis and cantors to speak to a NYC mayor.

Watch Rabbi Timoner address the press here:


Read coverage of this event in The Forward, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, The Jerusalem Post, and The Times of Israel.

Rabbi Timoner and Rabbi Kolin arrested demanding climate action by Wall Street giant’s Jewish CEO

“NEW YORK (JTA) — Three rabbis and six Jewish teenagers were among those arrested Monday at a climate protest at the Manhattan headquarters of BlackRock, the largest investment management company in New York.

The demonstration, organized by the Jewish Youth Climate Movement with support from the interfaith organization GreenFaith, demanded the firm stop its investments in and cut ties with companies that fund the fossil fuel industry, which include Enbridge, Inc., Formosa Plastics and Shell.

Rabbis Rachel Timoner and Stephanie Kolin of Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster, vice president of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, were among those arrested.

“Judaism’s highest priority is saving lives,” said Timoner in a statement. “The Jewish youth who are leading us today understand that we are in a life or death moment, that we must divest from fossil fuels now in order to save lives.”

Read the full article from JTA here. 

Rabbi Timoner Published in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

“My dad taught me that businesses thrive when the dignity of every human being is honored — workers, customers and shareholders alike. He taught me that there is no contradiction between being pro-business and pro-union. He taught me that our economy and society can be both prosperous and caring. He taught me that standing for the rights of workers is what it means to be a proud Jew.”

Please read this meaningful op-ed by our very own Rabbi Rachel Timoner for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Rabbi Rachel Timoner Interviewed by NY1

“Most of what we’ll be doing is out and around the Sukkah. Families can bring a blanket, have a picnic, but stay separated from other families, but [they] still have the feeling of community, the opportunity to be outdoors and the opportunity to celebrate the holiday.”

Rabbi Timoner was recently interviewed by NY1 outside the CBE sukkah. Read the full article here.

Rabbi Timoner Interviewed in The Forward

“The main thing that Judaism tells us God believes about us is that no matter what we do and what we’ve done, no matter how we’ve fallen short of that ideal of justice, peace, love and compassion, no matter in what ways we’ve closed our hearts and failed to see how we’re harming others, how we’ve erred, there is endless opportunity for us to turn. God absolutely believes that human beings can endlessly improve ourselves, that there is no end to the learning curve, no limits on our capacity to become righteous.”

Read this powerful interview with Rabbi Timoner by journalist Abigail Pogrebin, originally published in The Forward, as part of her series Still Small Voice.