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Friday, March 22 , 2019, 6:29 pm | Fair 59º


Congregation B’nai B’rith Spreads ‘Roots 2 Wings’ Theme at Semiannual Gala

Inspiration from a poem written by Rabbi Stephen Cohen courses through celebration benefiting congregation's programs and community


“Roots 2 Wings” was the celebratory theme of Congregation B’nai B’rith’s semiannual gala held recently at the Hilton Beachfront Resort in Santa Barbara.

This year’s theme was inspired by a poem written by Rabbi Stephen Cohen and delivered in Hamilton style to congregants at the temple’s annual June meeting.

“We are CBB, rooted in tradition, planted in community, and nurturing wings to expand hearts and minds,” Cohen said. “The essence of CBB’s community is captured in the poem — that we are all different pieces of a larger puzzle, all part of the larger community and ultimately the human race, yet we all find a home and a purpose at Congregation B’nai B’rith.”

The event co-chairwomen were Bethy Fineberg, Liat Wasserman, Marcy Wimbish, Diane Zipperstein and Elizabeth Gaynes.

The evening began with a cocktail hour with music by pianist Konrad Kono. After dinner, guests danced to the music of DJ Darla Bea. Cantor Mark Childs also performed a duo with major sponsor Daniel Hochman followed by Childs singing with several young talented adults, including Dawon Fuss, Sadie Leventhal and Lillian McKenzie.

The program began with remarks by Cohen and CBB board president Steve Amerikaner.

“809,” Amerikaner said. “That’s how many households we have in our congregation. These households form a complex tapestry, woven together with bonds of family, friendship, work, faith and commitment.

Congregation B’nai B’rith gala Click to view larger
From left, Congregation B’nai B’rith Cantor Mark Childs, board chairman Steve Amerikaner and Rabbi Steve Cohen. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

“Our complexity and diversity is our strength. We are connected to each other because we understand that our bonds are deep and strong, and the resilience of our differences prove how strong those bonds are. We should and do celebrate our connectedness and diversity.”

Money raised at the event will be directed to education programs for all ages to ensure that the temple is accessible to all, including Beit Ha Yeladim preschool, Jewish Learning Programs for K-10th grade, and adult education.

Event sponsors included Mandy and Daniel Hochman, Marian and Rabbi Steve Cohen, Julianna Friedman and Tom Dain, Sara Miller McCune, the Gaynes family, Martie Levy and Richard Parisse, Cindy and Steve Lyons, Nancy and Mike Sheldon, Carrie Towbes and John Lewis, Three’s a Charm, Lauren Katz, Irene and Mark Kovalick, and Marina Stephens and Len Homeniuk, among others.

“CBB is an extraordinary Jewish community that nurtures the next generation that will create the Jewish future,” CBB executive director Elizabeth Gaynes said. “We embody the best of what happens when people gather in community: standing with each other through personal milestones and crises, leading our community and lifting each other up when world events shake our collective sense of safety and security.”

Click here for more information about Congregation B’nai B’rith, or call 805.964.7869.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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