Join us for Shabbat Services: Friday at 6:00 pm, Saturday at 10:00 am
An egalitarian Conservative congregation serving the diverse Orange County Jewish Community

Dr. Yossi Chajes Shabbaton

Congregation B’nai Israel and the CBI Enrichment Fund Present

Shabbaton with Yossi Chajes, the Community Scholar Program One-Month-Scholar


Friday, January 12th
6:00 pm Services: Kabbalat Shabbat led by Yossi Chajes; Ma’ariv led by Carl Cedar
7:00 pm Shabbat Dinner
8:00 pm Lecture

Imagining Cosmic Torah
Most of us grew up with a notion of Judaism as a “religion of reason,” that left myth & magic behind in Biblical times. We will examine the history of this concept and explore the consequences of accepting and even celebrating these long-denied mythic & magical dimensions of Judaism. If myths are understood as divine stories that express something about life’s meanings that logic never quite could, what do Jewish myths tell us about Jewish “meanings of life?”


Saturday, January 13th
9:30 am Services
Noon Kiddush Luncheon
1:00 pm Lecture

The State of the Spirit: A Discussion of
Spiritual Trends in Israel Today
For the better part of a century, the Land, and now the State of Israel largely sufficed with two labels for the religious orientation of its Jews: Dati (religious) and Hiloni (secular). However, this dichotomy has gradually given way to a rather more complex spectrum. We will discuss this trend and the political consequences for Israeli society.


$30/Adult, $15/Child (3-12 yrs)
includes all meals and lectures
$5 discount/person for RSVP by Jan. 8th
No charge for 5778 CBI Enrichment Fund Annual Patrons 
Register in the form below.

Yossi Chajes (Ph.D., Yale University 1999) is a professor of Jewish History at the University of Haifa and directs its Center for the Study of Jewish Cultures. A recipient of Fulbright, Rothschild, Wexner, and Hartman fellowships, he has been visiting professor at JTS and the University of Pennsylvania, and a fellow at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem. His first book, Between Worlds: Dybbuks, Exorcists, and Early Modern Judaism (2003) was listed by the Wall Street Journal in 2013 as among the top five books ever written on spirit possession, alongside Aldous Huxley’s The Devils of Loudun His studies have explored mystical Jewish women, the autobiographical writing of Jews before the advent of the modern genre, the history of Jewish attitudes towards magic, and the visual materials of the Kabbalah. Yossi studied with, and served as the keyboardist of, R. Shlomo Carlebach for many years. Yossi lives with his family in Zichron Yaaqov Israel.