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About CBS

About CBS:

Congregation Bet Shalom “CBS” was founded around 1982 as a do-it-yourself בית כנסת. Through most of the years of our existence, we did not employ a rabbi or hazzan. Members of the congregation took turns leading the תפילות and teaching Torah to the congregation. Also our “Bet Shalomers” prepare food each week for Shabbat lunch and clean up, taking care of our own campus. Basically, we have always utilized a lot of volunteers. We have tripled in size since 2012 and we are continuing to grow ברוך ה׳. Though we now have a rabbi and increasing staff, the congregation continues to utilize the same style of lay leadership and volunteerism.

We are independent; meaning we are not formally connected to a denomination or movement in Judaism. CBS has its own flavor of Jewish living. People from Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox backgrounds somehow feel comfortable at CBS. Different from many American synagogues, we raise our money through voluntary contributions. Bet Shalomers typically donate whatever amount of money they feel is appropriate, usually on a monthly basis.

Our תפילות have become very traditional, similar to an Orthodox service, without the use of microphones or musical instruments on Shabbat. At the same time, men and women sit together and women and girls are free to be leaders. We also encourage youngsters to read from the Torah and lead our services. Recently we launched a farm at CBS called “The Midbar Project.” We will be planting crops, raising chickens and involving people of all ages in the process. We refer to CBS as “Positive Jewish Experiences.” 

Meet our Spiritual Leader

Rabbi Hazzan Avraham Alpert

A native Arizonan, Avraham Alpert is the spiritual leader of Congregation Bet Shalom; returning to Tucson in 2012. He was ordained as a rabbi in 2017, after studying at the Academy for Jewish Religion in Los Angeles, California. Serving as a hazzan for more than eighteen years in Arizona, Nevada, and Northern California, “Avi” Alpert has chosen to utilize the rabbinate as a platform for connecting with receptive souls.

As a cantor and hazzan, Avi was invested and commissioned by the Cantors Assembly. Previously, he studied intensively, for five years, with Ivor Lichterman, who in turn received the cantorial tradition from his father, Hazzan Jakub Lichterman of the Great Nozyk Shul, in Poland. In Israel, Avi was a student of Maestro Elli Jaffe, the director and conductor of the Jerusalem Great Synagogue Choir. Avi trained in cantorial arts and vocal technique with virtuoso Daniel Gildar of Philadelphia. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the Herberger College of Arizona State University.

Avi is known equally for his fervor and commitment to Torah, prayer, and the people of Israel. In addition to leading services,  sharing words of Torah, Rabbi Avi can be found officiating at a full range of life cycle events, counseling those in need, training students of all ages, coordinating lay-leaders, developing innovative programs, and teaching creative classes.

Using his voice along with his resources, Avi supports the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.  In addition, Avi is actively involved in building bridges with the Christian Zionist community.  He is a dear friend of Pastor Victor Styrsky who wrote about his relationship with Rabbi Alpert in his book Honest to God.

Integral to Avi’s rabbinical work are his precious children and dedicated wife and partner, Kamala.

Thu, August 6 2020 16 Av 5780