Join Our Community

Congregation B’nai B’rith (CBB) is a diverse, inclusive community of individuals and families building together a warm and vibrant house of living Judaism.

CBB is a Reform Jewish synagogue located in the gorgeous foothills of Santa Barbara. Incorporated in 1927, CBB’s roots began with just 15 families. Today we are proud that more than 800 diverse families and individuals call CBB their Jewish home.

We welcome everyone who wants to be a part of CBB’s community and we know that each person who walks through the door is unique. If you are not yet sure you want to be a member we invite you to get to know us. We are happy to add you to our mailing list, so you can learn more about what we offer and participate in those events that interest you. We have an open door policy,  which means that most of our programs are open to the community. Getting involved is the best way to meet people, make friends and discover what activities strengthen your Jewish identity and help you build community. We encourage you to set up a meeting to learn more. Contact our Director of Community Engagement, Mariela Socolovsky mariela@cbbsb.org /805-964-7869 ex 104.

Ready to Join?

We are happy to have open doors, and welcome you to explore CBB without pressure to join. All are welcome to join us for Shabbat and festival celebrations, to attend our adult education classes, to join in our community service projects, and more.  Some people attend these activities for years without becoming synagogue members, and we welcome them. Membership is ultimately what makes our community sustainable, so we thank you for considering this meaningful step!

Ready to Join? When the time is right, your membership makes a difference.

  1. Contact us to make an appointment. Whether you’re ready to join or still have some questions, please email or call Executive Director Elizabeth Gaynes at elizabeth@cbbsb.org / 805-964-7869, or Director of Community Engagement, Mariela Socolovsky mariela@cbbsb.org /805-964-7869 ex 104.
  2. If you are ready, please fill out a New Member Form:
    • Online: Use the online New Member form (2020-21 coming soon) and pay via credit card, OR
    • By mail: Download our printable New Member form, and send it to the temple (attn: Mariela Socolovsky)

Our Board of Trustees sets a recommended yearly membership donation. Many give at this level, some give an alternative amount. Those who are able engage in Leadership Giving, which sustains our temple in many important ways, including allowing young families, and members on fixed or lower incomes to fully participate in congregational life while giving at a level that they can afford. No one is ever turned away for financial reasons.

We look forward to welcoming you!

New Member Orientation

Once you decide to join CBB, we want to get to know you, and to help you make your first connections to the community. To that end, we look forward to welcoming you in several ways:

  • Rabbi Steve Cohen meets with every new member, and you can expect to hear from Judy Goldwater, Rabbi Cohen’s Executive Assistant, to make an appointment. If you would like to meet with the Rabbi Cohen before you join, Judy can set that up too:  JGoldwater@cbbsb.org/ 805-964-7869
  • We will also invite you to a New Member Dinner. This program acquaints new members with each other, Rabbi Cohen, and our Director of Community Engagement, Mariela Socolovsky. You will learn more about our community opportunities for engagement, and get to meet other new members in a small group setting
  • You will also hear from our New Member team inviting you to connect with a “buddy”, a member of our congregation who will welcome you with a goodie bag, and help you get acquainted with CBB
  • Cantor Mark Childs will invite you to join a special learning session, held annually for new members, and
  • You will have the opportunity to attend New Member Shabbat at our beautiful Abrahams Outdoor Chapel. As one of this year’s new members, you will receive a blessing from the clergy and a warm welcome from the rest of the community.

We can’t wait to welcome you!

Moving to Santa Barbara

Leaving friends and family, and moving to another city (sometimes from another state) is a big undertaking. We don’t have to tell you that there are many details that need to be attended to. Let us help you get settled in Santa Barbara. We can connect you with a real estate agent, doctors and dentists. If you have children, we can introduce you to other parents. We are happy to answer any questions you may have and help you become more acquainted with your new home.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us so we can help you find the answers:
Executive Director Elizabeth Gaynes at elizabeth@cbbsb.org / 805-964-7869
Director of Community Engagement, Mariela Socolovsky mariela@cbbsb.org /805-964-7869 ex 104.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do Jews live in Santa Barbara?
Jews live everywhere. Santa Barbara does not have a predominately Jewish neighborhood like you would find in Los Angeles or New York. Many of our members tell us that the synagogue is even more important in a community like Santa Barbara because it is one of the few gathering place where Jews can feel a strong sense of Jewish identity.

How do I connect with my Judaism in a community that is not primarily Jewish?
One of the best ways to be connected with other Jews is to get involved in our community. The community is wonderfully diverse and incredibly embracing. We have members of our community who have moved from other parts of the country and would be happy to chat with you about their experience living in Santa Barbara.

Is there a Jewish deli in Santa Barbara?
No, regrettably there is no Jewish deli.  However, Gelsons on upper State Street has a deli counter. You can also find a nice selection of Kosher and Israeli treats at the local Ralph’s. Downtown is Bitterman’s Deli and Norton’s.  Both serve up pastrami sandwiches. Trader Joe’s has a mean corned beef that you can enjoy at home. The closest deli is Brent’s in Westlake Village which is south of Santa Barbara and north of Los Angeles.

I keep kosher – where do I buy kosher meat?
Gelson’s (on the corner of State St and Las Positas St) carries kosher meat and has the largest selection of Jewish foods in Santa Barbara. Trader Joes (there are 3 in Santa Barbara) carries kosher meat as well.

Do you know any real estate agents?
Yes, we do. The temple has many members that are real estate agents in the area. If you would like the names of agents please call the office at 805-964-7869.

What about schools. Can you tell me what schools are the best?
We would be happy to put you in contact with members of CBB who can share with you their experience with Santa Barbara Schools. If you are interested, send a message to our Executive Director, Elizabeth Gaynes. She can be reached at elizabeth@cbbsb.org.

I am planning a trip to Santa Barbara. Can we meet?
Would you like to meet with someone at the Temple? A member of CBB’s Membership Team would love to spend some time with you. Contact Director of Community Engagement, Mariela Socolovsky at mariela@cbbsb.org or 805-964-7869 x 104.