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CBE offers educational opportunities for all ages. CBE Preschool, which shares a campus with the temple, provides childcare and activities for children from birth through 5 years. Our wonderful Religious School administrator, Meridith Patera, teaches Sunday classes and provides B'nai Mitzvah tutoring, along with Rabbi Michele. She also holds Judaica High classes to keep students engaged in Jewish learning after they are called to the Torah. Rabbi Michele teaches Hebrew classes for adults periodically. CBE also maintains a lending library of essential Jewish reading.

Congregation B’nai Emet Religious School provides a program aimed at developing concepts that will strengthen the fabric of Jewish life and ensure the future of Judaism. Our goal is to deepen the Jewish experience and knowledge of students in order to strengthen their faith in God, love of Torah and identification with the Jewish people through involvement in the synagogue and participation in Jewish life.

The School provides classes for Kindergarten through Judaica High School. With the exception of Judaica High School, classes are held on Sundays for three hours, including a half-hour morning service, a Judaica session based on the child’s grade in public school and a session of Hebrew based on the child’s competence. Grades 8-10 (Judaica High School) attend class weekly on Monday evenings.

Meridith Shaw Patera

Meridith Shaw Patera has been involved in Jewish education since 1969, following her junior year at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. A native of Long Island, NY, she received a BA in Political Science with a certificate in Middle Eastern Studies, and an MAT in Social Sciences and Hebrew from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She has also done extensive coursework in Jewish education and administration. Meridith has taught all ages, from preschool through adulthood, in public, Jewish day, and congregational schools across the country. She called New York, Florida, and Texas home before settling in California, where she has been with CBE Religious School since 1988. In 1992, she became School Administrator.


Meridith is the author of two books, Kings and Things: 20 Plays for Jewish Kids, and Skits and Shpiels,14 Plays for Grades 4 to 9, as well as several plays for adults. She has also written the book and lyrics for a number of Hanukkah musicals for both kids and adults, which she produces and directs annually at CBE's Hanukkah party. Hilarity inevitably ensues.


Meridith has three sons, Bennett, Sam, and Max. She finally got two of them out of her house in Moorpark in 2018. The other one is still hanging around, nagging her about watering the plants, and generally driving her nuts. She is, of course, extremely proud of all of them.