Link of the Week: Last week we brought our voices together, our myriad traditions and our unique pathways within and outside the Jewish community in a Shabbat service titled "Jewish &." Missed it? Read the powerful d'rash by Rachel Nilson Ralston. 
Dear Sha'ar Zahav Community,
Our hearts are heavy as we take in the news, witnessing the loss of Israeli and Palestinian lives as the fighting continues. Our community holds diverse views, but we are united in our grief and pain. Our Torah portion this week, Naso, brings us the Priestly Blessing, the threefold prayer that beseeches G!d to bless us with protection and peace. We say after each line of the prayer, “Ken yehi ratzon,” which means, “May it be so.” We pray today for that peace to be made a reality. May it be so.

Today, I'd like to offer a poem that has been holding me over the recent eruption of violence. The poet is crying out to G!d for peace as we do today.

The Smoke Has Not Cleared: A Prayer for Peace

Lift us up, lay us down,
hold us in our grief,
quiet the trembling earth,
quiet our trembling hearts,
make peace for us right now
because we can’t do this alone,
because parents are grieving
and the land is ravaged
and the smoke
and the smoke has not cleared.

-Hila Ratzabi

In peace,
Rabbi Mychal Copeland
Shabbat This Week
Friday Night Service: May 21 at 7:30 pm

Shabbes Beat with Cantor Sharon Bernstein. D'rash by Eve Meyer. Register Here. Meeting ID: 452 290 988.

Saturday Morning Service: May 22 at 10 am

Join the Zoom Meeting. Meeting ID: 365 434 855 and Passcode: 068575.

To join by phone for either service, dial +1 669 900 9128 or find your local number.

Special Program Next Sunday
SF District Attorney Chesa Boudin in Conversation with Sha’ar Zahav

Sunday, May 23
4:00 - 5:15 pm

Nationally renowned, path-breaking SF District Attorney Chesa Boudin will be in conversation with Sha’ar Zahav Member, Susan Leff. Susan has been a criminal defense attorney and criminal justice reform advocate for 25 years, and together they will discuss myriad problems in criminal justice, hate crimes, gun violence, drug addiction and racism, and how Jewish values can inform solutions in our San Francisco community and beyond - The session will end with a Q&A. Please join us!

This event is co-sponsored by Sha'ar Zahav's Social Action Committee and Racial Equity Group.

Feeling Pride: Order Your Shirt by May 31
Order Your Sha'ar Zahav 2021 Pride T-shirt and Get Ready to Celebrate

While SF Pride is forgoing the traditional parade due to the pandemic, we are expressing our longing to gather and share our pride, as Jews, together!

This t-shirt will be vintage in 2022, so get yours now and get ready for Pride! We have regular and fitted options available. Order online and pick up by Sha'ar Zahav.

Mobilizing the Jewish Community for the Equality Act with Jon Cohen from Keshet

Next Wednesday, May 26
6:00 pm

Jon Cohen, Director of Community Mobilization at Keshet, will answer questions about the Equality Act and explain how the bill amends existing civil rights laws to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination.  
Your senators need to hear from you as a Jew who is motivated by our tradition and history to demand justice, so we will spend time at the end of our meeting emailing, tweeting, calling, and writing to our elected officials. If you can’t attend the session, click here to learn more and take action.

More Pride: Events Coming Up in June
Where You Go I Will Go: Same-Sex Marriage & Jewish Law by Rabbi Irwin Keller

Join on Wednesday, June 2 at 7:00 pm. Register here.

Community Pride Seder, A Virtual Celebration of Queer Freedom

Join on Sunday, June 13 at 5:00 pm.

Transgender Celebration Shabbat

Join on Friday, June 18 at 7:30 pm.

Pride Shabbat Service

Join on Friday, June 25 at 7:30 pm.
Let's Talk About "Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death"
A Sha'ar Zahav Book Discussion for Pride Month
Tuesday, June 29
6:00 - 7:00 pm

Think you know all about Harvey Milk, the pioneering gay SF supervisor, member of Sha'ar Zahav, who was assassinated over 40 years ago? Lillian Faderman, a leading historian of LGBTQ lives, has written a fascinating and eloquent account of the many sides -- the many lives -- of Harvey Milk, sides that many may not know, including his early life and how his deeply held Jewish values helped motivate his activism. 

Read the book (let us know if you need help sourcing it), then come discuss both Harvey's contradictions and contributions and how they continue to influence us today.The book was chosen by Sha'ar Zahav's Book Club as a great way to end Pride month. Questions? Want to join the Book Club? Contact Ami Zusman.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link
Special Sha'ar Zahav Member Events
Va'ad (Board) Meeting
Today, Wednesday, May 19
7:00 - 9:30 pm

Today is our regular monthly board meeting. We have many updates to share, and will have time to answer questions as well. All Sha'ar Zahav members are welcome to attend Va'ad meetings.

Join the Zoom Meeting: Zoom link
2021 Virtual Annual Members' Meeting
Monday, June 7
6:45 pm

"All of Israel is responsible for one another." This Talmudic verse defines the mitzvah of Jewish communal engagement. We invite you to fulfill this mitzvah by joining our 2021 members' meeting. There will be time for camaraderie, reports from leadership, highlights from the latest member survey, plus discussion and approval of the budget for 2021-2022. We will also vote on renewing board members and welcoming new ones!

Social Action: Get Involved
Social Action Committee
New Meeting Date Next Month
Monday, June 14
6:00 - 7:30 pm

On fair elections, welcoming the stranger, secure housing and food, ending gun violence, and more! The Social Action Committee is currently working on advancing the “Equality Act” (federal LGBT rights) and the “For the People Act” (assuring national fair elections). Want to join us? Come to our next meeting or contact Nancy Wecker or Geri Kahn.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link

New Postcard Campaign and Phonebank: Protect the right to vote with HR1/S1 “For The People Act.” Arizona is key in this campaign. If you want to write postcards, contact Tirtza Pearl. Or join our phone banking havurah with Ruth Schoenbach.

Calling all small landlords: Do you know about the COVID Tenant Relief Act which can provide delinquent rent benefiting landlords and tenants for stable communities? For information see Faith in Action Bay Area Small Landlords Website or contact
Learning: Keep Growing
Judaism 101 Summer Class
Tuesdays, from June 15 Until August 24
6:30 - 8:30 PM

An introduction to Judaism for people who are new or returning to Judaism and are looking for a starting point to dive into Jewish learning and/or Jewish practice. Anyone from any background is welcome. We will be covering everything from Torah to Israel, spirituality to ethics, through a queer-positive, progressive, inclusive Jewish lens with plenty of room for questions.

The class fee is $149. Partial scholarships available for those who need it. Please contact Liliana Peliks to learn more.

Weekly Mussar Group
Tomorrow, Thursday, May 20
7:00 - 8:00 pm

Mussar is a very practical and flexible spiritual discipline to help you balance soul-traits (Middah/Middot) such as Humility, Loving-Kindness, Generosity, and Silence. Drop-ins are always welcome! For more information, contact Mark Pressler.

Join the Zoom Meeting: Zoom link
Weekly Torah Study Group
Last Wednesday Session
Wednesday, May 26
8:30 - 9:30 am

Study the weekly Torah portion with Rabbi Copeland and lay leaders. For the first half hour, we’ll talk, learn and share thoughts about the portion. In the second half, we will practice our Hebrew reading skills in a compassionate environment! Join for either or both parts of the study.

This will be our last Wednesday session. We will shift to Thursdays starting on June 3.

Join the Zoom Meeting: Zoom link

Adult B’Mitzvah Program
Begins Soon on Zoom

Many of us did not become B’Mitzvah as children and feel like it might be time to make that connection. Our Adult B’mitzvah Program (ABP) is a monthly group educational program, which runs for approximately 8 – 12 months. In the ABP you will learn about the history of the ritual and explore what it means to become an adult B’mitzvah. You will have practical classes in giving a D’var Torah, reading/chanting from the Torah, leading services, and learning the prayer service.

There will also be sessions on the who, what, and why of prayer, different perspectives of G-d, everyday spirituality and much more. The process culminates in either an individual or group B’mitzvah on a Saturday morning at Sha’ar Zahav.

Contact the coordinator Mark Pressler to let us know you are interested or would like to hear more!
Community: Let's Get Together
Kaddish Memory Circle
Tomorrow, Thursday, May 20
8:30 - 9:00 am

During this time of immense loss and grief, we are holding regular Kaddish Memory Circles to support each other. Rabbi Mychal Copeland, Ora Prochovnick and Martin Tannenbaum will alternate leading these circles twice a month.

Join the Zoom Meeting: Zoom link

Weekly Art Group: Drop-in
Tomorrow, Thursday, May 20
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Drop in for a joyful hour of free art-making and connection. Everyone is welcome! The group meets every Thursday. For more information, contact Paisha Rochlin, Barbara Cymrot or AJ Turpen Fried.

Join the Zoom Meeting: Zoom link
Sha’ar Zahav’s Hiking Chavurah is Back!
Saturday, May 22
9:45 am

Join other Sha’ar Zahavniks on monthly urban hikes – mostly in SF but we sometimes venture farther afield. This is a great way to get to know other Sha'ar Zahav members while exploring the city.

The hikes usually last about two hours. We are following all Sha'ar Zahav pandemic guidelines, which currently includes masks and physical distancing. Want more information?

Contact Karen Schiller and Ellen Murland at
Weekday Morning Prayer
Tuesday, May 25
8:30 - 9:00 am

Songs and prayers to set our hearts and minds! This service takes place every Tuesday morning, and is led by community lay leaders and Cantor Bernstein. For more information, contact Cantor Bernstein.

Join the Zoom Meeting: Zoom link
The Sha'ar Zahav Theater & Movies Chavurah Discusses the Play "Mosquitoes"
Wednesday, June 2
6:00 pm

Allocate some time in your calendar to watch the play "Mosquitoes" by Lucy Kirkwood and let's gather to discuss it on Zoom. You will find the play on National Theater at Home.

Drop-in or join the chavurah by contacting Yvette Adida. We will watch something new every month, and will decide together on dates, genres, etc.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link
We Also Recommend
Yiddish Theatre Ensemble Presents: God of Vengeance. Co-sponsored by Sha'ar Zahav. 

Streaming from May 2-31
100 minutes

An artful video adaptation of Sholem Asch’s ground-breaking 1906 play, in English! Surrounded by controversy (the first Broadway production was closed down for portraying unconventional Jewish characters and the first lesbian kiss on Broadway), this play was the inspiration for the award-winning Broadway show, Indecent.

Virtual Performance of the Orchestral & Choral Work of "To Bigotry No Sanction" by Jonathan Comisar 

Wednesday, June 2
7:00 - 8:00 pm

Jonathan Comisar is an extraordinarily composer, arranger, and teacher in the Reform Movement. Jonathan was also a member of Sha'ar Zahav and gifted us many talents before he went to Cantorial School. To Bigotry No Sanction is a new cantata based on George Washington's 1790 letter to the Jews of Newport.

The Jewish Community Library Presents: Ancient Jewess Magic. Co-presented by Sha'ar Zahav. 

Sunday, June 6
4:00 pm

What is the connection between gender, witchcraft, and magic in ancient Judaism? Professor Ahuvia’s lecture will survey the evidence for ancient Jewish magic in dialogue with recent novels by Anna Solomon, Sue Monk Kidd, and Maggie Anton, which all feature Jewish women engaged in magical practices. Join the conversation of this fascinating topic!

May Birthdays
Kei Micah Korthof, 5/1
Rena Frantz, 5/2
Lori Roniger, 5/2
Michael Shriver, 5/3
Nomi Jatovsky, 5/4
Jeffrey Rubin, 5/4
Beatrix Elhauge-Roniger, 5/5
Barbara Rinkoff, 5/5
Jacqueline Wong, 5/6
Mercedes Navarro, 5/6
Timothy Grant, 5/7
Adam Pollack, 5/7
Martin Fox, 5/8
Zoe Kaiser, 5/8
Elizabeth Jaroslow, 5/8
Chaltu Bernstein, 5/10
Maxine Preisch, 5/10
Qianya Vinson, 5/10
Daniel Loftus, 5/11
Sylvie Olson-Dorf, 5/12
Benjamin Malakoff, 5/12
Sophie Navarro, 5/12
Kailin Koch, 5/12
Raymond Cutino, 5/13
Zephaniah Bensaid, 5/14
Micah Ludeke, 5/14
Leah Hammond, 5/16
Charlie Shaw, 5/17
Gary Winter, 5/19
Gabriel Oliver-Polsky, 5/19
Lillian Schaechner, 5/20
Ruth Bernstein, 5/20
Richard Wilson, 5/20
Jessica Alexandra, 5/21
Barb Cymrot, 5/23
Emery Cohen-Wallach, 5/23
Jane Rice, 5/24
David Gluck, 5/24
Robert Katz, 5/26
Pierre Adida, 5/27
Grant Shreiner, 5/28
Sherie Koshover, 5/28
David Ogus Thor Langdon, 5/28
Trudi Hauptman, 5/29
Chase Tanner, 5/29
Elliott Sprehn, 5/29
Crow Martin-Fromm, 5/31

Friday Evening Service
May 21, 7:30 pm 

11 Sivan
Shabbes Beat with Cantor Bernstein

Saturday Morning Service
May 22, 10:00 am
Meeting ID: 365 434 855
Passcode: 068575

Contact to sponsor a Shabbat
Thank You to Our Grantors
Programs at Sha’ar Zahav are supported by the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, the Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus Initiative for Immigrant and Refugee Justice of the Religious Action Center, San Francisco Humanities, and the National Center to Encourage Judaism.
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