October 30, 2020

Hello out there!
These words from our Talmud remind us of the importance of a community’s investment in leadership: “Rabbi Yitzhak taught that ‘A ruler is not to be appointed unless the community is first consulted.’” (BT Berachot 55a). On Tuesday, we will have the opportunity to express our opinions as America’s immediate future is decided. Voting is a fundamental right of citizenship—and an act firmly at the core of Jewish civic responsibility.  

As we fill out mail-in ballots—or go to the polls, as I will do in person on Tuesday—we have the right and responsibility to vote for our deepest held values. As Americans, we are guided by respect for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As Jews, the instructions to welcome the stranger, honor God’s Creation and safeguard the autonomy of each sacred human being, must guide all of our choices.

Without a doubt, this election is one of the most important in American history. Much is at stake. We must make our voices—and our values—heard. VOTE VOTE VOTE! It is the responsibility of each one of us who has the right to vote, to cast a precious vote for the future of our nation.  

Following election day, we will have the opportunity to discuss some of the election results with State Senator Scott Wiener. Please join me and the senator for a discussion on Wednesday, November 4. Details are below. Registration for this program is required. I look forward to celebrating our future with you next Wednesday.   

Shabbat shalom!

Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman Graf

Kabbalat Shabbat with Special Guest Elana Arian
Friday, October 30, 6 pm

Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman Graf, Rabbi Abby Phelps, Cantor Toby Glaser and special guest Elana Arian lead Friday night Shabbat services.

Elana Arian is one of the leading voices in contemporary Jewish music. A composer, multi-instrumentalist and recording artist, Elana inspires communities across the country with her soulful songwriting and spirit.
Torah Study
Saturday, October 31, 9:15 am

Rabbi Abby Phelps will lead a conversation on this week's Torah portion.
Election Analysis with Senator Scott Wiener
Wednesday, November 4, 5 pm

Join us for a post-election discussion of ballot measures and election results. Senator Scott Wiener represents San Francisco and northern San Mateo County in the California State Senate. Elected in 2016, Senator Wiener focuses extensively on housing, transportation, civil rights, criminal justice reform, clean energy, and alleviating poverty. Registration required.
Update on COVID-19 Vaccines
Dr. Jeremy Rassen and Dr. Jonathan Graf
Monday, November 16, 5 pm

Join us for a discussion of the latest COVID-19 news on vaccines.
Dr. Jeremy Rassen trained as an epidemiologist and computer scientist, and is currently Chief Science Officer at Aetion, Inc., where he uses data to examine the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. He was formerly assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School — and somewhat before that, a graduate of Congregation Sherith Israel's religious school. Dr. Jonathan Graf is a professor of medicine at UCSF and a practicing internist and rheumatologist at Zuckerberg San Francisco General and UCSF Medical Centers.