Link of the Week: Check out "The blessings of a small school", an article written by our very own Sue Bojdak about Beit Sefer Phyllis Mintzer!

Contact office@shaarzahav.org to sponsor a Shabbat

Friday Night Services:

December 16th at 7:30 pm.

Hybrid: On Zoom and In-Person.

Klezmer Shabbat (see description below)

Led by Cantor Bernstein and Klezmorim

Register Here for Zoom Service

Meeting ID: 886 7131 3838


Saturday Morning Service:

December 17th at 10:00 am.

Hybrid: On Zoom and In-Person.

Abbreviated Service

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.

Chanukah 2022

Please join us for Klezmer Shabbat!! 

Friday, December 16

It is a night of eating, davening, singing and dancing! Come early at 7pm for the food and music. Services will start at 7:30pm. Cantor Bernstein (with voice and piano), Josh Horowitz (on accordion), Cookie Segelstein (on violin) and Frank London (trumpet) will provide the expressive melodies and joyful rhythms. Bruce Bierman will lead us in dance. Stay after services for more eating, dancing and schmoozing.

Let us know if you're coming so we can plan: register here

Young Adult Shabbat Social

Friday, December 16, 9:30pm

Evil Eye (2937 Mission St.)

Join Sha'ar Zahav's young adult group, The Kaf Lameds, for drinks and community after Klezmer Shabbat, at The Evil Eye in the Mission District. Please contact Emily Ornelas-Dorian, 408-881-4817.

Yoga of Rededication

CANCELLED: Saturday, December 17th, 9:00-9:50am

In person at Sha'ar Zahav

Celebrate the Chanukah holiday by resuming our in- person yoga practice, led by Rabbi Mychal Copeland. We will move, chant, and share in our holiday of lights. Wear clothes you can move in. No previous experience with yoga is necessary; a few mats provided. Can’t come but interested? Email Susie to get on our yoga list. Members and nonmembers are invited.

Sha’ar Zahav Community Chanukah Workshop  

Saturday, December 17th, 10:00am-12:30pm

In person at Sha'ar Zahav

It’s a holiday adventure for people of all ages! We’ll begin with a quick Festive Chanukah Shabbat morning service including Chanukah singing and stories. Then…choose your own adventure: 

  • Latke making
  • Candle making
  • Dreidel Design Challenge
  • Text Study

We’ll close with Latke eating and dreidel playing. Let's get ready for Chanukah!

RSVPs are appreciated

First Night of Chanukah:

Celebrating the Light and the Darkness

Sunday, December 18th, 5:00-5:40pm, On Zoom


Join us for a celebration of the first night of Chanukah, which begins a few days before the shortest day and longest night of the year. Led by Karen Schiller and Eli Andrew Ramer. Register here


We'll be lighting candles following two different traditions, singing, learning about the history of this holiday, and exploring ways that we can observe Chanukah in an eco-friendly way. Support our local Judaica stores by buying or ordering Chanukah goodies and environmentally safe candles at Dayenu in San Francisco and Afikomen in Berkeley. More eco-resources here for an eco-friendly Chanukah. Try eco-friendlier lighting with non-paraffin/non-petroleum candles like oil, beeswax, or plant-based materials. The brand Ner Mitzvah has pre-filled oil glasses (called Ohr Light), and all of their Shabbat candles are paraffin-free.

Castro Menorah Lighting

Monday, December 19th, 6:00pm in person

Jane Warner Plaza at Castro, Market & 17th Street


The Castro Menorah lighting is a fun family event complete with music, singing, dancing, and jelly donuts! Spin a giant dreidel and light your own chanukiah along with our jumbo menorah! Hosted by Congregation Sha’ar Zahav and Castro Merchants Association and the Castro Community Benefit District. No registration required, come and enjoy.

Chanukah Shabbat

December 23rd, 7:30pm

Hybrid: In-Person and on Zoom


Join in Shabbat services either in-person or on Zoom.

Led by Cantor Bernstein and Ariel Spagnolo.

Community: Let's Get Together

The Vigil:

Annual Homeless Persons Memorial

Thursday, December 15, 5:30pm

Civic Center Plaza (Polk Side)

Join people of all faiths, or no faith, to remember those who have died this year while living on San Francisco Streets. In silence, in prayer, in song we'll remember them, honor them, mourn our loss, reach out to each other for comfort and hope and show our solidarity in working for change.

More information here

L'Havin: Understanding Israel and Its Neighbors is a Sha'ar Zahav working group that provides our members and community friends with support, knowledge, and dialogue skills that deepen our relationship with the land and peoples of Israel and Palestine, and to advance understanding and healing within our Jewish community. We hold a range of narratives and relate differently to the ideas and realities of Israel, Palestine, and the Israeli-Arab conflict, yet are united in our desire to advance peace and justice.

To start, L’Havin is holding Zoom calls on the fourth Monday of each month, and we invite anyone who is interested to join us! You do not need to come with any previous knowledge of the topics we may discuss or with any set viewpoints. In fact, we encourage all to come with open ears and a learner’s mindset. Please contact lhavin@shaarzahav.org if you’re curious.

Music in the Mishkan

Long-time member, Randall Weiss, and The Bridge Players present the 23rd season of Music in the Mishkan on January 8, April 2 and May 21 - mark your calendars! All concerts begin at 4:00 p.m. Don't miss these beautiful concerts in our lovely sanctuary! 

Order your tickets today!

Learn With Us!

Hebrew

Taught by Michael Lederman



Introductory Hebrew 

Tuesday, January 10 - March 14, 7-8pm on Zoom



Continuing Hebrew

Thursday, January 12 - March 16, 7-8pm on Zoom


Register for both classes here

Judaism 101

Mondays, January 9- April 3

(excluding Jan. 16th and Feb. 20th)

6:30-8:30pm on Zoom

Taught by Sue Bojdak, Director of Education

Judaism 101 is 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.  Our learning will be interactive and communal; come ready to be in the learning with us. If you have questions, please contact Sue Bojdak.

Register for the class here

Drash Workshop

Monday, January 9th, 7pm on Zoom only

Have you wanted to try giving a Shabbat drash? Or maybe you're not so new to the practice but want a refresher. Learn how to write and present a beautiful Torah teaching from Maggid Eli Ramer and Rabbi Mychal Copeland with our drash coordinator Kay Magilavy.

Register for the Meeting: Zoom Link

Journey to Judaism: A Discussion Group

Facilitated by Ora Prochovnick, Rose Katz and James Carlson

Six Mondays (the last Monday of each month), starting January 30th, 7pm-8:30pm

This discussion group will explore issues that arise for people who are considering, are in the process of, or have only recently completed, converting to Judaism. We also welcome those who have a Jewish parent (or parents), but were raised with little or no Jewish experience and are interested in exploring their connection to Judaism. This group is not an introduction to Judaism course, but rather a place to ask questions and discuss issues with others who are also on this journey. Class sessions will alternate meeting in person with meeting on Zoom. Hybrid access will not be available for the in-person sessions. For further information, click here.

To register, please contact Executive Director Susie Idzik

Recurring Gatherings and Meetings

Kaf-Lamed Monthly Gathering

Don't go to Shabbat alone!

December 16, 7:30pm

Join Sha'ar Zahav's young adult group (The Kaf Lameds) for a monthly gathering at Shabbat Services in person! Perfect for those who've ever felt intimidated to go to Shabbat in person services alone. Or perfect for those who just want a few buddies to join on Friday night services! This is a monthly gathering, where we'll do "Shabbat Together" the 3rd Friday of each month. Contact Emily Ornelas-Dorian.

Racial Equity Committee

Monday, December 19

6:30-8:00pm on Zoom

The Racial Equity Committee is back to meeting regularly! Subsequent meetings will be held on the the third Monday of the month at 6:30. Come help assure that CSZ is always a place of welcome, inclusion and equity for all.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Book Group Discussion:

He, She and It, by Marge Piercy

Tuesday, December 20, 7:00 - 8:00 pm on Zoom

It is the near future, and North America is a toxic, overheated wasteland after nuclear war. Most people live unprotected from the poisoned atmosphere or in domed cities ruled by mega-corporations. But in the free town of Tikva, scientist Malkah has illegally created a cyborg to protect her town from corporate takeover. Piercy's novel, which weaves between this dystopian future and stories of the 17thth century golem of Prague, deals with environmental disaster, a 1984-type world, courage, love, and the question of what's human. For more info, email Ami Zusman. 

Join the Meeting: Zoom Link

Theater & Movies Chavurah: Jojo Rabbit

Wednesday, January 4th

6:00 pm on Zoom

The movie follows a 10-year-old boy, Johannes Betzler, an idealistic and misguided Hitler Youth during WWII. He lives with his mother, Rosie, and is often visited by an imaginary friend — a cartoonish version of Adolf Hitler. It’s a dark satire directed by Taika David Cohen, known professionally as Take Waititi — an Academy-award New Zealand filmmaker and actor (who also appears in the film). There are many options to stream it: Apple TV, Amazon, YouTube, DirectTV and Sling among them - each for $3.99.

Join the Meeting: Zoom meeting

Art Group: Drop-in

Weekly on Tuesdays

Hybrid: In person and on Zoom

10am-11:30am

Drop in for a joyful hour and a half of free art-making and connection. Everyone is welcome! The group meets every Tuesday. Contact Paisha Rochlin or Barbara Cymrot.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Climate Action Committee

2nd Monday of the Month   

5:00-6:30pm on Zoom

The CAC gathers monthly to support and educate ourselves and our community on climate issues, including climate grief, policy advocacy, and personal and community strategies to address the urgent crises of climate change and climate justice. 

Contact Deborah Levy.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Disability and Accessibility Committee

If you identify as disabled, are exploring that identity, or have a loved one with a disability and are interested in joining the Disability and Accessibility Committee, please reach out to Eliana Smithstein for more information. If you are interested in learning more about disability and how you can become a better ally, stay tuned for educational events to come!

Remember When

1st Wednesday of the Month

6:30-8:00pm

Hitch a ride on the wayback wagon for a trip down memory lane. Let’s reminisce about the 40’s thru the 70’s together! Different topics each month. We will gather on the first Wednesday of every month. Email Marv Lehrman.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Weekly Torah Study Group

Weekly on Wednesday

8:30-9:30am

Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Mussar Group

Bi-weekly on Thursdays 7:00-8:00pm

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! Contact Mark Pressler.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Meditation Chavurah

1st and 3rd Saturday of the month

10:30am-Noon

Everyone is welcome. And you will not regret it! A typical session includes a short and longer silent sit, with chanting, movement, and a short teaching. The group meets on the first and third Saturday of every month.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Hiking Chavurah

3rd Saturday of the month until 2023, 9:50 am

We hike on the second Saturday of the month

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 SZ members while exploring the city and beyond. The hikes usually last about two hours. Email Karen Schiller and Ellen Murland

12-Step Meetings by and for SZ Members

Weekly on Sundays On Zoom

1:00-2:00pm

The meeting will be run in the usual 12-step format but will also feature some thoughts and reflections from members bringing Judaism into their 12-step practice. Contact Erika Katske.

For Sha'ar Zahav Members Only. Register Here to Attend.

Weekday Morning Prayer

Weekly on Tuesdays

8:30-9:00am

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. Contact Cantor Bernstein.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Birthdays this week!

Aaron Goldman-Maclachlan 12/14

Isabel Lahn-Schroeder 12/14

Philip Charney 12/15

Samuel Ryan 12/15

Ron Lezell 12/15

Nina Raff 12/15

Serena Stein 12/16

Ina Turpen Fried 12/17

Arthur Meirson 12/20

Michele Sullivan 12/20

While we strive for all our events to be mixed-access, this is not always possible. Some events are only in-person, and some are Zoom only. If you have any questions about a particular event, please contact the office, or the contact listed for the event.

Returning to 290 Dolores
Attending In-Person Events and Services

Starting at the end of April, our policy is as follows.
  • Shabbat Service: Masking during the service is required. Following the service, you may remove your mask to enjoy oneg.
  • For all other events, masking is optional. Children 2-5 will be required to mask. We welcome you to keep wearing masks if you choose.
  • Proof of vaccination is required, including a booster shot.
  • Please remember: Sha’ar Zahav is a scent-free environment. Keeping our synagogue safe for those with scent and chemical sensitivities is part of our commitment to accessibility. Questions/concerns? Email us, the Accessibility Committee.
Updated Registration Policy
Registration: Registration will no longer be required for most in-person services and events. If you have a key card, please let yourself in. If you do not, you will be asked to sign in and show proof of vaccination. Key cards are available to all members. Please reach out to get yours.
Click here for information about our vaccination policy
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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